If you have a question about thermography or infrared technology, submit it here and it will be posted in the FAQ with the answer as soon as possible.
How does thermal imaging work? Why use it?
The wavelength and intensity of radiation emitted from an object is dependent solely upon its temperature. Any object whose temperature is above -273°C (absolute zero) will emit radiation in the infrared portion of the spectrum. If an object is hot enough, it will also emit radiation in the visible light as well as possibly the UV (ultraviolet) light portion of the spectrum. Short-wave radiation is emitted at high temperatures whereas long-wave radiation occurs at low temperatures. Consequently, the radiation from a very hot object like the sun is, relatively speaking, short-wave and in the visible part of the spectrum. The energy radiated from the relatively cool surface of the Earth is long-wave, which is only visible within the invisible, infrared portion of the spectrum. Thermalgraphic Infrared Imaging (thermal imaging) is a form of technology which allows us to see the entire spectrum, which, when used in an industrial approach, helps lead us to a better diagnosis of potentially dangerous environments and/or equipment.
What is infrared thermography?
Thermographic infrared technology utilizes radiation emitted in the infrared spectrum to image and measure thermal problems that are simply undetectable to the human eye. Without shutting down the equipment, or interfering with production, an infrared scan can detect electrical, mechanical and refractory problems which could result in electrical fires, mechanical breakdowns or significant business interruption.
- Criticality of Components – If the items surveyed are critical components to your production deadline they should be surveyed at least every six months.
- Scheduled Outages – If scheduled outages are planned in advance you need to arrange for the services two or three months ahead of time. This ensures you will have time to locate any failing components which may be hard to find.
- Working Environment – Dirty, corrosive, and high vibration areas will need to be surveyed more often.
- Component Loading – High loading of electrical components can cause small problems under normal loading to become extreme during heavy loading. A 4° C rise over ambient at 10% load, will increase to 100° C with a 50% load.
- Equipment – New or an addition to existing? – Surveys should be conducted before acceptance of any new or additional equipment. Just because it is new does not mean it was installed properly. Have corrections made before acceptance.
- Executive summary of the inspection, showing the number of faults, and specifics of each finding.
- A listing of the equipment and locations inspected. This is described in a useful and familiar format for plant personnel.
- A detailed description of each thermally abnormal finding, including component, location, and specific details relating to the hot component.
- Each fault contains a description of the probable cause and a suggested repair technique.
- Comments such as loading and visual notes are attached to each fault.