This chapter describes a modification to the laser flash method that allows determining temperature diffusivity and nondestructive testing of materials and constructions without cutting samples of predefined geometry. Stepwise local heating of the studied object surface at a small spot around 0.1 mm radius with simultaneous high temporary-spatial resolution infrared (IR) filming of the transient temperature distribution evolution with a thermal camera provides a wide range of possibilities for material characterization and sample testing. In case of isotropic and macroscopic homogeneous materials, the resulting transient temperature distribution is radially symmetric that renders possible to improve temperature measurement accuracy by averaging many pixels of the IR images located at the same distance from the heating spot center. The temperature diffusivity measurement can be conducted either on thin plates or on massive samples. The developed emissivity independent in plain IR thermographic method and mathematical algorithms enable thermal diffusivity measurement for both cases with accuracy around a few per cent for a wide range of materials starting from refractory ceramics to well-conducting metals. To detect defects, the differential algorithm was used. Subtracting averaged radial symmetric temperature distribution from the original one for each frame makes local inhomogeneities in the sample under study clearly discernible. When applied to crack detection in plates, the technique demonstrates good sensitivity to part-through cracks located both at the visible and invisible sides of the studied object.
Part of the book: Failure Analysis