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FAQ’s

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FAQ’s 2017-07-03T16:50:32+00:00
Infrared energy is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and behaves similarly to visible light. It travels through space at the speed of light and can be reflected, refracted, absorbed, and emitted. The wavelength of IR energy is about an order of magnitude longer than visible light, between 0.7 and 1000 µm (millionths of a meter). Other common forms of electromagnetic radiation include radio, ultraviolet, and x-ray.
Everything on this planet contains thermal energy and therefore has a specific temperature. This thermal energy is emitted from the surface of the material. This energy is called is infrared (IR) radiation. The amount of IR radiation emitted at a certain wavelength, from the surface of an object, is a function of the object’s temperature. This is a very important concept, since it implies that one can calculate the temperature of an object by measuring the infrared radiation emitted from it.
Detectors in the infrared camera convert this incoming infrared energy from the infrared spectrum to the visual spectrum so we can see the infrared energy. These visual maps that co-relate image intensity or colour to the amount of infrared radiation received from that object. The amount of radiation received, along with other parameters, is used to calculate the actual surface temperature of the target object. The detectors are extremely sensitive to small temperature differences and, with a trained and experienced thermographer, inspections are accurate and very valuable.
Any condition when the thermal gradient of the surface temperature deviates from the normal uniform thermal pattern that should exist for that particular component.

Infrared Thermography is the technique for producing a visible image of invisible (to our eyes) infrared energy emitted by objects. The higher the temperature, the more energy emitted. The typical infrared thermography camera resembles a standard camcorder and produces a live TV image of heat radiation. The camera provides a basic grey scale image which is converted to false color images to make interpretation of thermal patterns easier. More cameras will also measure the temperatures of the target object. The thermal image produced by an infrared camera is called a thermogram.

You can see the temperature patterns on a face, yellows are warmer, orange, reds and blues are cooler. Thermal patterns on the skin surface can be indicative of disease and are sometimes used to aid medical diagnoses.
A thermogram and visual image of a tea pot after pouring boiling water into it. . Notice that you can see the heat from the water conducting through the walls. Liquid levels in industrial tanks can be measured in the same manner.
Emissivity is a term used to describe how efficient a material is at emitting infrared energy as compared to a perfect emitter of infrared energy. Emissivity is an efficiency factor and is dependent on the material properties, the objects surface characteristics, and the temperature of the object. Determining the emissivity is critical when measuring temperature on the infrared camera.
Infrared thermography is such a valuable and versatile tool that we cannot possibly list all the applications. New and innovative ways of using the technology are being developed everyday.
Thermography can be applied in any situation where a problem or condition can display itself by a thermal difference. For many situations, this is quite easy to apply; a thermal condition can be seen because the process involves release of thermal energy.

Here are several examples of applications:

Electrical Thermography
Electrical Thermography is the most widely performed application of infrared thermography. It is used virtually around the world to evaluate the condition of electrical systems and equipment. When an electrical system is energized, current passes through the entire system, a byproduct of this current flow is heat. We can see that heat with an infrared camera. When there is a defect in the system, more heat is generated because of high resistance, and the camera will see the difference between the normal components and the one with a problem.

Concrete Inspections
Another example is the inspection of concrete bridges. Over the years, a concrete bridge deck can develop subsurface delaminations, which can lead to holes in the deck. When a hole develops, it is already a big problem. What is important is to find the problem before the hole appears. Using the energy from the sun as an active heating source, we look at it with the infrared camera. The region with the subsurface delamination will have a different level of heat than the solid parts of the concrete deck structure. The infrared camera camera will show the differences.

Aircraft Inspections
Composite aircraft materials are extremely sturdy and lightweight. These materials are vital to aircraft performance and airworthiness. However, the honeycomb structure of this material presents a potentially dangerous problem: water ingress.

“Thermography can be applied in any situation where a problem or condition can display itself by means of a thermal difference.“

Property managers and building owners, maintenance and process engineers, manufacturing companies and facility managers of all types are always concerned with the condition of their facility and equipment under their care. All would agree that proper maintenance, management of energy resources and quality of construction are necessary for optimizing safety, performance and cost savings.

Infrared thermography is such a valuable and versatile tool that we cannot possibly list all the applications. New and innovative ways of using the technology are being developed everyday.
Thermography can be applied in any situation where a problem or condition can display itself by a thermal difference. For many situations, this is quite easy to apply; a thermal condition can be seen because the process involves release of thermal energy. Here are several examples of applications.

Electrical Thermography
Electrical Thermography is the most widely performed application of infrared thermography. It is used virtually around the world to evaluate the condition of electrical systems and equipment. When an electrical system is energized, current passes through the entire system, a byproduct of this current flow is heat. We can see that heat with an infrared camera. When there is a defect in the system, more heat is generated because of high resistance, and the camera will see the difference between the normal components and the one with a problem.

Thermal image showing a failing connection on an electrical component.

Medical Thermography
Veterinarians and doctors are using infrared imaging to analyze surface thermal patterns that are symptomatic of an underlying ailment or condition. Nowhere is the value of clinical IRT for animals more evident than when it’s applied to the care of horses. Many minor injuries to muscle tissue may go unnoticed until the problem is more severe. However, infrared imagers used today can pick up the smallest change in temperature as a result of increased blood flow to damaged tissues. In this way IR imaging aids the expert trainer in caring for the horse.

Race horse sustained an injury in a fall. The infrared image shows where the problem is, and monitored the process of the healing.

Tank Inspections
Manufacturers concerned with non-destructively testing product quality and performance, are also among those employing, infrared radiometric technologies. An automobile manufacturer might use IRT to measure the real-time thermal dynamics of a prototype engine block or a plastics manufacturer might be interested in monitoring its extrusion process. Many industrial processes implicate the use of IRT where temperature and heat flow are a useful indicators of how a process is operating.

Infrared Inspection for tank leaks and to verify tank level.

Concrete Inspections
Another example is the inspection of concrete bridges. Over the years, a concrete bridge deck can develop subsurface delaminations, which can lead to holes in the deck. When a hole develops, it is already a big problem. What is important is to find the problem before the hole appears. Using the energy from the sun as an active heating source, we look at it with the infrared camera. The region with the subsurface delamination will have a different level of heat than the solid parts of the concrete deck structure. The infrared camera will show the differences.

This example shows that even though the bridge deck doesn’t generate heat it can still be analyzed with thermography.

Aircraft Inspections
Composite aircraft materials are extremely sturdy and lightweight. These materials are vital to aircraft performance and airworthiness. However, the honeycomb structure of this material presents a potentially dangerous problem: water ingress.

With passive thermography, the items to be inspected are naturally at a higher or lower temperature than the background. Passive thermography has many applications such as surveillance, medical, moisture detection, and most condition monitoring and industrial process and manufacturing applications such as electrical and mechanical inspections.