Comparative Study for More Reliable Use of Infrared Thermography for High-speed Concrete Bridge Deck Scanning

Degradation of concrete bridge decks is a widespread problem in the US since most deck slabs are made of concrete and deteriorate faster than other components due to direct exposure to traffic. Integrated implementation of infrared thermography and high-definition (HD) image technologies has great potential to inspect bridge decks rapidly with reasonable accuracy. This paper presents comparative studies to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of IRT for high- speed applications to detect concrete delaminations. Through the study, it was found that high-speed scanning by IRT with a cooled type IR camera performed at a similar or better level of accuracy and efficiency compared to other NDE methods. Therefore, the use of appropriate IR cameras makes it is possible to collect reliable data at highway speeds without lane closures. Thus, an integrated IRT and HD system becomes a more practical and faster method of conducting bridge deck inspections in comparison to other NDE technologies, which mostly require lane closures.

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