Quasi-Active Thermography for Structural Health Assessment of Large Geomembranes

Quasi-Active Thermography for Structural Health Assessment of Large Geomembranes

Yue Ma, Leslie Wong, Benjamin Steven Vien, Thomas Kuen, Nik Rajic, L.R. Francis Rose, Jayantha Kodikara, Wing Kong Chiu

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Abstract. High density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembranes (approximately 8 hectares each) are employed as floating covers at the wastewater treatment plant of Melbourne Water in Werribee, Australia. The anaerobic lagoons at the plant rely on these HDPE geomembrane floating covers to capture both the biogas and odours. Given the nature of the plant and the harsh environmental conditions, a non-contact inspection method that can cover a vast expanse is the preferred approach for the structural health monitoring and assessment of the cover. This paper presents an exploratory investigation on the use of a quasi-active thermography technique to detect the presence of artificially induced part-through defects on a HDPE geomembrane specimen. The proposed method utilises a naturally occurring heat source (solar radiation) as the thermal stimulus. An infrared thermal camera and a pyranometer were used to record the thermal responses of the HDPE material as a result of solar intensity variation. The viability of using periodic cloud cover transients to drive this inspection technique is reported. In addition, an image processing algorithm is formulated based on the relative summation of the transient events to enhance the identification of the defects. The findings show that the observed thermal transients can be used to define the presence of defects both when the underside of the material is in contact with water or with air, and thereby provides a promising approach for the structural health monitoring of these high-value assets.

Quasi-Active Thermography, Structural Health Monitoring, Geomembrane, Floating Covers, Sewage Treatment Plant

Published online 2/20/2021, 8 pages
Copyright © 2021 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Yue Ma, Leslie Wong, Benjamin Steven Vien, Thomas Kuen, Nik Rajic, L.R. Francis Rose, Jayantha Kodikara, Wing Kong Chiu, Quasi-Active Thermography for Structural Health Assessment of Large Geomembranes, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 18, pp 79-86, 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21741/9781644901311-10

The article was published as article 10 of the book Structural Health Monitoring

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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