PhD Defence J. Peeters 14 September 2017

We recently became a new doctor within our researchgroup: Jeroen Peeters who defended his thesis entitled:

Optimised failure detection and advanced non-destructive inspection using active IR thermography and numerical modelling


Non-destructive inspection (NDI) techniques are broadly used to evaluate material properties and to inspect the integrity of structures without damaging the structure.

Infrared (IR) thermography has remarkable advantages with respect to the conventional NDI techniques such as ultrasound C-scanning, X-ray radiography, tap-testing or visual testing. The technology is contactless, safe, fast and reliable to perform. Nevertheless, thermographic NDI is not deployed mainstream yet and the technique is mainly used in a qualitative manner due to some important disadvantages like the dropping accuracy for defect deeper than 1mm, the difficulty in numerical prediction and the need of experience to perform accurate and efficient measurements. Which makes the certification for example in the aerospace industry problematic.

The innovative aspect of this thesis is the combination of two independent research fields: active thermographic inspection and numerical simulation updating (FEMU). As a result, a close interaction between both fields is achieved and efficient defect detection and evaluation becomes feasible.

This thesis initiates with a brief overview of the state-of-the-art followed by the development of the technique to efficiently interact between a numerical model and measurement. Finally, the  methodology is validated within some academic and industrial implementations.

With this work, the author hopes a new step is made to convince industry about the possibilities and opportunities of non-destructive evaluation in general but active thermography in particular. Especially with the fusion of two distinctive worlds, some new perspective occur and novel opportunities arise.