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An Approach for the 3D Characterization of Internal Defects of Objects by Pulsed Infrared Thermography

The result of non-destructive testing of an object by pulsed thermography (PT) is twofold: qualitatively, it is possible to localize areas where a defect is present, and quantitatively, the defects depth and geometry can be determined. During a pulsed thermography experiment, the infrared (IR) camera records the time-evolution of the object surface temperature. A 1D model is commonly used in order to determine the depth of the internal defect at each pixel. This model assumes that there is no thermal connection between the parts of the object which are represented by neighboring pixels. Consequently, the results provided by such an approach are less accurate when the inspected object has a high thermal diffusivity, a complex shape or contains defects with non-trivial geometry like corrosion. A 3D approach is described in this paper. In addition to the pulsed thermography setup, a 3D scanner is used in order to provide the shape of the object.

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