Most people think of infrared thermography as a tool that is used to detect problems with electrical connection, but the reality is that it represents only one part of the wide range of applications and potential benefits when this technology is properly conducted by qualified personnel.


Many Applications


In addition to electrical inspections, infrared thermography has many other uses, such as the discovery of moisture entrapment in flat roofs, refractory/insulation degradation in boilers and ovens, and bearing problems in mechanical equipment. Infrared imaging has even been used in veterinary medicine to detect damage in the legs of horses.



Finding the "Hot Spots"

Infrared thermography is a non-destructive technique for detecting a temperature gap that may indicate problems like loose electrical connections or excessive friction in machinery and mechanical systems. It has a camera-like device that can view a large area at a time, it also senses infrared emissions and changes the emissions into a visual display. The equipment remains in operation, so productions is not interrupted. "Hot spots" can be pin down rapidly, saving labor and costs, as well as targeting maintenance where it's needed.



Three Common Uses

This article will touch upon three of the most common applications of infrared thermography:

  Electrical — using infrared thermography a technician can help detect faulty connections in early stages, so possible breakdowns can be avoided.
  Mechanical — excessive friction can cause breakdowns if equipment is not lubricated properly. Infrared thermography can help detect problem areas in motor bearings, gears, couplings, pulleys, conveyors and chain drive systems.
  Refractory/Insulation — this application addresses hidden losses of heat that can drain performance and increases costs. Experienced thermographers can evaluate thermal images of walls, ceilings and roofs for signs of heat either escaping from those areas or entering the insulated space.
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