Sam Ang Keo, Barbara Szymanik, Claire Le Roy, Franck Brachelet, Didier Defer

Defect Detection in CFRP Concrete Reinforcement Using the Microwave Infrared Thermography (MIRT) Method—A Numerical Modeling and Experimental Approach

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

This research paper presents the application of the microwave infrared thermography (MIRT) technique for the purpose of detecting and characterizing defects in the carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite reinforcement of concrete specimens. Initially, a numerical model was constructed, which consisted of a broadband pyramidal horn antenna and the specimen. The present study investigated the application of a 360 W power system that operated at a frequency of 2.4 GHz, specifically focusing on two different operational modes: continuous and modulated. The specimen being examined consisted of a solid concrete slab that was coated with an adhesive layer, which was then overlaid with a layer of CFRP. Within the adhesive layer, at the interface between the concrete and CFRP, there was a defect in the form of an air gap. The study examined three distinct scenarios: a sample without any defects, a sample with a defect positioned at the center, and a sample with a defect positioned outside the center. The subsequent stage of the investigation incorporated experimental verification of the numerical modeling results. The experiment involved the utilization of two concrete specimens reinforced using CFRP, one without any defects and the other with a defect. Numerical modeling was used in this study to analyze the phenomenon of microwave heating in complex structures. The objective was to evaluate the selected antenna geometry and determine the optimal experimental configuration. Subsequently, these findings were experimentally validated. The observations conducted during the heating phase were particularly noteworthy, as they differed from previous studies that only performed observation of the sample after the heating phase. The results show that MIRT has the potential to be utilized as a method for identifying defects in concrete structures that are reinforced with CFRP.

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