Active infrared (IR) thermographic nondestructive testing (NDT) has become a valuable inspection method for composite materials due to its high sensitivity to particular types of defect and high inspection rate. The computer-implemented thermal tomography, based on the analysis of heat diffusion in solids, involves a specialized treatment of the data obtained by means of active IR thermographic NDT, thus allowing for the "slicing" of materials under testing for a few layers where discontinuity-like defects can be underlined on the noise-free background (binary thermal tomograms). The time-domain thermal tomography is based on the fact that, in a one-sided test, temperature "footprints" of deeper defects appear later in regard to shallower defects. The phase-domain tomography can be applied to collected IR data in a direct way, for instance, by using the Fourier transform, but quantification of results is more difficult because the relationships between phase and defect depth depend on experimental parameters, and the corresponding "phase vs. defect depth" calibration functions are ambiguous. In this study, the time- and phase-domain thermal tomography techniques have been compared on simulated IR thermograms and experimentally applied to the evaluation of carbon fiber reinforced plastic composite containing impact damage defects characterized by impact energy 10, 18, and 63 J. Both tomographic techniques have demonstrated similar results in the reconstruction of thermal tomograms and, in some cases, supplied complementary information about the distribution of single defect zones within impacted areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging