Active Microwave Thermography for Defect Detection of CFRP-Strengthened Cement-Based Materials


Nondestructive testing (NDT) of rehabilitated cement-based materials (RCMs) with carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites is quite important in the transportation and infrastructure industries. Among various NDT methods, active microwave thermography (AMT) has shown good potential. This method uses microwave energy to heat a structure of interest, and subsequently the surface thermal profile is measured using a thermal camera. In this paper, the application of AMT for defect detection (unbond, delamination, and crack) in CFRP composites used in RCMs is presented. More specifically, the effect of defect size and depth and polarization on the resultant surface thermal profile with defects is first studied through simulation. The effect of polarization on detection of defects with regard to the orientation of CFRP fibers is also experimentally investigated. Finally, a quantitative analysis of the measured results based on the thermal contrast and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for all the three aforementioned defect types is presented. The results show that the SNR is improved when utilizing perpendicular (compared with parallel) polarization, and that the maximum effective heating time is ~ 60s, even for small defects.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Active Microwave Thermography (AMT); Nondestructive Testing (NDT); Rehabilitated Cement-Based Materials (RCMs); Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics; Cement Industry; Crack Detection; Failure (Mechanical); Fiber Reinforced Materials; Fiber Reinforced Plastics; Materials Handling; Materials Testing; Polarization; Signal To Noise Ratio; Surface Defects; Thermography (Imaging); Detection Of Defects; Infrastructure Industry; Microwave Energies; Thermal Contrasts; Nondestructive Examination; Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (CFRP); Defect Detection; Nondestructive Testing (NDT); Rehabilitated Cement-Based Materials (RCMs)

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Article - Journal

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© 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2016