Subsurface defect characterization in artworks by quantitative pulsed phase thermography and holographic interferometry

Clemente Ibarra-Castanedo, Stefano Sfarra, Dario Ambrosini, Domenica Paoletti, Abdelhakim Bendada, Xavier Maldague

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28 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, experimental data from two artwork specimens was acquired and processed by pulsed phase thermography (PPT) and holographic interferometry. The first specimen was a wood painting with a variety of damages typical of this kind of pieces. A comparative study between thermography and interferometry results showed the potential complementarities of both techniques. The second inspected specimen was a fresco with fabricated inserts inspected by PPT to detect and characterize the subsurface defects. The well-known concept of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) is proposed for the selection of the proper phasegram frequency at which defect sizing is performed. A de-noising step was required prior to the application of the Canny edge detection algorithm. It is demonstrated with this investigation that PPT and holographic interferometry are valuable tools for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of artworks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
JournalQuantitative InfraRed Thermography Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Artwork inspection
  • Defect characterization
  • Holographic interferometry
  • Image processing
  • Non destructive evaluation
  • Pulsed phase thermography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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