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Thermal nondestructive evaluation (TNDE) is an indirect process, so that regardless of the form of energy used to excite the sample, interaction with the internal structure of a part occurs through the process of heat conduction. This article discusses the steady-state configuration and selective excitation configuration of the signal-generation mechanisms in thermal nondestructive evaluation methods. The three widely used approaches to TNDE are surface-excited thermography, vibrothermography, and thermoelastic stress analysis. The article provides information on the common features, characteristics, and limitations of these approaches.

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