Thermography for Research and Development

 

Passive Thermography

Infrared images of wing profile, recorded with a FLIR X6540sc, Laminar wind channel of IAG, Stuttgart University


Aim of conventional thermography is measurement of surface temperatures of bodies. The emitted radiation is detected by an infrared sensor within the corresponding wavelength . Thus, a full field image of temperature distributions is obtained.

Process analysis

Heating-up of an acoustic sontrode

Heating-up of an acoustic sontrode during sound injection

Many physical processes are accompanied by changes in temperature, which provide information about the process and its properties. Through consideration of temperature and temperature changes one can obtain relevant information about the process inducing those changes.

Infrared microscopy

Microchip

Infrared image of a micro-chip

In infrared microscopy, smallest structures with a resolution of a few micrometers can be recorded. The demands on lenses as well as the temporal resolution of the infrared camera - in the case of dynamic analysis - are high. Suitable infrared cameras are X6900sc (highest frame rate) or the X6580sc (best spatial resolution of 3 μm).
Microscopic analysis can also be combined with the lock in technique to detect smallest differences in temperature in the range of a few mK.

Active Thermography

Active thermal measurement methods are based on the evaluation of a previously excited heat flow in the tested component and its disturbance by hidden defects. The heat flow is generated with a heat pulse or through sinusoidal modulation. The testing is carried out with a thermography camera followed by a mathematical analysis of the measured sequence to extract the for a reliable defect detection necessary information.

Detection of filiform corrosion

Growth of corrosion under paint

Lockin Thermography

Lock-In Thermography is a method to significantly increase the signal-to-noise ratio for active thermography applications. The heat flux hereby is being analyzed, and the time delay of heat flux is displayed thus revealing important material properties or flaws.


Excitation methods for active thermography

The thermography methods listed below are well established in nondestructive testing of materials:

  • OTvis - optically excited lock-in thermography
  • PTvis - pulse thermography
  • LTvis - Laser excited thermography
  • ITvis - induction thermography
  • UTvis - ultrasound excited thermography (Vibrothermography)

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Infrared technology

Infrared cameras for R&D applications often need to have high spatial, temporal or temperature resolution. Therefore, usually Stirling-cooled sensors are used, which can track fast processes with high temperature dynamics problems unlike uncooled Micro-bolometer sensors.

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