Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Reinhold Ludwig, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Diran Apelian, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

John M. Sullivan, Jr., Committee Member




The electric Joule heating of solid materials through direct current excitation can be used to generate a temperature profile throughout a powdermetallic (P/M) compact. When recording the surface temperature distribution with an infrared (IR) camera important information regarding the integrity of the sample can be gained. This research will concentrate on the formulation of a mathematical model capable of predicting the temperature distribution and heat flow behavior in P/M parts and its relations to the supplied current, injection method, geometric shape as well as the thermo-physical properties. This theoretical model will subsequently be employed as a tool to aid in the actual measurements of infrared signatures over the sample surface and their correlation with the detection of surface and subsurface flaws. In this work we will develop the theoretical background of IR testing of green-state and sintered P/M compacts in terms of stating the governing equations and boundary conditions, followed by devising analytical and numerical solutions. Our main emphasis is placed on modeling various flaw sizes and orientations in an effort to determine flaw resolution limits as a function of minimally detectable temperature distributions. Preliminary measurements with controlled and industrial samples have shown that this IR testing methodology can successfully be employed to test both green-state and sintered P/M compacts.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





powder metallurgy, material evaluation, thermal imaging, NDE, IR radiation and detection, nondestructive testing, thermography, Infrared imaging, Powder metallurgy, Infrared spectroscopy, Heat, Transmission, Surfaces (Technology), Measurement