Infrared Thermography of Solid Surfaces in a Fire Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2010


  • 10


  • 21

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0957-0233

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1361-6501


  • Fire resistance tests are commonplace in industry. The aerospace sector is particularly active in this area, since the behaviour of advanced materials, such as composites, when in a fire is not fully understood
    yet. Two of the main obstacles are the inherent difficulty of direct
    surface measurements in such a harsh environment (especially on the
    exposed side of the specimens) and the lack of spatial resolution of the
    usual measuring devices, namely thermocouples (TCs). This paper
    presents a way to overcome these problems by using an infrared (IR)
    camera to study the exposed side of composite plates exposed to fire. A
    method for minimizing the effect of the flame (thus making it as
    'transparent' as possible) was developed, resulting in 2D temperature
    maps of the plate surface. The assumptions that the method relies on
    were verified by data analysis and ad hoc emission&-transmission
    experiments. The errors associated with two slightly different versions
    of the method were studied, and comparisons with TC measurements were
    performed. It was found that the IR method provides better results than
    TCs, not only due to its spatial resolution capability but also because
    of the non-intrusive nature of IR thermography, as opposed to the local
    effects caused by TCs, which became evident during the experiments.