Nondestructive Assessment of Microwave Absorbing Structures via Active Microwave Thermography


Radio-frequency absorbing materials (RAM) are widely used to reduce electromagnetic interference and scattering from reflective (e.g. conductive) surfaces such as those utilized in aerospace and military applications. Thus, it is important to nondestructively assess such structures for their structural health (i.e., defect detection). To this end, active microwave thermography (AMT) is considered as a viable solution. AMT utilizes a microwave-based thermal excitation for structures/materials under inspection. The resulting surface thermal profile is measured with a thermal camera. As it relates to structures with a microwave-absorbing surface, the surface (when illuminated by microwave radiation) absorbs this energy and thus acts as a thermographic heat source. In order to show the practical applicability of AMT for inspections of the aforementioned structures, two carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) samples (containing defects), with and without RAM, are inspected. The results show that the detection capability is significantly improved when the samples contain RAM on their surface, thereby illustrating the efficacy of AMT for inspection of such structures.

Meeting Name

2018 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference: Discovering New Horizons in Instrumentation and Measurement, I2MTC 2018 (2018: May 14-17, Houston, TX)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Active Microwave Thermography; Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Polymer; Disbond Detection; Flat Bottom Hole; Microwave Absorber; Nondestructive Testing

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2018