Development of Hand-held Thermographic Inspection Technologies

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General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(152)
Lead Organization: Missouri Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: Jan 17, 2007
Solicitation Number: 1130
Partners: MO, NY, TX
Contractor(s): Missouri Transportation Institute
Status: Closed
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010
Contract End Date: Feb 28, 2009
Financial Summary
Contract Amount: $245,000.00
Total Commitments Received: $245,000.00
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Renee McHenry
renee.mchenry@sos.mo.gov
Phone: 573-522-1948
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Missouri Department of Transportation 2007 $50,000.00 Jennifer Harper Karmen Stockman 573-526-5585 karmen.stockman@modot.mo.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2008 $50,000.00 Jennifer Harper Karmen Stockman 573-526-5585 karmen.stockman@modot.mo.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2006 $50,000.00 Sreenivas Alampalli Gary Frederick 518-457-4645 gary.frederick@dot.ny.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2007 $50,000.00 Sreenivas Alampalli Gary Frederick 518-457-4645 gary.frederick@dot.ny.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2007 $22,500.00 Keith Ramsey Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2008 $22,500.00 Keith Ramsey Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov

Study Description

Subsurface deterioration in concrete structures presents a significant challenge for inspection and maintenance engineers. Cracking, delaminations and spalling that can occur as a result of corrosion of embedded reinforcing steel can lead to pot holes and even punch-through in concrete decks. For overpass bridges, concrete can separate from the structure and fall into traffic below the bridge, presenting a safety hazard for traveling motorists. For bridge decks, subsurface delaminations can develop into potholes and even deck punch-throughs that present a hazard to traveling motorists and reduce the efficiency of the transportation system. The condition assessment of these structures typically requires lane closures to provide hands-on access for inspection, making inspections costly and logistically difficult. A new generation of infrared (IR) cameras provides the opportunity to perform inspections in a non-contact manner that can reduce the number of lane closures required, improve safety by providing a tool for monitoring conditions between periodic inspections, and improve the inspector¿s ability to rapidly determine the extent of deterioration to support maintenance and repair activities. The primary challenge to applying IR technology in the field is determining if the appropriate environmental conditions exist to provide measurable temperature contrasts between deteriorated and sound concrete, which is required for reliable imaging of deteriorated areas. Without this temperature contrast the IR readings can be unreliable.

Objectives

The goal of this study is to provide state highway agency maintenance and inspection personnel with an effective, nondestructive tool for detecting and monitoring structural concrete deterioration without disrupting traffic flow. To achieve this goal, the study proposes the following objectives:

1. Develop a procedure for utilizing IR cameras to enhance inspection capabilities

2. Study the effect of environment conditions on detection capability

3. Study operational issues associated with using IR cameras in the field

4. Develop a guideline and written practice that enables maintenance and inspection personnel to use IR cameras as part normal operations

The results of this research will be improved safety and efficiency of the highway system through the use of state-of-the-art technology for condition assessment of structures. A guideline and written practice for utilizing thermal cameras for the inspection and monitoring of concrete structures will allow for the widespread implementation of this new technology to enhance bridge inspection capability and improve maintenance operations. The implementation of this technology will improve the safety of the traveling public by reducing the possibility of the loose concrete falling into traffic lanes, and improve maintenance operations by providing engineers with a tool to better evaluate the boundaries of deteriorated areas on bridge decks. The results will also improve the efficiency of the highway infrastructure by reducing the number of lane closures required to evaluate deteriorating concrete, while providing a much safer environment for inspection personnel.

Scope of Work

To achieve the objectives of this project, research will be conducted along two parallel paths by the University of Missouri-Columbia. Experiments will be conducted under controlled conditions using a large concrete specimen with embedded, subsurface defects to evaluate environmental effects on the detection and imaging of subsurface defects. At the same time, a study will be conducted of the operational parameters affecting the implementation of IR cameras in the field. The operational effects will be studied by providing hand-held IR cameras to the participating states such that the cameras can be used by maintenance and inspection personnel over a 12-month period. As currently proposed, the Missouri and New York DOT¿s are participating states and will each be field demonstrating a hand-held IR camera. The results of these two research paths will be combined to form the foundation for the development of a recommended practice for applying IR cameras for the inspection of concrete structures.

Controlled Testing

A concrete test specimen with embedded, subsurface defects will be constructed outdoors at the University of Missouri¿s Remote Test Facility (RTF). This specimen will be used for the purpose of evaluating the effects of environmental conditions on the detectability of subsurface defects. Defects will be embedded at several different depths on each exposed side of the block, such that effects of sun and shade can be evaluated. The thermal response of this specimen will be evaluated over a 12-month period, and the empirical results will be compared with a theoretical response model. These data will provide quantitative data on the optimum environmental conditions for application of the IR for the inspection of concrete structures.

Operational Testing

To evaluate the operational aspects of using IR cameras in the field, a hand-held IR camera will be provided to a representative from a participating state. Training will be provided that will enable the representative to collect IR images during normal activities and to document the thermal response of concrete structures. A hand-held computer accessing the internet via a satellite link will be provided that will enable images to be uploaded to a database at MU. It is anticipated that the field cameras will be used periodically (weekly) over a twelve-month period to collect data of interest to the engineer. Environmental conditions and other data will be collected for each image, allowing the evaluation of results. Additionally, interviews will conducted quarterly with the individuals using the cameras to collect data/feedback on the ease of use of the camera, challenges encountered in the field, and recommendations on how to improve the procedures and equipment to enable the effective use of the IR cameras in the field. Once the study is complete, an IR camera purchased and demonstrated by a participating state will remain the property of the participating state.

Development of Recommended Practice

Combining the laboratory test results and field test results, a final report including a recommended practice will be developed. The recommended practice will include recommendations on the effective use of the IR cameras in the field, optimum weather conditions for testing, and use and operation of the equipment. The final report will also included a guideline for implementation of the technology that will detail equipment requirements, personnel requirements, equipment costs, etc. that will enable a state to implement the technology over a broader scope following the project.

Comments

The $300,000 is the minimum amount required for the study as proposed. This amount is based on the purchase and evaluation of two IR cameras field demonstrated in Missouri and New York (one per state). Cameras purchased for field demonstration in additional participating states would increase the study¿s cost proportionately. Proposed state participation options: a) study scope as currently proposed, $15,000 minimum commitment requested of state or b) study scope expanded to include field demonstration of an inspection camera in a participating state, $45,000 minimum commitment by state required. These minimum commitments may be divided among the two years of the study. The UTC (University Transportation Center) at the University of Missouri-Rolla will also be contributing match funds for this project.

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
Final Report Final_Report.pdf Final Report Public
Slides from 3rd Quarter Conference Call slides_3rd_quarter_conference_call.pdf Other Public
Slides from 8th Quarter Conference Call slides_8th_quarter_conference call.pdf Other Public
Quarterly Report #1 Quarterly_Report1.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #2 for quarter ending July 31, 2007 Quarterly_Report2.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #3 for quarter ending November 30, 2007 Quarterly_Report3.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #4 for quarter ending February 2008 Quarterly_Report4.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #6 for quarter ending August 2008 Quarterly_Report6.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #7 for quarter ending November 2008 Quarterly_Report7.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public

Development of Hand-held Thermographic Inspection Technologies

General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(152)
Lead Organization: Missouri Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: Jan 17, 2007
Solicitation Number: 1130
Partners: MO, NY, TX
Contractor(s): Missouri Transportation Institute
Status: Closed
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010
Contract End Date: Feb 28, 2009
Financial Summary
Contract Amount: $245,000.00
Total Commitments Received: $245,000.00
100% SP&R Approval:
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Renee McHenry
renee.mchenry@sos.mo.gov
Phone: 573-522-1948
Commitments by Organizations
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Missouri Department of Transportation 2007 $50,000.00 Jennifer Harper Karmen Stockman 573-526-5585 karmen.stockman@modot.mo.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2008 $50,000.00 Jennifer Harper Karmen Stockman 573-526-5585 karmen.stockman@modot.mo.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2006 $50,000.00 Sreenivas Alampalli Gary Frederick 518-457-4645 gary.frederick@dot.ny.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2007 $50,000.00 Sreenivas Alampalli Gary Frederick 518-457-4645 gary.frederick@dot.ny.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2007 $22,500.00 Keith Ramsey Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2008 $22,500.00 Keith Ramsey Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov

Study Description

Study Description

Subsurface deterioration in concrete structures presents a significant challenge for inspection and maintenance engineers. Cracking, delaminations and spalling that can occur as a result of corrosion of embedded reinforcing steel can lead to pot holes and even punch-through in concrete decks. For overpass bridges, concrete can separate from the structure and fall into traffic below the bridge, presenting a safety hazard for traveling motorists. For bridge decks, subsurface delaminations can develop into potholes and even deck punch-throughs that present a hazard to traveling motorists and reduce the efficiency of the transportation system. The condition assessment of these structures typically requires lane closures to provide hands-on access for inspection, making inspections costly and logistically difficult. A new generation of infrared (IR) cameras provides the opportunity to perform inspections in a non-contact manner that can reduce the number of lane closures required, improve safety by providing a tool for monitoring conditions between periodic inspections, and improve the inspector¿s ability to rapidly determine the extent of deterioration to support maintenance and repair activities. The primary challenge to applying IR technology in the field is determining if the appropriate environmental conditions exist to provide measurable temperature contrasts between deteriorated and sound concrete, which is required for reliable imaging of deteriorated areas. Without this temperature contrast the IR readings can be unreliable.

Objectives

The goal of this study is to provide state highway agency maintenance and inspection personnel with an effective, nondestructive tool for detecting and monitoring structural concrete deterioration without disrupting traffic flow. To achieve this goal, the study proposes the following objectives:

1. Develop a procedure for utilizing IR cameras to enhance inspection capabilities

2. Study the effect of environment conditions on detection capability

3. Study operational issues associated with using IR cameras in the field

4. Develop a guideline and written practice that enables maintenance and inspection personnel to use IR cameras as part normal operations

The results of this research will be improved safety and efficiency of the highway system through the use of state-of-the-art technology for condition assessment of structures. A guideline and written practice for utilizing thermal cameras for the inspection and monitoring of concrete structures will allow for the widespread implementation of this new technology to enhance bridge inspection capability and improve maintenance operations. The implementation of this technology will improve the safety of the traveling public by reducing the possibility of the loose concrete falling into traffic lanes, and improve maintenance operations by providing engineers with a tool to better evaluate the boundaries of deteriorated areas on bridge decks. The results will also improve the efficiency of the highway infrastructure by reducing the number of lane closures required to evaluate deteriorating concrete, while providing a much safer environment for inspection personnel.

Scope of Work

To achieve the objectives of this project, research will be conducted along two parallel paths by the University of Missouri-Columbia. Experiments will be conducted under controlled conditions using a large concrete specimen with embedded, subsurface defects to evaluate environmental effects on the detection and imaging of subsurface defects. At the same time, a study will be conducted of the operational parameters affecting the implementation of IR cameras in the field. The operational effects will be studied by providing hand-held IR cameras to the participating states such that the cameras can be used by maintenance and inspection personnel over a 12-month period. As currently proposed, the Missouri and New York DOT¿s are participating states and will each be field demonstrating a hand-held IR camera. The results of these two research paths will be combined to form the foundation for the development of a recommended practice for applying IR cameras for the inspection of concrete structures.

Controlled Testing

A concrete test specimen with embedded, subsurface defects will be constructed outdoors at the University of Missouri¿s Remote Test Facility (RTF). This specimen will be used for the purpose of evaluating the effects of environmental conditions on the detectability of subsurface defects. Defects will be embedded at several different depths on each exposed side of the block, such that effects of sun and shade can be evaluated. The thermal response of this specimen will be evaluated over a 12-month period, and the empirical results will be compared with a theoretical response model. These data will provide quantitative data on the optimum environmental conditions for application of the IR for the inspection of concrete structures.

Operational Testing

To evaluate the operational aspects of using IR cameras in the field, a hand-held IR camera will be provided to a representative from a participating state. Training will be provided that will enable the representative to collect IR images during normal activities and to document the thermal response of concrete structures. A hand-held computer accessing the internet via a satellite link will be provided that will enable images to be uploaded to a database at MU. It is anticipated that the field cameras will be used periodically (weekly) over a twelve-month period to collect data of interest to the engineer. Environmental conditions and other data will be collected for each image, allowing the evaluation of results. Additionally, interviews will conducted quarterly with the individuals using the cameras to collect data/feedback on the ease of use of the camera, challenges encountered in the field, and recommendations on how to improve the procedures and equipment to enable the effective use of the IR cameras in the field. Once the study is complete, an IR camera purchased and demonstrated by a participating state will remain the property of the participating state.

Development of Recommended Practice

Combining the laboratory test results and field test results, a final report including a recommended practice will be developed. The recommended practice will include recommendations on the effective use of the IR cameras in the field, optimum weather conditions for testing, and use and operation of the equipment. The final report will also included a guideline for implementation of the technology that will detail equipment requirements, personnel requirements, equipment costs, etc. that will enable a state to implement the technology over a broader scope following the project.

Comments

The $300,000 is the minimum amount required for the study as proposed. This amount is based on the purchase and evaluation of two IR cameras field demonstrated in Missouri and New York (one per state). Cameras purchased for field demonstration in additional participating states would increase the study¿s cost proportionately. Proposed state participation options: a) study scope as currently proposed, $15,000 minimum commitment requested of state or b) study scope expanded to include field demonstration of an inspection camera in a participating state, $45,000 minimum commitment by state required. These minimum commitments may be divided among the two years of the study. The UTC (University Transportation Center) at the University of Missouri-Rolla will also be contributing match funds for this project.

Title File/Link Type Private
Final Report Final_Report.pdf Final Report Public
Slides from 3rd Quarter Conference Call slides_3rd_quarter_conference_call.pdf Other Public
Slides from 8th Quarter Conference Call slides_8th_quarter_conference call.pdf Other Public
Quarterly Report #1 Quarterly_Report1.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #2 for quarter ending July 31, 2007 Quarterly_Report2.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #3 for quarter ending November 30, 2007 Quarterly_Report3.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #4 for quarter ending February 2008 Quarterly_Report4.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #6 for quarter ending August 2008 Quarterly_Report6.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report #7 for quarter ending November 2008 Quarterly_Report7.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public

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