A Review and Benchmark on State-of-the-Art Steel Defects Detection

Anthony Ashwin Peter Chazhoor*, Edmond Ho, Bin Gao, Wai Lok Woo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Steel, a critical material in construction, automobile, and railroad manufacturing industries, often presents defects that can lead to equipment failure, significant safety risks, and costly downtime. This research aims to evaluate the performance of state-of-the-art object detection models in detecting defects on steel surfaces, a critical task in industries such as railroad and automobile manufacturing. The study addresses the challenges of limited defect data and lengthy model training times. Five existing state-of-the-art object detection models (faster R-CNN, deformable DETR, double head R-CNN, Retinanet, and deformable convolutional network) were benchmarked on the Northeastern University (NEU) steel dataset. The selection of models covers a broad spectrum of methodologies, including two-stage detectors, single-stage detectors, transformers, and a model incorporating deformable convolutions. The deformable convolutional network achieved the highest accuracy of 77.28% on the NEU dataset following a fivefold cross-validation method. Other models also demonstrated notable performance, with accuracies within the 70–75% range. Certain models exhibited particular strengths in detecting specific defects, indicating potential areas for future research and model improvement. The findings provide a comprehensive foundation for future research in steel defect detection and have significant implications for practical applications. The research could improve quality control processes in the steel industry by automating the defect detection task, leading to safer and more reliable steel products and protecting workers by removing the human factor from hazardous environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
Number of pages14
JournalSN Computer Science
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

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