Active Thermography for Non-Destructive Material Testing

Active thermography for aircraft engineering - Picture Credits: © Jaros / Fotolia.com

Active thermography is the induction of a heat flow by energetically exciting a test object. The heat flow is influenced by interior material layers and defects. These inhomogeneities can be captured on the surface by high-precision infrared cameras. The additional application of different evaluation algorithms improves the signal-to-noise-ratio which allows for detection of smallest defects.

Modular System Design for Precisely Fitting Inspections

The versatile application options of active thermography require an elaborate configuration of every single inspection system. InfraTec offers a wide variety of necessary components along with a modular system architecture. The high-resolution infrared cameras, efficient control and evaluation software as well as the continuously operable excitation sources and controllers are interchangeable within the system and therefore allow a flexible adaptation to upcoming requirements.

Associated Thermographic Automation Solutions

  • Welding seams and welding spots testing with WELD-CHECK
    Welding Inspection - WELD-CHECK

    Welding Inspection - WELD-CHECK

    Using pulse thermography, WELD-CHECK enables you a quantitative assessment of the inspected welds.

  • Thermography test solution E-LIT
    Electronic / Semiconductor Testing - E-LIT

    Electronic / Semiconductor Testing - E-LIT

    Detect inhomogeneous temperature distribution and local power loss during the production using the Lock-in thermography.

  • PV-LIT test solution for solar cells
    Photovoltaic Test System - PV-LIT

    Photovoltaic Test System - PV-LIT

    Get advantages in costing and quality by non-contact thermographic testing of your solar cells and PV-modules.

Lock-in Thermography in Electronics and Electrical Engineering

By means of lock-in analysis procedure of InfraTec's IRBIS® 3 active, errors that only cause mK or μK deviations can be reliably detected and assigned to their location:

InfraTec Lock-in Thermography; Classical thermal imaging – defect not detectable

Classical thermal imaging – defect not detectable

InfraTec Lock-in Thermography; Amplitude image – analysis by Lock-in Thermography

Amplitude image – analysis by Lock-in Thermography

InfraTec Lock-in Thermography; Combination of live and amplitude image

Combination of live and amplitude image

Infrared Cameras with Highest Precision

Cooled high-end infrared cameras with fast photon detectors of the ImageIR® series and non-cooled microbolometer cameras of the latest VarioCAM® High Definition generation are used for active thermography.

Geometric resolutions of up to (1,280 x 1,024) IR pixels and thermal resolutions far below 0.015 K are a precise technical basis for the detection of smallest material defects. High image acquisition frequencies allow for measurements of materials with high heat conductivity, such as metals. We also offer an extensive assortment of lenses and optics to image large test objects as well as microscopic structures.

Get in contact with InfraTec thermography division

Would You Like to Know More?

It is not unusual for tasks to be associated with special requirements. Discuss your specific application needs with our specialists, receive further technical information or learn more about our additional services.

Great Britain

InfraTec infrared Ltd
Dunston Innovation Centre, Dunston Road
 ChesterfieldUK

Case Studies about Active Thermography

InfraTec Uni Bayreuth - Analysis of the Thermal Conductivity
Analysis of the Thermal Conductivity

Analysis of the Thermal Conductivity in Nano- and Mesostructured Polymer Systems

New materials with precisely controlled optical and thermal transport characteristics can make a large contribution to resource-saving thermal management. Scientists of the University of Bayreuth are pursuing this vision. They use infrared thermography to quantitatively determine thermal conductivity in nano- and mesostructured polymer materials.

Thermal Stress Analysis of Metals
High‐End‐Thermography with ImageIR® 8300 hp

Thermal Stress Analysis of Metals

Stress changes during tensile testing provide information about material properties of metals such as tensile strength. With the help of thermographic cameras metallic solid bodies can be tested for such stress changes.

ARAMIS system from GOM - Picture credits: GOM GmbH
Further information about ARAMIS system from GOM and infrared cameras from InfraTec

Combination of Digital Image Correlation and Thermographic Measurements

The combination of measuring results from the digital image correlation (ARAMIS, DIC) and temperature measuring data from infrared cameras permits the simultaneous analysis of the thermal and mechanical behavior of test specimens in the materials and components testing field.

Quality Assurance with Active Thermography
Usage of ImageIR® to test laser welds of body components

Quality Assurance with Active Thermography

Non-destructive testing methods are becoming increasingly more important in the industry. One reason is that they cost much less than other test methods. As a very elegant method, the active heat flow thermography method is now firmly established as a powerful method of non-contact and non-destructive testing of products of different manufacturing technologies.

Efficient Control and Analysis Software for Active Thermography

Active thermography software IRBIS 3

The thermography software IRBIS® 3 active analyses the thermo-graphic sequences, which have been generated during the test, and edits them to create a false colour image, in which defects can be marked for further evaluation or documentation. For this purpose, several different analysis procedures are available. The choice of the correct algorithm depends on the material characteristics, geometry and type of defects to be detected. 

While the quotient method investigates the heat flow of the test object by reference to the increase and decrease of the surface temperature, the pulse-phase thermography (PPT) relies on the analysis of the temperature profile of different frequencies. For each frequency, two event images are generated, one amplitude- and one phase image. The lock-in thermography (LIT) analyses the sequence of periodic excitation of the test object.

Publications of our Customers

Lock-in Thermography for analyzing solar cells and failure analysis in other electronic components

Thermography automation system: PV-LIT

Optimizing thermographic testing of thick GFRP plates by assessing the real energy absorbed within the material

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 9300

Nondestructive testing by using long-wave infrared interferometric techniques with CO2 lasers and microbolometer arrays

Infrared camera: VarioCAM® hr

Thermal shock behaviour of laminated multilayer refractories for steel casting applications reinforced by residual stresses

Infrared camera: VarioCAM® hr

Autonomous Robotic System for Thermographic Detection of Defects in upper Layers of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers

Infrared camera: ImageIR® Series

Non-destructive inspection of aircraft composite materials using triple IR imaging

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 5300 & VarioCAM® hr head 600

Passive impulse thermography during quasi-static tensile tests of fiber reinforced composites

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 8300 hp series

Thermografie mit optimierter Anregung für die quantitative Untersuchung von Delaminationen in kohlenstofffaserverstärkten Kunststoffen (Language: German)

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 8800

Review of thermal imaging systems in composite defect detection

Infrared cameras: ImageIR® 8300 and ImageIR® 8800

Lock-in Thermography for the Development of New Materials

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 8300

Konzeption und Aufbau einer robotergestützten Plattform für optisch angeregte Wärmefluss-Thermografie (Language: German)

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 8300

Thermografische Lasernahtprüfung von Mehrblech-Verbindungen im Automobil-Karosseriebau (Language: German)

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 5300

Transiente Methoden der Infrarot-Thermografie zur
zerstörungsfreien Fehleranalytik in der mikroelektronischen
Aufbau- und Verbindungstechnik (Language: German)

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 8300

Infra-red thermometry of alpine landscapes challenges climatic warming projections

Infrared camera: VarioCAM® series

NDT DAMAGE DIAGNOSIS ON SANDSTONE – Case Study of Gelnhausen, Germany

A reference-free micro defect visualization using pulse laser scanning thermography and image processing

Infrared camera: ImageIR® 8300 series

Optimized Data Acquisition with the IGI DigiTHERM Thermal Camera System

Example for Automated Lock-In Measurement

Automated Lock-In measurement with E-LIT from InfraTec

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Advantages of this Thermography Solutions in this Application

  • Thermografie-Kameraserie ImageIR® mit neuer 10 GigE-Schnittstelle
    Further information about the 10 GigE technology

    10 GigE Interface for a Strong Increase in Output

    The 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface of the high-end camera series ImageIR® opens this extremely fast transmission standard with a NIC specially developed by InfraTec. This works with optical or electrical transceiver modules that are easy to change and are called SFP+.

    Different 10 GigE fiber SFP+ transceivers allow transmission ranges of up to ten kilometers with the same low sensitivity to electromagnetic interference. A corresponding standard SFP ensures backward compatibility with the conventional GigE interface. This combination allows the ease of use of the cameras with the 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface in existing systems - though at a reduced transmission rate.

  • InfraTec glossary - Rotating filter- und aperture wheel
    Get further information about the separate filter & aperture wheel

    Separate Filter & Aperture Wheel – Spectral Thermography

    The combination of a separate filter and aperture wheel, allowing a total of 30 freely selectable combinations, is prerequisite for an universal application in measurement tasks with high object temperatures and in the field of spectral thermography. The neutral density filters used for signal attenuation or the combination of spectral filters and apertures reliably prevent interference effects.

  • InfraTec thermography - Geometrical Resolution

    Geometrical Resolution – Efficient Analysis of Complex Assemblies

    InfraTec's infrared cameras with cooled and uncooled detectors have native resolutions up to (1,920 × 1,536) IR pixels. Spatially high-resolution thermograms ensure that components and assemblies are imaged down to the smallest detail and thus defects can be reliably detected and precisely localised.

  • InfraTec thermography - Thermal resolution

    Thermal Resolution – Determination of Differences of Only a Few Millikelvin

    For detection of small temperature changes InfraTec's infrared cameras offer thermal resolutions up to < 15 mK in real-time operation. By using the Lock-in Thermography method it is possible to further increase this resolution significantly. For this purpose test objects are periodically excited and non-destructively examined for defects and irregularities.

  • Integrated Trigger / Process Interface and Interfaces - Digitally Controlling of a Infrared Camera and External Devices

    The internal trigger interface guarantees highly precise, repeatable triggering. Each of the two configurable digital inputs and outputs are used to control the camera or to generate digital control signals for external devices. In this way, for example, the operation of a printed circuit board and the interval of a measurement can be synchronised.

    The selection of different camera interfaces allows the processing of analog data, such as the voltage directly through the camera and thus the insertion of this information into the thermal image data. Relevant variables can be included in the evaluations with the software, which makes it easier to draw conclusions about the causes of temperature changes.

Defect-specific excitation sources and controllers

Different types of defects of various materials can be detected by utilising specific energetic excitation units. InfraTec chooses the suiting excitation source, such as high-performance flashes, inductive units, hot- and cold air blowers and homogeneous halogen radiators, for the respective test situation.

Applications of Active Thermography

Active thermography is applied in most diverse manufacturing technologies for offline testing as well as inline testing of series production.

  • Detection of layer structures, delaminations and inserts in plastics
  • Detection in CFRPs of the automotive and aerospace industry
  • Investigation of interior structures or impacts on honeycomb lightweight constructions
  • Recognition of deeper material deficiencies, such as blowholes in plastic parts or ruptured laser welding seams
Active thermography in automotive industry - Picture Credits: © Rainer / Fotolia.com

Infrared Cameras for Active Thermography Applications

Asso­ci­ated Indus­tries & Applic­a­tions

  • thermal imaging for material testing
    Material Testing

    Material Testing

    Save time and costs by non-destructively testing components with infrared camera systems by InfraTec.

  • thermal imaging in electronics
    Electronics & Electrical Engineering

    Electronics & Electrical Engineering

    Measure temperature distributions of smallest electronic components with infrared cameras.

  • thermal imaging for automotive applications
    Automotive Industry

    Automotive Industry

    Infrared camera systems help you to secure a high product quality in production and at your suppliers.

  • thermal imaging in aviation
    Aerospace Industry

    Aerospace Industry

    Comply with highest security demands by applying state-of-the-art infrared camera systems.

  • thermal imaging in plastic industry
    Plastics Industry

    Plastics Industry

    Cost-efficiently control die-casting and extrusion processes by means of infrared camera systems.