The 5 Steps to Map Bridge Deck Delamination with Infrared Thermography

Infrared Thermography is becoming a more mainstream method for mapping delaminations in bridge decks due to increasing traffic volumes, and growing demand for accurate and comprehensive condition information. Below is a simple 5-step explanation of how infrared is used to evaluate bridge decks.

Step 1: You need the sun to shine!

Delaminations act as a thermal barrier, so when the sun heats up the deck, these areas show up as “hot spots” in the infrared data.

 Infrared Thermography of Bridge Deck


Step 2: Infrared and visual images are collected using a vehicle-based system.

Data is collected at driving speed (up to 50 mph), which eliminates the need for road closures

 Infrared Thermography Vehicle 

Step 3: Infrared images are stitched together to create a plan-view mosaic of the deck.

The white blotchy areas are “hot spots” and correspond with subsurface delaminations.

 IR Scanning Data


Step 4: The “hot spots”, not related to surface features (staining, patching, etc.), are mapped and quantified.

 IR Analyzed data


Step 5: Delamination maps are exported to a CADD compatible format and used for rehab design.

 IR data