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·Materials Characterization and testing
Lock-in thermography for depth resolved defect characterisationA. Dillenz, D. Wu, K. Breitrück, and G. Busse
University of Stuttgart
Institute of Polymer Testing and Polymer Science (IKP)
Department of Non-Destructive Testing (ZFP)
Pfaffenwaldring 32 D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
e-mail address of lead author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The simplest evaluation algorithm is based on the four point procedure described previously . This procedure is based on the fact that a sinusoidal thermal wave is generated on the whole sample. As the thermography signal also has a sinusoidal shape, the amplitude and phase can be calculated from four data points per modulation period. This evaluation is being used since several years in the AGEMA Thermovision 900 Lock-In system.
Transient Thermography with phase evaluation
Transient signals differ from sine signals by the fact that they contain several frequency components.If one heats a sample with a long pulse and records both the heating and the subsequent cooling process with the infrared camera, then phase and amplitude information can be derived from the Fourier transform of the local time sequence. As this transformation can be performed at various frequencies one obtains images that are similar to Lock-In thermography images taken at the same frequencies. Fig. 1 shows a typical temperature evolution on the surface of a steel sample that was heated up for 15 seconds, and the spectrum derived therefrom. In this case the frequency range from major peaks at 0.03 Hz up to the second local maximum at 0.11 Hz can be used for phase evaluation. Areas of higher frequencies are too noisy to be evaluated in phase and amplitude.
|Fig 1: Time dependence of temperature(left) and spectrum(right)|
|Fig 2: Scalogram of temperature curve shown in Fig. 1. Red denotes high energy density, blue colour indicates low density.|
Depth profiling of a glass fibre composite sample with integrated heater foils
The laminate consists of ten glass fibre laminate layers with epoxy resin matrix where heating foils are integrated at different depths to act as thermal wave transmitters (Fig. 3). The depths of the heating foils were selected in such a way that their distances to the rear side of the sample and to its front surface were different. This way a broad range of the phase angle is possible over the whole sample thickness. The heating foil next the surface is marked as number one, the deepest one with four. The sample was manufactured in the wet laminate procedure. The 50 x 50 mm sized heating foils consist of 0.15 mm thick polyamide with heating stripes on them.
Fig 3: Configuration of the heating foil sample. Foil 1 is closest to the front surface while foil 4 is deepest
Fig. 4 shows the embedded heating foils in the phase image of Lock-In thermography. The difference between the heating foils in different depths is obvious. Similar results can be achieved with long pulse phase imaging as shown in Fig. 5.
The wavelet analysis does not show a usable signal in the phase image. The wavelet amplitude image permits a depth allocation, but without the advantages of the phase images as independence from surface inhomogeneity and local heating up variations.
|Fig 4: Lock-in phase image f=0.03 Hz (front side). Measuring duration: 99 seconds. Excitation power: 1.5 W each heating foil.||Fig 5: Phase image long pulse excitation f=0.03 Hz (front side). Measuring duration: 30 seconds.|
|Fig 6: Wavelet phase (left) and amplitude image using a Morelet wavelet  within a time- frequency window located at (0.07 Hz / 3 seconds). The temperature data used was the same as evaluated with Fourier phase (results shown in Fig. 5). Due to the high memory consumption by the wavelet transform process on large images only a part of the sample is shown. The heating foils (denoted by numbers according to their depths) are displayed only half.|
Depth profiling with ultrasound excitation
The purpose of the experiments described below was to investigate how well these results can be transferred to arrangements where acoustic excitation is used for hysteresis heating of defects at ultrasound frequencies. If the amplitude of ultrasound is modulated at a low frequency, one performs "Ultrasound Lock-In Thermography" (ULT) [11-13] where the local hysteresis acts as a thermal wave transmitter. Acoustic excitation is suited as well for long pulse heating.
|Fig 7: Configuration of the blind hole steel sample. Metal cylinders were bonded into the holes with a diameter of 36 mm and 18 mm to serve as ultrasonic absorbers. Front of sample was painted black.|
The long pulse measurement included a heating period of 15 seconds and afterwards a cooling period for another 15 seconds. In the phase images of both lock-in and long-pulse imaging the depth of the blind holes is detected. The phase contrast is better in lock-in phase image though excitation power was below the one used for the pulse phase image. The quality of the wavelet images corresponds to the one described above.
|Fig 8: ULT phase image and profile of second row of holes. Lock-in frequency 0.03 Hz. Excitation frequency 19.4 kHz. Excitation power: 800W.||Fig 9: Ultrasound long pulse phase image and profile of second row of holes. Lock in frequency 0.03 Hz. Excitation frequency 19.4 kHz. Excitation power: 1200W.||Fig 10: Wavelet phase image at 0.06 Hz and 15 sec.|
|Fig 11: Wavelet amplitude image at 0.06 Hz and 15 sec.|
Depth resolved characterisation of an impact damage
After dealing with artificial samples the long pulse technique will now be applied to a realistic example.Fibre reinforced materials are sensitive to impact damage which is often only barely visible at the sample surface. However, inside the sample or at its rear surface a serious damage may occur. Damages are defective-selectively detected by sonic excitation [11-13]. Fig. 12 shows the phase analysis of a long pulse measurement with an evaluation frequency of 0.31 Hz where thermal diffusion length and depth range are small [14-16]. The damage appears only as delamination of the fibres near the surface. The development of the defect image points to a fibre orientation of 45 degrees. As typical for impact damages a butterfly pattern appears. In Fig. 13 a lower evaluation frequency was used. The damage pattern appears more diffuse, but the apparent damage remains the same. Fig. 14 shows also deeper-located damage areas at an analysis frequency of 0.05 Hz. Additionally to the 45 degrees oriented delamination there occurs another delamination perpendicularly to it. This corresponds to the next laminate layer with a fibre orientation of 135 degrees. Thus a depth profile of the damage area can be achieved within only one measurement.
|Fig 12: Long-pulse phase, 0.31 Hz.||Fig 13: Long-pulse phase, 0.12 Hz.||Fig 14: Long-pulse phase, 0.05 Hz.|
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