Scanning Inductive Thermographic Surface Defect Inspection of Long Flat or Curved Work-Pieces Using Rectification Targets

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Inductive thermography is an NDT method, which can be excellently used to inspect long metallic specimens (such as railway tracks) to detect surface defects. Aiming at the inspection of railway tracks in service with a movable setup, the method had to be advanced from a stationary application to a scanning setup. This work presents methods for using calibration targets for rectification, in order to improve the quality of the resulting images. Two scanning techniques are presented for detecting different types of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) defects on rail pieces. In the case of the first method, separate stationary inductive pulsed measurements are carried out for the segments of a long sample and the results are stitched together to one panoramic image of the whole specimen (“stop-and-go”). Since the surface of the rail piece is curved, rectification of the surface with a flexible grid is necessary to generate seamless panoramic images. In the case of the second method, a specimen is moved with constant speed underneath the induction coil. For the detection of shallow surface cracks, the infrared camera has to have a view of the surface during the heating; therefore, the camera is placed behind the coil but tilted towards a position below the induction coil. In order to be able to evaluate phase images from the temporal temperature change, a checkerboard grid as a rectification target is used. It is also analyzed how the chosen IR camera frame rate and the motion speed affect the scanning result.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5851
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Sciences : open access journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • defect detection
  • image rectification
  • image registration
  • inductive thermography
  • rolling contact fatigue
  • scanning methods

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