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Proceedings Paper

Nondestructive evaluation of metal and composite targets using an infrared line-scanning technique
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Paper Abstract

A thermal, non-destructive evaluation (NDE) technique has been employed by ThermTech Services, Inc. in cooperation with NASA Langley Research Center that allows for quantitative measurements of wall thickness in steam boilers. By determining the thickness of the walls, one can easily determine how much thinning has occurred due to corrosion. This type of NDE can be applied to the inspection of wings and fuselages on aircraft and spaceflight vehicles including the shuttle. The NDE technique employs the linear movement of a heat source (lamp) and an infrared imager that is situated at a fixed distance behind the heat source. The instruments are aligned on a platform that moves up and down across the outer surface of a test sample. By analyzing the induced surface temperature variations, and processing images collected with the infrared imager, it can be determined where material loss of the tubes has occurred. After an image sequence has been collected, a line-by-line subtraction methodology is utilized to discard irrelevant information so that defects are displayed in a re-created image. The overall goal of this project is to provide a proof of concept for a portable, hand-operated thermographic line scanner that would provide an alternative to the existing mass- and power-intensive instrument that utilizes a cooled infrared imager. In this project, two different microbolometers are first analyzed using different metal- and carbon epoxy-based targets to determine which provides better resolution for detection of subsurface, manufactured defects. The feasibility of using uncooled bolometer technology to support the development of a portable instrument to conduct this type of NDE technique was proven.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5782, Thermosense XXVII, (28 March 2005);
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher Smith, James Madison Univ. (United States)
Matthew Rowley, James Madison Univ. (United States)
Curt Dvonch, James Madison Univ. (United States)
Mary Fulton, Davidson College (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5782:
Thermosense XXVII
G. Raymond Peacock; Douglas D. Burleigh; Jonathan J. Miles, Editor(s)

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