Impact of Pulse Length on the accuracy of Defect Depth Measurements in Pulse Thermography

[+] Author and Article Information
James Pierce

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620

Nathan B Crane

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042785 History: Received July 09, 2018; Revised January 18, 2019


Pulse thermography is a nondestructive testing method in which an energy pulse is applied to a surface while the surface temperature evolution is measured to detect sub surface defects and estimate their depth. This nondestructive test method was developed on the assumption of instantaneous surface heating, but recent work has shown that relatively long pulses can be used to accurately determine defect depth in polymers. This paper examines the impact of varying input pulse length on the accuracy of defect depth quantification as a function of the material properties. Simulations using both thermoplastics and metals show that measurement error is dependent on a nondimensionalized pulse length. The simulation results agree with experimental results for 3D printed Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and Polylactic acid (PLA) components. Analysis and experiments show that defects can be accurately detected with minor modification to the standard methods as long as the pulse ends before the characteristic defect signal is detected.

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