Composite fires captured by thermal camera
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M; Madrid, Spain) are developing an infrared imaging system that will allow them to analyze the thermal resistance of composite materials.
The main problem associated with measuring the effects of fire on materials lies in the fact that the high temperature of the flames can obscure the actual temperature of the material. In addition, a high concentration of gases makes it difficult to obtain clear images of the sample being subjected to fire.
To solve this problem, the UC3M scientists used an infrared (IR) camera for measuring the temperature and developed image-processing software that discounted the effects of the flames.
The research -- which was carried out in collaboration with the Airbus Systems Laboratory -- has applications in the aeronautical industry, where it is essential to know what effects fire might have on the composite materials that are used in airplanes.
The advantage of the method is that it can be performed without any direct contact with the material and under severe conditions when flames are present.
-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design