Application of infrared thermography to the non-destructive testing of concrete and masonry bridges

M. R. Clark, D. M. McCann, Michael Forde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within recent years there has been an increase in the use of NDT methods to detect defects and anomalies in various civil engineering structures. Infrared thermography, which has been successfully used in the USA in civil engineering applications, is being increasingly applied in the UK as an NDT technique. For example, the technique is now included in the Building Regulations for the assessment of thermal insulation for all new non-domestic buildings from April 2002.

One of the perceived limitations of infrared thermography is that in temperate climates it is too cold to use this technique since there is rarely the extreme solar exposure that has enabled the successful use of thermography to detect render debonding and concrete spalling utilising solar heating. However, with the advancements in modern technology it is now possible to detect smaller changes in temperature (down to 0.08 °C). This paper shows that even with the low ambient temperatures experienced in Europe it is possible to use infrared thermography to identify correctly known areas of delamination in a concrete bridge structure and also to investigate the internal structure of a masonry bridge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-275
Number of pages11
JournalNDT and E International: Independent Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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