To understand what these useful tools consist of, we will start by talking about thermography.
The technique known as infrared thermographyis the one that allows to visualize the temperature of any surface, with high precision and without having contact with said surface. Is temperature measurement It is possible, thanks to the measurement of radiation emanating from the infrared section of the electromagnetic spectrum of the evaluated surface, these measurements are then converted into electrical signals.
The human eye cannot capture the infrared radiation of an object or surface, and this is where the thermal imaging camerasalso known as thermovision. These cameras have infrared sensors, which allow to capture and measure the radiant energy of objects and surfaces, thus determining the temperature of these elements. The thermographic camera takes the radiation and generates a spectrum of colors, each color represents a different temperature, based on a scale. For example, the highest temperature is represented by the color white.
The use of the thermal imager is very simple, it can even be used by inexperienced personnel. You just have to point or focus the camera at the object or surface to be evaluated, and automatically the temperature reading will appear on the screen of the tool. The measurement is carried out without the need to have contact with the element to be measured and in real time.
Thermal Imager Features
The field of implementation of thermal imaging cameras is wide, it goes beyond just measuring the temperature of objects. It is implemented in industrial, construction, security, manufacturing areas, among others.
Predictive and preventive maintenanceThermal imaging cameras allow detecting faults or defects that are not visible to the human, with which maintenance or repair can be carried out in a timely manner, avoiding economic losses. Some of the faults that can be detected are:
In the electricity area:
- Presence of rust on the high voltage switches.
- Poorly established or faulty electrical connections.
- Failures or defects in insulators.
- Overheating of electrical connections.
- Damage to electrical fuses.
- Corrosion of connections.
- Internal breaker failure.
In the mechanical field:
- Engines overheated.
- Overloaded pumps.
- Faulty rollers.
- Faulty electric motors.
- Bearing overheating.
- Heating or air conditioning failure.
- Hot areas due to insulation failure.
- Presence of moisture on the walls.
- Presence of leaks in the roofs.
- Air leak.
- Construction failures.
All these problems, among others, can be detected with the using the thermal imager. Not only does it avoid wasting money by preventing problems or failures from being magnified, but it also helps to maintain an acceptable level of health for people, by detecting problems such as humidity in buildings. The implementation of this tool during inspections, in any area or scope is essential.
Fire preventionThe fact that thermographic cameras measure temperature is a great advantage that can be used to determine possible sources of fires and avoid their occurrence in any area.
Low visibility environmentsIn some areas where visibility is almost nil, the use of thermal imaging cameras makes work easier. In environments such as tunnels, supply stations, warehouses, basements, galleries and others, the corresponding maintenance and inspection must also be carried out, and for these cases the measuring instrument is an excellent ally.
SecurityIn some military or police security activities, the visibility provided by thermal imaging cameras is very important. The cameras are generally implemented in cases in which visibility is little or no or when camouflage must be faced. The functions of the thermal imaging camera are also used for extreme cases of coastal surveillance and border surveillance.
Other fields in which the use of thermal imaging cameras is implemented is the field of motor design and manufacturing, silicon plate design, food industry, pharmaceutical industry, wind energy, solar energy, medical diagnosis, veterinary diagnosis, among others.
Types of thermal imaging cameras on the market:
There is a wide variety of models and brands on the market, to please and adapt to user requirements. We will show some of these models in a general way and their main characteristics.
Compact and simple modelthis type of camera is perfect for beginners. It has a simple design, which allows easy handling without the need for preparation prior to use. It has an ergonomic structure and allows the tool to be transferred and recharged through its USB interface.
Professional modelthis model is suitable for experienced personnel. It has a mobile screen that can be rotated up to 270 °, with excellent resolution and its main characteristics is that it has sensitive infrared microbolometers. It has a light structure and ergonomic design. It has a high image storage capacity and processes images in JPEG format.
Fixed and portable modelwith this camera a radiometric measurement can be obtained. It allows the capture of 96 images per second and synchronous recordings and can be used as a portable camera or installed as a fixed camera. It has excellent thermal sensitivity, which allows detailed measurements captured. It is recommended for the field of research, development or automated processes. It has a light and small structure, which allows its easy transportation and handling.
Aspects to consider when purchasing a thermal imaging camera
- Accuracy should be + -2% or 3.6 ° Fahrenheit.
- The display should show the emissivity and the captured temperature.
- Verify the resolution of the infrared detector is acceptable. Do not confuse this resolution with that of the LCD screen.
- Make sure the battery in the tool can be changed for you.
- Check that the camera exports the images to the JPEG format.
- The design of the camera should be light, small and ergonomic.
- In case you need to work in low visibility areas, your camera should have an illumination lamp.
- Verify that the temperature range of the chamber is suitable for the measurement you are going to take.