A Comparative Study of Enhanced Infrared Image Processing for Foreign Object Detection in Lightweight Composite Honeycomb Structures

Hai Zhang, Stefano Sfarra, Marc Genest, Clemente Ibarra-Castanedo, Yuxia Duan, Henrique Fernandes, Nicolas P. Avdelidis, Xavier P.V. Maldague

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The interest toward lightweight composites in the aeronautical industry grows year by year. The challenge is the identification and characterization of defects by using an integration of different techniques. The use of the infrared thermography (IRT) method for the inspection of lightweight composites is poorly documented in the open literature, due to the low heat diffusion through the honeycomb cores. In this study, IRT was used to retrieve the unknown positions of internal inserted objects in three different lightweight composite structures, by using three new thermal image processing integration methods. The corresponding post-processed results were compared against the traditional principal component thermography and pulsed phase thermography image processing techniques. The comparison showed that the integrated signal smoothing processing enhanced the image quality compared to the established techniques. Then, a thermal-physical analysis corresponding to the experimental results was conducted, in order to explain the experimental results. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of the different presented methods when applied on the different lightweight composite structures were summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018



  • Composite
  • Honeycomb
  • Infrared
  • Lightweight
  • NDT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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