Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan B. Crane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kyle Reed, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wenjun Cai, Ph.D.


infrared reflections, nondestructive, pulse heating, quality, thermal diffusivity


Additive Manufacturing (AM), over the years, has seen a tremendous amount of research for improving the manufacturability of materials into final products. The main advantages of additive manufacturing are the minimizing of waste material as it is an additive process. As well as the ability to create custom low-volume products without the need for creation of expensive tooling or programming before manufacturing begins. Because of these advantages, however, AM is susceptible to unique challenges in the quality side of manufacturing. These challenges include minimizing and detecting defects during the build. The focus of this research looks at the capability of using Pulse Thermography (PT), a nondestructive testing method, with longer than typical pulse length on additively manufactured parts for surface and sub-surface defect detection as well as thermal property determination based on a known void depth.

The first and second part of this research will look at a range of pulse lengths greater than 100ms to determine if the previously defined assumption is necessary for accurate defect detection. The significance of increasing the pulse length is to have the ability to increase the overall energy input into the part without having to increase the power. Allowing for the capability of defect detection for both shallow and deeper defects with the same overall setup. One-dimensional simulations r using Forward Time Center Space (FTCS) approximation, show that the assumption of an instantaneous pulse is relative, and defects can be accurately calculated within a range of pulse lengths. Based on the simulations, experimentation was conducted to determine the capability of calculating sub-surface defect depths with a longer pulse on a FDM printed ABS part with 100% in fill. The defect depths will range from 0.3mm to 1.8mm and the widths of the defects used for depth calculation will be 8x8mm. Results of the experiments show that even with FDM printed parts defect depths were accurately calculated up to a depth of 1.2mm.

The third aspect of this research looks at the infrared reflections emitting off the surface during the longer pulse. With a longer pulse length, there is more time for the infrared camera to collect thermograms of the surface during the pulse. It was noticed during sub-surface defect detection that the infrared reflections paint a picture of the surface characteristics of the part. Characteristics that include surface imperfections not intended in the original build parameters such as under extrusions and cracks. Defects as small as 150μm with a thermal pixel resolution 75μm are detected.

The third and final aspect of this research looks at the ability to use PT with a longer pulse to determine thermal properties of a binder jetted additively manufactured part as well as packing factors that may be otherwise be unknown. When a product is binder jetted a chemical binder is added to the powder layer by layer until a product is formed.