Date of this Version
Infrastructures 2018, 3, 45
Traditional ultrasonic testing (UT) techniques have been widely used to detect surface and sub-surface defects of welds. UT inspection is a contact method which burdens the manufacturer by storing hot specimens for inspection when the material is cool. Additionally, UT is only valid for 5 mm specimens or thicker and requires a highly skilled operator to perform the inspections and interpret the signals. Infrared thermography (IRT) has the potential to be implemented for weld inspections due to its non-contact nature. In this study, the feasibility of using IRT to overcome the limitations of UT inspection is investigated to detect inclusion, porosity, cracking, and lack of fusion in 38 weld specimens with thicknesses of 3, 8 and 13 mm. UT inspection was also performed to locate regions containing defects in the 8 mm and 13 mm specimens. Results showed that regions diagnosed with defects by the UT inspection lost heat faster than the sound weld. The IRT method was applied to six 3 mm specimens to detect their defects and successfully detected lack of fusion in one of them. All specimens were cut at the locations indicated by UT and IRT methods which proved the presence of a defect in 86% of the specimens. Despite the agreement with the UT inspection, the proposed IRT method had limited success in locating the defects in the 8 mm specimens. To fully implement in-line IRT-based weld inspections more investigations are required.