Anomaly diagnosis in ceramic claddings by thermography - A review

Tomás Lourenço, Luís Matias, Paulina Faria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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With the increasing importance given to building rehabilitation comes the need to create simple, fast and non-destructive testing methods (NDT) to identify problems and for anomaly diagnosis. Ceramic tiles are one of the most typical kinds of exterior wall cladding in several countries; the earliest known examples are Egyptian dating from 4000 BC. This type of building facade coating, though being quite often used in due to its aesthetic and architectural characteristics, is one of the most complex that can be applied given the several parts from which it is composed; hence, it is also one of the most difficult to correctly diagnose with expeditious methods.
The detachment of ceramic wall tiles is probably the most common and difficult to identify anomaly associated with this kind of cladding and it is also definitely the one that can compromise security the most. Thus, it is necessary to study a process of inspection more efficient and economic than the currently used which often consist in semi-destructive methods (the most common is the pull off test), that can only be used in a small part of the building at a time, allowing some assumptions of what can the rest of the cladding be like.
Infrared thermography (IRT) is a NDT with a wide variety of applications in building inspection that is becoming commonly used to identify anomalies related with thermal variations in the inspected surfaces. Few authors have studied the application of IRT in anomalies associated with ceramic claddings claiming that the presence of air or water beneath the superficial layer will influence the heat transfer in a way that can be detected in both a qualitative and a quantitative way by the thermal camera, providing information about the state of the wall in a much broad area per trial than other methods commonly used nowadays.
This article intends to present a review of the state of art of this NDT and its potentiality in becoming a more efficient way to diagnose anomalies in ceramic wall claddings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICOSADOS2016 - 7th International Conference on Safety and Durability of Structures
Place of PublicationVila Real
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-20-6683-7
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
EventICOSADOS2016 - 7th International Conference on Safety and Durability of Structures - UTAD, Vila Real, Portugal
Duration: 10 May 201612 May 2016


ConferenceICOSADOS2016 - 7th International Conference on Safety and Durability of Structures
CityVila Real


  • Ceramic cladding
  • Infrared thermography
  • Anomaly diagnosis

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