What is Infrared Thermography?
Infrared Thermography involves the use of an infrared imager, commonly known as thermal cameras, to “see” and “measure” invisible infrared energy being emitted from an object. The thermal image produced from the IR camera is called a thermogram.
Infrared radiation occurs in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm). Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero according to the black body radiation law, thermography makes it possible to see one’s environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature; therefore, thermography allows one to see variations in temperature.
When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds; humans and other warm-blooded animals become easily visible against the environment, day or night. As a result, thermography is particularly useful to the military and other users of surveillance cameras.
Thermography has a long history, although its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past ﬁfty years. Fireﬁghters use thermography to see through smoke , to ﬁnd persons, and to localise the base of a ﬁre. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a sign of impending failure. Building construction technicians can see thermal signatures that indicate heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and can use the results to improve the efﬁciency of heating and air-conditioning units.
Electrical thermography has rapidly gained global endorsement amongst plant and facility management as an integral aspect in their Condition Monitoring, Predictive and Preventive Maintenance programs.
Energy loss, especially form structure, has been highlighted in the latest building codes and faulty refractory or insulation in industry adds to the outlay for energy, increasing consumption and raising the cost of products. There is no better inspection technique than Infrared Thermography to ﬁnd these thermal anomalies.