PurposeLarge structural objects, primarily concrete bridges, can be reinforced by gluing to their stretched surface tapes of ﬁber-reinforced polymer (FRP). The condition for this technology to work requires the quality of the bonding of FRP and the concrete to be perfect. Possible defects may arise in the phase of construction but also as a result of long-term fatigue loads. These defects having different forms of voids and discontinuities in the bonding layer are diﬃcult to detect by optical inspection. This paper aims to describe the development of a rapid and nondestructive method for quantitative assessment of the debonding between materials.Design/methodology/approachThe applied technique belongs to the wide class of active infrared (IR) thermography, the principle of which is to heat (or cool) the investigated object, and determine the properties of interest from the recorded, by an IR camera, temperature ﬁeld. The methodology implemented in this work is to uniformly heat for a few seconds, using a set of halogen lamps, the FRP surface attached to the concrete. The parameter of interest is the thermal resistance of the layer separating the polymer tape and the concrete. The presence of voids and debonding will result in large values of this resistance. Its value is retrieved by solving an inverse transient heat conduction problem. This is accomplished by minimizing, in the sense of least squares, the difference between the recorded and simulated temperatures. The latter is deﬁned as a solution of a 1D transient heat conduction problem with the already mentioned thermal resistance treated as the only decision variable.FindingsA general method has been developed, which detects debonding of the FRP tapes from the concrete. The method is rapid and nondestructive. Owing to a special selection of the compared dimensionless measured and simulated temperatures, the method is not sensitive to the surface quality (roughness and emissivity). Measurements and calculation may be executed within seconds. The eﬃciency of the technique has been shown at a sample, where the defects have been artiﬁcially introduced in a controlled manner.Originality/valueA quantitative assessment procedure which can be used to determine the extent of the debonding has been developed. The procedure uses inverse technique whose result is the unknown thermal resistance between the member and the FRP strip.
International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 30, 2019
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