Criteria for Identification of Ceramic Detachments in Building Facades with Infrared Thermography

  • Elton Bauer
  • Elier Pavón
  • Cláudio H. F. Pereira
  • Matheus L. M. Nascimento
Part of the Building Pathology and Rehabilitation book series (BUILDING, volume 5)


Infrared thermography is a nondestructive technique with great application potential to study the pathologies of buildings. The use of passive thermography to evaluate building facades subjected to sun incidence has allowed interesting advances in the identification of regions with initial detachments that are not visible on the facade surfaces. There are, however, several difficulties in the methodology, especially regarding the best moment to visualize the anomalies. These moments depend mainly on the heat flow in the facade, which is not constant. The objective of this study is to identify the best conditions to visualize the anomalies by performing field and laboratory studies to evaluate delta-T and contrast functions. To this end, a laboratory study was developed. It consisted of heating and cooling experimental base plates with manufactured internal defects, which were monitored by a sequence of thermograms obtained continuously. The field study consisted of evaluating an area of a building facade with detachment patches. The thermal evolution of the facade was monitored continuously by thermography for 10 h. The results indicate that delta-T cannot be used as the sole parameter to identify the anomalies. It is also highlighted that knowing the direction of heat flow is important since the contrast functions have shown that the anomalies are best visualized at the beginning of the heat flow, heating or cooling. It proved that the criteria obtained in the laboratory are applicable to field studies, especially if it is possible to analyze previously the heat flow on the facade.


Infrared thermography Detachment Facades Contrast Delta-T 


  1. ASTM E1862-97 (2010) Standard test methods for measuring and compensating for reflected temperature using infrared imaging radiometersGoogle Scholar
  2. ASTM 1933-99 (1999) Standard test methods for measuring and compensating for emissivity using infraredGoogle Scholar
  3. Barreira E, de Freitas VP (2007) Evaluation of building materials using infrared thermography. Constr Build Mater 21(1):218–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barreira E, Almeida RMSF, Freitas de VP, Soares T (2015) Sensitivity analysis of quantitative infrared thermography. In: 1st international symposium on building pathology, Porto, Portugal, 6Google Scholar
  5. Bauer E, Pavón E (2015) Termografia de infravermelho na identificação e avaliação de manifestações patológicas em edifícios. Concreto & Construções, (Jul-Set): 93–98Google Scholar
  6. Bauer E, Castro EK, Hildenberg A, Pavon E (2014) Critérios para a aplicaçao da termografia de infravermelho passiva como tecnica auxiliar ao diagnóstico de patologias em fachadas de edifícios. Rev Politec (Instituto Politec Bahia) 26:266–277Google Scholar
  7. Bauer E, de Freitas VP, Mustelier N, Barreira E, de Freitas SS (2015a) Infrared thermography—evaluation of the results reproducibility. Struct Surv 31(3):181–193Google Scholar
  8. Bauer E, Pavon E, Hildenberg A, Castro EK (2015b) Erros na utilização de parâmetros termográficos da argamassa e da cerâmica na detecção de anomalias em revestimentos. XI Simpósio Brasileiro de tecnologia das Argamassas. SBTA, Porto Alegre, 12Google Scholar
  9. Bauer E, Castro EK, Pavon E, Oliveira AHS (2015c) Criteria for application and identification of anomalies on the facades of buildings with the use of passive infrared thermography. In: Freitas VP (ed) 1st international symposium building pathology, Porto, Portugal, p. 12Google Scholar
  10. Bisegna F, Ambrosini D, Paoletti D, Sfarra S, Gugliermetti F (2014) A qualitative method for combining thermal imprints to emerging weak points of ancient wall structures by passive infrared thermography—a case study. J Cult Herit 15(2):199–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Broberg P (2013) Surface crack detection in welds using thermography. NDT E Int 57:69–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cerdeira F, Vázquez ME, Collazo J, Granada E (2011) Applicability of infrared thermography to the study of the behaviour of stone panels as building envelopes. Energy Build 43(8):1845–1851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cheng C-C, Cheng T-M, Chiang C-H (2008) Defect detection of concrete structures using both infrared thermography and elastic waves. Autom Constr 18:87–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. de Freitas SS, de Freitas VP, Barreira E (2014) Detection of façade plaster detachments using infrared thermography—a nondestructive technique. Constr Build Mater 70:80–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dufour MB, Derome D, Zmeureanu R (2009) Analysis of thermograms for the estimation of dimensions of cracks in building envelope. Infrared Phys Technol 52(2–3):70–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Edis E, Flores-Colen I, de Brito J (2012) Passive thermographic inspection of adhered ceramic claddings: limitations and conditioning factors. J Perform Constr Facil: 258Google Scholar
  17. Edis E, Flores-Colen I, De Brito J (2014a) Building thermography: detection of delamination of adhered ceramic claddings using the passive approach. J Nondestruct Eval, 34Google Scholar
  18. Edis E, Flores-Colen I, de Brito J (2014b) Passive thermographic detection of moisture problems in façades with adhered ceramic cladding. Constr Build Mater 51:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Edis E, Flores-Colen I, de Brito J (2015) Quasi-quantitative infrared thermographic detection of moisture variation in facades with adhered ceramic cladding using principal component analysis. Build Environ 94:97–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fox M, Coley D, Goodhew S, de Wilde P (2014) Thermography methodologies for detecting energy related building defects. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 40:296–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fox M, Coley D, Goodhew S, De Wilde P (2015) Time-lapse thermography for building defect detection. Energy Build 92:95–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Freitas JG De, Carasek H, Cascudo O (2014) Utilização de termografia infravermelha para avaliação de fissuras em fachadas com revestimento de argamassa e pintura. Ambient Construido 14(1):57–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kominsky JR, Luckino JS, Street NH, Martin TF (2007) Passive infrared thermography—a qualitative method for detecting moisture anomalies in building envelopes. Tedford Pond: 1–11Google Scholar
  24. Kylili A, Fokaides PA, Christou P, Kalogirou SA (2014) Infrared thermography (irt) applications for building diagnostics: a review. Appl Energy 134:531–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lai WL, Kou SC, Poon CS, Tsang WF, Lai CC (2010) Characterization of the deterioration of externally bonded cfrp-concrete composites using quantitative infrared thermography. Cem Concr Compos 32(9):740–746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lai WL, Lee KK, Kou SC, Poon CS, Tsang WF (2012) A study of full-field debond behaviour and durability of cfrp-concrete composite beams by pulsed infrared thermography (irt). NDT E Int 52:112–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Larsen SF, Hongn M (2012) Termografía infrarroja en la edificación: aplicaciones cualitativas. Av en Energías Renov y Medio Ambient 16:25–32Google Scholar
  28. Lerma JL, Cabrelles M, Portalés C (2011) Multitemporal thermal analysis to detect moisture on a building façade. Constr Build Mater 25(5):2190–2197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lerma C, Mas Á, Gil E, Vercher J, Peñalver MJ (2013) Pathology of building materials in historic buildings. Relationship between laboratory testing and infrared thermography. Mater Construcción 60Google Scholar
  30. Madruga FJ, Ibarra-Castanedo C, Conde OM, López-Higuera JM, Maldague X (2010) Infrared thermography processing based on higher-order statistics. NDT E Int 43(8):661–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Maldague X (2001) Theory and practice of infrared technology for nondestructive testing. Wiley, NYGoogle Scholar
  32. Martínez E, Castillo A, Martínez I, Castellote M (2013) Metodología para la intervención en elementos históricos: el caso de la espadaña del convento de nuestra señora de la consolación (alcalá de henares-madrid-españa). Inf la Construcción 65(531):359–366Google Scholar
  33. Menezes A, Glória Gomes M, Flores-Colen I (2015) In-situ assessment of physical performance and degradation analysis of rendering walls. Constr Build Mater 75:283–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nowak H, Kucypera M (2010) Application of active thermography for detecting material defects in the building envelope. InfraMation Proc Proc, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  35. Pascu A (2011) Non-destructive inspection of composite structures using active ir-thermography methods. Bul științific Ser D Mech Eng 73(1):1–14Google Scholar
  36. Taylor T, Counsell J, Gill S (2014) Combining thermography and computer simulation to identify and assess insulation defects in the construction of building façades. Energy Build 76:130–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vavilov V (2014) Noise-limited thermal/infrared nondestructive testing. NDT&EInt 61:16–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elton Bauer
    • 1
  • Elier Pavón
    • 1
  • Cláudio H. F. Pereira
    • 1
  • Matheus L. M. Nascimento
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of TechnologyUniversity of Brasília (UnB)BrasíliaBrazil

Personalised recommendations