Govind K. Sharma, S Mahadevan, Anish Kumar

An equivalent circuit approach for remnant thickness evaluation and flaw sizing using pulsed thermography

  • General Physics and Astronomy

Active thermography using pulsed heating is a fast and reliable method for detecting flaws in composite and metallic materials. This paper analyzes the temperature decay that occurs immediately after flash heating the front surface of stainless steel specimens as a function of time, based on a novel application of the equivalent circuit approach (ECA). The temperature decay from the front surface is equated to the discharge of a capacitor. The ECA is based on the charging (temperature rise due to flash heating) of a capacitor, followed by its discharge (temperature decay) through a series of resistors (which depends on the conductivity of the material) and capacitance (which depends on the thermal capacitance of the layers) through which the heat is dissipated. The proposed approach analyzes the sequences of temperature data obtained at each pixel location during cooling from a step wedge and a specimen with multiple flat-bottom holes. Time constant maps derived from the analysis are used to ascertain the thickness of the step wedge, detect the flaws, and evaluate the remnant thickness of the flaws. A correlation has been established between the thickness and the time constants. The above approach has been used to estimate the diameter of the flat-bottom holes.

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