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.


[1] FHWA, “Memorandum ‘Collection of Element Level Data for National Highway System Bridges,’” 2013.[Online]. Available:

[2] GPO, “Electronic Code of Federal Regulations,” U.S. Government Publishing Officem, 2015. [Online]. Available:

[3] FHWA, “‘Highway Bridges by Deck Structure Type 2015,’” 2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Apr-2016].

[4] M. C. Brown, J. P. Gomez, M. L. Hammer, and J. M. Hooks, “Long-Term Bridge Performance High Priority Bridge Performance Issues,” McLean, VA, 2014.

[5] N. Gucunski, S. Kee, H. La, B. Basily, and A. Maher, “Delamination and concrete quality assessment of concrete bridge decks using a fully autonomous RABIT platform,” Struct. Monit. Maint., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 19–34, 2015.

[6] S. Kashif Ur Rehman, Z. Ibrahim, S. A. Memon, and M. Jameel, “Nondestructive test methods for concrete bridges: A review,” Constr. Build. Mater., vol. 107, pp. 58–86, 2016.

[7] S. Hiasa, R. Birgul, and F. N. Catbas, “Infrared thermography for civil structural assessment: demonstrations with laboratory and field studies,” J. Civ. Struct. Heal. Monit., vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 619–636, Jul. 2016.

[8] ASTM, Standard Test Method for Detecting Delaminations in Bridge Decks Using Infrared Thermography, D4788-3rd ed., no. Reapproved 2013. West Conshohocken, PA, USA: ASTM International, 2014.

[9] FLIR, The Ultimate Infrared Handbook for R&D Professionals. FLIR AB, 2013.

[10] FLIR, “Cooled or Uncooled?,” FLIR Systems, Inc (As of 2015), 2015. [Online]. Available:

[11] G. C. Holst, Common sense approach to thermal imaging. Winter Park, FL, USA: JCD Publishing, 2000.

[12] T. Oh, S. Kee, R. W. Arndt, J. S. Popovics, M. Asce, and J. Zhu, “Comparison of NDT Methods for Assessment of a Concrete Bridge Deck,” J. Eng. Mech., vol. 139, no. March, pp. 305–314, 2013.

[13] S.-H. Kee, T. Oh, J. S. Popovics, R. W. Arndt, and J. Zhu, “Nondestructive Bridge Deck Testing with Air-Coupled Impact-Echo and Infrared Thermography,” J. Bridg. Eng., vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 928–939, 2012.

[14] M. Matsumoto, K. Mitani, and F. N. Catbas, “Bridge assessment methods using image processing and infrared thermography,” in 28th US - Japan Bridge Engineering Workshop, 2012.

[15] S. Hiasa, F. N. Catbas, M. Matsumoto, and K. Mitani, “Monitoring Concrete Bridge Decks using Infrared Thermography with High Speed Vehicles,” Struct. Monit. Maintenance, An Int. J., vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 277–296, 2016.

[16] G. Washer, R. Fenwick, and N. Bolleni, “Effects of Solar Loading on Infrared Imaging of Subsurface Features in Concrete,” J. Bridg. Eng., vol. 15, no. August, pp. 384–390, 2010.

[17] S. Hiasa, “Investigation of Infrared Thermography for Subsurface Damage Detection of Concrete Structures,” Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 5063. <>, 2016.

[18] N. Gucunski, S. Nazarian, D. Yuan, and D. Kutrubes, “Nondestructive Testing to Identify Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration,” Transportation Research Board, SHRP 2 Report S2-R06A-RR-1, Washington, D.C., USA, 2013.

[19] S. Hiasa, A. Watase, R. Birgul, M. Matsumoto, K. Mitani, and F. N. Catbas, “Utilizing Infrared technologies as a non-destructive evaluation for maintenance of concrete structures,” in Fourth International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2014, 2014, pp. 598–605.

[20] G. Washer, R. Fenwick, S. Nelson, and R. Rumbayan, “Guidelines for the Thermographic Inspection of Concrete Bridge Components in Shaded Conditions,” Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board, vol. 2360, no. 1, pp. 13–20, Dec. 2013.

[21] WeatherUnderground, “Hourly Weather History & Observations,” 2014. [Online]. Available: req_state=VA&req_statename=&

Usage Shares
Total Views
15 Page Views
Total Shares
0 Tweets
0 PDF Downloads
0 Facebook Shares
Total Usage