Infrared Thermography Offers Nondestructive Means of Corrosion Assessment

Infrared thermography provides a safe, nondestructive means of corrosion assessment, Jorge Reyna said in Tuesday morning’s session titled “Infrared Thermography: Alternatives for Nondestructive Corrosion Assessment” during the 2024 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo.

Reyna, a certified coatings and welding inspector with JRSA Inspections, walked his audience through how infrared thermography can be used to detect early signs of corrosion in a non-invasive way.

Demonstrating with a handheld infrared digital camera, Reyna showed how the tool can be used quickly and effectively by detecting infrared radiation.

Reyna noted that German-born British astronomer William Herschel is credited with discovering infrared radiation in 1800.

“This form of energy is invisible to the human eye but can be detected and translated into a visual image like a thermograph,” he said. “This requires a fundamental knowledge of heat flow and the thermal behavior of materials. It is crucial to understand the significance of temperature and temperature changes on the test object or test sample.”

He listed three primary advantages of using infrared thermography:

Easy interpretation of results
Quick inspection system

He also cited these limitations:

Highly dependent on the surface it is measuring
Non-contact (also an advantage) because its range is limited
Cannot penetrate beyond the surface

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