GRP-type composites (Glass-fibre Reinforced Plastics) have been continuously employed in the oil industry in recent years, often on platforms, especially in pipes for water or oil under moderate temperatures. In this case, the pipes are usually connected through adhesive joints and, consequently, the detection of defects in these joints, as areas without adhesive or adhesive failure (disbonding), gains great importance. One-sided inspection on the joint surface (front side) is a challenging task because the material thickness easily exceeds 10 mm that is far beyond the limits of the capacity of thermography applied to GRP inspection, as confirmed by the experience. Detection limits have been evaluated both theoretically and experimentally as a function of outer wall thickness and defect lateral size. The 3D modeling was accomplished by using the ThermoCalc-6L software. The experimental unit consisted of a FLIR SC640 and NEC TH- 9100 IR imagers and some home-made heaters with the power from 1,5 to 30 kW. The results obtained by applying pulsed heating have demonstrated that the inspection efficiency is strongly dependent on the outer wall thickness with a value of about 8 mm being a detection limit.