Abstract

This paper reports the application of the least-squares regression method in the step-heating thermographic inspection of steel structures. The surface temperature variation of a slab with finite thickness during both the step-heating phase and the cooling-down phase is presented. A mild steel slab with holes of various depths and diameters is chosen as the specimen. The step-heating thermographic inspection experiments are carried out on the specimen with different heating times. The heating as well as the cooling-down phases are recorded with an infrared camera and are analyzed separately by linear regression of the double logarithmic temperature increase versus time plots. Three statistics of the linear regression, the slope, the coefficient of determination, and the F-test value, are used to create image maps according to the processing results. The signal-to-noise ratio of each map is calculated to evaluate the performance of the three imaging methods with different durations of heating time and cooling time. The results prove that the F-test value maps present a good performance for the sequences of the step-heating phase, while the slope maps present a good performance for the sequences of the cooling-down phase. The optimal heating time and cooling time for a steel structure are also concluded. The comparison with the results of the thermographic signal reconstruction (TSR) method proves that the least-squares regression method has better detectability and a higher inspection efficiency.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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