Impact of climate conditions on the use of infrared thermography for the inspection of coated and uncoated unreinforced concrete samples
Hernández Alonso, Aitor
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This project´s fundamental objective is to evaluate the ability of the infrared thermography technique under different climate conditions to detect and recognize anomalies, delamination and defects that cause deterioration on concrete surfaces both coated and uncoated. The use of concrete as a construction material is very extended in today´s world and it is all-important the use of inspection techniques that allow proper monitoring and maintenance of concrete infrastructure in order to manage and administrate it´s useful life, through prevention and repair of damages. With the passage of time deterioration of this material exists, especially when their surfaces are visibly exposed to the actions of the environment and inclement weather. Therefore, Infrared Thermography has been presented as attractive alternative, facing other traditional methods. However, its range of application on concrete elements has been focused from the beginning to the detection of very specific type of defects, except for recent years where it has been possible to observe some interesting developments. For this reason, it has become necessary to test IRT seeking its real potential under the conditions and situations more similar to those found in a field inspection. In order to achieve this, the method of active infrared thermography has been used to test in our laboratory different cracked concrete samples during different climate conditions. This test recreates the different weather conditions that can occur in the field by developing a climate controlled system in the lab. Finally, the analysis of the results has revealed that different climate conditions affect the reliability and performance of IRT for detecting surface defects on concrete structures. In addition, the fulfilment of concrete coatings´ function during different climate conditions was also studied. Large amount of test results have been collected and will be used in the future for improving the accuracy of the IRT technique.