Non-destructive tests of reinforced concrete chimneys, especially high ones, are an important element in assessing their condition, making it possible to forecast their safe life. Industrial chimneys are often exposed to the strong action of acidic substances, They are negatively exposed to the condensation of the flue gases. Condensate affects the inside of the thermal insulation and penetrates the chimney wall from the outside. This is one reason for the corrosion of concrete and reinforcing steel. Wet thermal insulation settles, and drastically reduces its insulating properties. This leads to an increase in temperature in the reinforced concrete chimney wall and creates additional large variations in temperature fields. This consequently causes a large increase in internal forces, which mainly increase tensile and shear stresses. This results in the appearance of additional cracks in the wall. The acid condensate penetrates these cracks, destroying the concrete cover and reinforcement. Thermographic studies are very helpful in monitoring the changes in temperature and consequently, the risk of concrete and reinforcement corrosion. This simple implication between changes in temperature of the chimney wall and increasing inner forces as shown in this article is particularly important when the chimney cannot be switched off due to the nature of the production process. Methods for interpreting the results of thermovision tests are presented to determine the safety and durability of industrial chimneys.
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