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.
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
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.