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A typical pulsed thermography procedure results in a sequence of infrared images that reflects the evolution of temperature over time. Many features of defects, such as shape, position, and size, are derived from single image by image processing. Hence, determining the key frame from the sequence is an important problem to be solved first. A maximum standard deviation of the sensitive region method was proposed, which can identify a reasonable image frame automatically from an infrared image sequence; then, a stratagem of image composition was applied for enhancing the detection of deep defects in the key frame. Blob analysis had been adopted to acquire general information of defects such as their distributions and total number of defects. A region of interest of the defect was automatically located by its key frame combined with blob analysis. The defect information was obtained through image segmentation techniques. To obtain a robustness of results, a method of two steps of detection was proposed. The specimen of polyvinyl chloride with two artificial defects at different depths as an example was used to demonstrate how to operate the proposed method for an accurate result. At last, the proposed method was successfully adopted to examine the damage of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. A comparative study between the proposed method and several state-of-the-art ones shows that the former is accurate and reliable and may provide a more useful and reliable tool for quality assurance in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e8248
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number22
Early online date20 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Nov 2020


  • long pulse thermography
  • infrared image sequence
  • blob analysis
  • region of interest
  • standard deviation


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