Proceedings PaperUsing IR thermography for detecting and diagnosing cracking in concrete dams
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Analytical and experimental research has been conducted to assess the feasibility of detecting and diagnosing deep cracks in concrete dams by means of IR Thermography measurements. A simplified scale-down model of the nonoverflow section in a conventional concrete gravity dam and its reservoir has been designed with the capability of simulating both air-filled and water-filled deep cracks. A high-resolution CMT thermal imager (BSI 7000 equipment) has been utilized for mapping the temperatures at the downstream face of the latter model, under realistic quasi-static thermal conditions, in similar situations both with and without deep cracks present in the concrete body. The results obtained from these measurements compare reasonably well with calculations based on an ad hoc one-dimensional heat-transfer model of the simulated dam-reservoir complex. Appropriate thermal correlations have been found that appear to indicate the feasibility of detecting and diagnosing both air-filled and water-filled deep cracks in concrete dams using IR Thermography. The operating requirements imposed on the IR Thermography equipment to be used, and the reliability of the above detection and diagnosis process have been explicitly addressed.