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Authors: Sfarra, Stefano* 
Cicone, Antonio* 
Yousefi, Bardia* 
Perilli, Stefano* 
Robol, Leonardo* 
Maldague, Xavier* 
Title: Maximizing the detection of thermal imprints in civil engineering composites via numerical and thermographic results pre-processed by a groundbreaking mathematical approach
Journal: International Journal of Thermal Sciences 
Series/Report no.: /177 (2022)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2022.107553
Abstract: New composite materials are always subjected to non-destructive evaluation (NDE) prior to being placed on the market. This is to fully understand the reactions (i.e., development of defects) at the interface between two subsequent layers. Active infrared thermography (aIRT) can help in this regard, especially if anticipated by a simulation of the heat transfer from the exterior (lamp) to the interior (multilayer). Comsol Multiphysics® was used in this work as a tool by developing an innovative approach, which is designed – on the one hand – to minimize the computational cost and – on the other hand – to optimize the radiation to be delivered. The innovation produced by our work also concerns the pre-processing step of the thermal images; in fact, the 2D Fast Iterative Filtering (FIF2) is here introduced, discussing its benefits in comparison to previously developed techniques. Pre-processed data were further analyzed during the post-processing step demonstrating the reliability of FIF2 in enhancing thermal imprints, which leads to an improved detection of subsurface features. In particular, enhanced thermal imprints highlight the shape of the grid of glass fibres present beneath an external coating of hemp fibres (and, in general, added to the whole specimen along the x-y vectors). This grid of glass fibres was recently introduced as an insulation material for buildings. A brief review of the use of the pre-processing step in aIRT allows the reader to better understand the decisive step forward provided by FIF2 combined with a clever numerical simulation in the applied thermal engineering field. Qualitative and quantitative IRT results are shown and discussed thoroughly. Finally, a validation among numerical and experimental (thermographic) data is provided thanks to the Parker (laser flash) method.
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