Sandra Pozzer, Francisco Dalla Rosa, Zacarias Martinb, Chamberlain Pravia, Ehsan Rezazadeh Azar and Xavier Maldagu



One of the concerns about the use of passive Infrared Thermography (IRT) for structural health monitoring (SHM) is the determination of a favorable period to conduct the inspections.

This paper investigates the use of numerical simulations to find appropriate periods for IRT-based detection of subsurface damages in concrete bridge slabs under passive heating along a 1 year of time span. A model was built using the Finite Element Method (FEM) and calibrated using the results of a set of thermographic field inspections on a concrete slab sample.

The results showed that the numerical simulation properly reproduced the experimental thermographic measurements of the concrete structure under passive heating, allowing the analysis to be extended for a longer testing period.

The long-term FEM results demonstrated that the months of spring and summer are the most suitable for passive IRT inspections in this study, with around 17% more detections compared to the autumn and winter periods in Brazil. By enhancing the possibility of using FEM beyond the design stage, we demonstrate that this computation tool can provide support to long-term SHM.



infrared thermography; concrete bridges; non-destructive test; delamination; finite element method
1. Introduction