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Application Solution-Traversing infrared thermal imaging for building defect detection

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Traverse infrared thermal imaging to detect defects in buildings

Many buildings suffer from defects in the envelope structure, such as lack of insulation, thermal bridges, cracks and moisture problems. Infrared thermal imaging technology is a technology that can help identify such defects. However, there are different methods for evaluating the building envelope. Traveling infrared thermal imaging is an emerging method that uses a car-mounted thermal imager to measure. This method is similar to a car passing by, so it is called a ride-through and can be used to capture a single thermal image of the elevation of an external building. Compared with traditional walking infrared thermal imaging technology, it performs more efficiently and at a lower cost.


The picture shows the traditional infrared thermal image

This study qualitatively compared two imaging methods, traversing thermal imaging and walking thermal imaging, and examined 122 houses in southwest England. The results show that the number of defects detected by traversing infrared thermal imaging technology is much more, and the number of defects generated by internal inspection is the largest. The traditional walking thermal imaging only observes the conductivity and heat loss of ventilation.


The picture shows the traversing infrared thermal image

In addition to the well-known limitations on building thermal imaging technology, some other limitations have been discovered. These include unknown occupancy behavior, including single-elevation analysis, fixed viewing angles, changes in elevation direction, reduced spatial resolution, and transient changes in climatic conditions from one residence to another.

On this basis, if the defect of the building is the main target of the investigation, the traversing thermal imaging technology should be selected. Although this study is a qualitative analysis rather than a quantitative analysis, the surface temperature readings will be affected by the determined limitations, so it is impossible to make a general statement about whether there is a defect or the total thermal conductivity based on information from a single elevation.


The picture shows potential conductivity defects

The research in this article forms part of a large-scale study of new thermal imaging methodology to improve defect detection in buildings.

Reference materials:

Matthew Fox, Steve Goodhew, Pieter De Wilde, et al. Building defect detection: External versus internal thermography [J]. Building and Environment, 105:317-331, 2016.


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