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Bridge Deck Scanning by Infrared Thermography

Condition ratings of bridge components in the FHWA’s Structure Inventory and Appraisal (SI&A) database are determined by bridge inspectors in the field (FHWA, 2006). However, the determination of bridge condition ratings is generally subjective depending on individual inspectors’ knowledge and experience, as well as varying field conditions. Recently enacted government regulations for mandatory element level inspections (AASHTO, 2013) pose a need for effective record keeping and continued observations. This paper describes the results of on-site bridge deck scanning by s were compared to show how each’s specifications have evident effects on the degree of accuracy in the detection of delaminations within concrete bridge decks. It can be concluded that for highway infrared inspection, the cooled infrared camera is far superior to other commonly implemented models, and a high exposure rate is critical in preventing things like blurred imagery and subsequent false detections. Moreover, the cooled model effectively doubled the window of time in which inspections can be carried out. By raising work efficiency and precision using cooled models, there are many benefits - reduction of field work hours leads to further reduction in field data collection costs. False detections and blurry images will be minimized, and with the support from the analysing software the bridge inspection engineer gains much more intelligent data at a much faster rate.


AASHTO (The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) (2013): Manual for Bridge Element Inspection, First Edition

Akashi et. al (2006): Development of Inspection Method using Infrared Thermography Technology and its Technical Consideration, Proceeding of JSCE 61st Annual Meeting , PP 1113-1114

FHWA (Federal Highway Administration), Bridge Inspector’s Reference Manual , 2006

Matsumoto, M., Mitani, K. and Catbas, F. (2013): Bridge Assessment Methods Using Image Processing and Infrared Thermography Technology: On-Site Pilot Application in Florida. Compendium of Papers of the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board . Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC.

NEXCO-West USA, Inc. (2014): Comparison of Infrared Cameras for Bridge Deck Scanning: - Vol.1 Laboratory Test

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