The infrared (IR) thermography is a powerful NDE technique for the characterization of thermal phenomenon in engineering components and/or systems including engineering materials. Since the IR camera provides the images of temperature contour on the surface of objects, it is very useful for thermographic analysis of railway components including brake disc, abnormal heating, mechanical testing monitoring, etc. In this investigation, current research activities with IR thermography will be introduced. For example, the electrical units of diesel electric locomotives were characterized for deterioration evaluation using infrared thermography technique. The high-speed infrared camera was used to measure surface temperature changes during tensile testing of railway steels. The damage evolution due to generation of hot spots on railway brake shoe or disc was successfully monitored using a high-speed IR camera.
In this paper, the useful applications of IR thermography in railway areas will be introduced and recent research results will be also presented.