Research performed to develop thermography as a routine rapid flaw detection tool for large composite structures is presented. The externally applied thermal field (EATF) technique is described whereby surface cracks or sub-surface impact damage creates detectable surface temperature perturbations when heated. EATF thermographic procedures and flaw detection capabilities in multidirectional and unidirectional graphite and glass fiber composites are described. The method’s advantages and limitations are outlined.

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