Thermal Image Analysis for the In-Situ NDE of Composites

Robert P. Brady*, Manohor R. Kulkarni, Philip T C Chu, Sain Russell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Thermal image analysis is an emerging nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technique that shows promise as a potential on-line monitoring and inspection method for composites. The method is rapid, user-friendly, and can determine two-dimensional material property distributions as well as quantitatively characterize delaminations. In this paper, the theoretical background of the method and fundamental apparatus are described. Results of the analysis applied to defect-free and delaminated carbon-carbon composite plates are discussed. Two-dimensional distributions of thermal diffusivity were obtained and verified with values obtained by the ASTM standard laser flash diffusivity method. Global specific heat and thermal conductivities were also found and compared to baseline values. In all cases the thermal image analysis results were found to provide reasonable engineering accuracy. Additionally, delaminated plates were tested in order to quantitatively characterize defect location and size. The thermal image analysis results for the delaminated plates were comparable, if not more precise, than observations using ultrasonic C-scan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Composites Technology and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Nondestructive evaluation
  • Thermoanalysis
  • Thermography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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