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Craig Mason
Engineering Manager
Asked a question last year

Can Infrared thermography be used to inspect cracks in a building?

Can Infrared thermography be used to inspect cracks in a building?

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Flenn Hale
Construction Manager

Yes, absolutely. In fact, not just cracks, infrared thermography can also detect surface defects, changes in density and porosity, delamination, and concrete reinforcement corrosion in addition to cracks.

It is done actively as well as passively. In the active approach, an inmate temperature difference in the defects and it's surrounding is detected by sensors. In the passive way, energy as light is exposed to the surface, and then infrared cameras read out any abnormality in the release of that energy from various directions. For cracks in concrete passive inspection is usually done.

The surface cracks are generally spotted within a second, but it may take a few minutes to reach the deep cracks.

Can Infrared thermography be used to inspect cracks in a building?

Basically, infrared thermography is one of the non-destructive technique that measures the radiation emitted by bodies in the thermal infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum.S

  • Formation of cracks due to anomalies in the coating material or associated with the substrate elements.
  • The diagnosis needs to establish the causes of cracks and identify the existing topography as well as the degree of damage.
  • The study indicates a strong dependence on the variations of surface temperature and sun incidence with no agreement about the criteria regarding the best time to make the thermographic inspection in day or night
  • The use of thermography to study cracks, detachment, and humidity are still being performed on an experimental basis.
  • Thermography is used to observe the location of cracks
  • Nowadays, the weather conditions in the country where the studies are being performed are an important variable in the process and results since they involve differentiation of heat flux for each study.