Thermal Imaging Solutions and their Applications
There are plenty of things we can’t see with our eyes alone. Likes things at a microscopic level, or when the light dims and we can’t see in the dark. When this is the case, we’ve created innovative technological solutions to allow us to see these things for ourselves. Temperature is another thing that we can’t visually detect with our eyes, but by turning to thermal imaging, we can finally see these heat signatures for ourselves.
What is Thermal Imaging
But why would you want to do that? To break it down for you, in almost all areas, from organic life to technology, irregular and high temperatures often mean that something is wrong. Like when we experience a fever. Oftentimes a fever is a result of whatever is making you sick, and the same thing applies to heat signatures in machinery, appliances, and even in your home.
Just a heat signature alone isn’t enough to figure out what the problem is or even the extent of it, especially if the temperature is all you have to go off of. This is where a thermography specialist comes in, and with their help, you can get a clearer picture of what’s going on.
To sum up, thermal imaging is the process of scanning and capturing temperature readings through visual imagery. It can involve multiple scans throughout the day, or simply one scan, to give a thermographer a clear picture of what the source of the problem is and how it evolves. Thermal imaging is used in an extensive range of industries and professions, from the veterinary sciences to plumbing, brewing to engineering, and more.
How Thermal Imaging Works
As the name implies, thermal imaging is the science of capturing temperature readings to diagnose a problem and involves the use of high tech camera equipment to capture these temperature maps. This visual representation of temperature is depicted in a colourful map, with contrasting shades that represent spikes in temperature. On a neutral backdrop of blue, high temperatures are a contrasting red, orange and white, and shows you clearly where this heat is emanating from.
Different Types of Thermal Inspections
Thermal imaging can be used for a broad array of applications, from quality checking your own craftsmanship to carrying out inspections for clients. As mentioned above, thermal imaging can be used in many fields and can be used as a powerful tool in maintenance checks and planning. Just a few of these fields include:
Electrical systems can be intricate in nature, and while it may have an electrical current passing through it, this isn’t meant to cause heat as it does so. A heat signature means there’s something amiss, and too much heat can even cause electrical fires. Infrared inspection is used to detect these hot connections and indicate where electrical work and maintenance should be done.
As one can imagine, not all your equipment is built to withstand extreme heat. If you’re running a boiler, furnace, smelter, etc., the extreme heat inside it can be destructive to the rest of your equipment and machinery. Refractory inspections are needed to check the protective barrier around these heat sources, and should the refractory lining show a high temperature, you know it’s time for maintenance.
Heat is caused by many things, and typically, machinery does run hot without the proper cooling. Excessive friction, deterioration in cooling, poor airflow, high resistance all cause your machinery to run hot. So if one picks up a high heat signature during operation, it’s time for maintenance to take a look at your cooling systems and current.
Solar panels are an excellent way to generate electricity. Like your electrical equipment, they’re not meant to run hot, and heat signatures can indicate faulty panels. It’s difficult to send solar panels off for testing, but with infrared inspections, you can check solar panels for hot spots while they’re in operation.
You don’t have to be a veterinarian to do thermal inspections on animals, but you can certainly work closely with one to help them diagnose animals in a non-invasive way. This is especially useful for large and sometimes highly strung animals like horses. With thermal imaging cameras, you can detect hot spots in animals that are indicative of fevers, bruising, broken bones, infections, and more.
There are so many applications for thermography. Thermal imaging can be used to detect leaks in your roof, and plumbers can use it to detect leaks and even blockages in drains. Pests and colonies of insects also produce a significant heat signature, which is great for pest control. If it can produce heat, thermal imaging can be used to inspect it.
Infrared Inspection in Industries
No matter your field of work, you can find a use for thermal imaging. Retailers should perform routine checks of their equipment and premises for damages, and hospitals need to maintain their buildings and equipment for the sake of employees and patients. We encourage technicians from all industries to regularly check their equipment and location to form an effective maintenance program, one that not only allows you to fix the most urgent problems but saves on costs in the long run.
Whether you undergo thermal imaging training yourself to perform your own inspections or enlist the help of thermography technicians to run inspections for you, you can reap the benefits of a thorough and regular inspection and maintenance plan. Don’t be surprised by problems that sneak up on you and accumulate, problems that can be destructive to you set up and even dangerous. Our team is on hand to offer thermography training and run thermal inspections for you should you need it; if you’d like to hear more about our inspections, feel free to contact us.