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Infrared thermography applications and uses of thermography.

Any object that has a temperature above absolute zero (-273oC) emits infrared radiation. Using infrared thermography, you can transform infrared measurements and construct radiometric images. Temperature is widely used in measurements and it can reliably indicate the condition of an object. Infrared imaging is particularly useful because you can inspect temperatures without disassembly, in places with limited or no access, and without touching! With the right infrared camera, you can even see through flames.

What this article is NOT about, IR sensors or infrared art. J


Infrared thermography also referred to as thermal imaging and the interpretation of temperature differentials, is not only a science, but also somewhat an art. So like many of the other industrial trades, not only is knowledge required (the science), but the skill of technique and interpretation needs passed on to the learner too, from the experienced thermographers at the Online Infrared Training Center.


The most common infrared thermography applications are found being use by business owner and home owners alike to save energy cost in residential, commercial and industrial sectors, including infrared thermography home energy surveys and electrical inspections. Common industrial infrared application is performing infrared industrial electrical system surveys and reliability engineering like PdM and RCM. In process and manufacturing, maintenance can view systems under a load with non-invasive infrared inspection to spot a problem before it occurs and even improve the process performance. Also infrared thermography is commonly used in building and construction for moisture detection, on the other end of the spectrum, used for fire safety. Also testing of equipment are common infrared applications, including the following:


Electrical Equipment Infrared Applications:

Among the infrared applications is the non destructive testing of electrical distribution equipment. This can detect problems such as loose connections, poor contacts, overloading, capacitor breakdowns, unbalanced loads and overheating. For transformers, you can detect loose connections, poor contacts, overheated bushings and blocked cooling passages. In manufacturing facilities, the electrical infrared applications becomes even broader. From all the previously mentioned to motor overheating detection, tank levels, to process line inspections, even circuit board inspections. The electrical infrared applications of infrared thermography are so diverse that the Online Infrared Training Center has an IR Electrical Certificate Course specific for maintenance and electricians.


Boilers and Steam Systems Infrared Applications:

In this area, one of the most common infrared applications is the inspection of insulation breakdown. Hot gas leaks can lead to wastage energy, which means losses for a business. For steam systems, a common infrared application is to check joint or valve leakage. Infrared inspection is also be used to check on the effectiveness of the insulation. You can also use infrared thermography leakage inspection in underground systems. For steam traps, you can detect tap malfunction, which can lead to the trap failing to open. Loss of steam and wasted energy are avoided.


Mechanical Equipment Infrared Applications:

The infrared mechanical training is commonly applied to nondestructive testing (NDT) infrared applications. For internal combustion engines, industrial infrared thermography can detect blocked air coolers and radiator tubes. You can detect air leaks and clogged condenser tubes in refrigeration systems; do heat exchanger monitoring, etc. For pumps, compressors, fans and blowers, infrared thermography applications include detecting overheated bearings and increased discharge temperatures or excessive oil temperatures. Broken and defective valves detection. Insulation breakdown, corrosion and increased bearing and gear temperatures detection in kilns. In large manufacturing plants with thousands of rollers in their conveyor systems, an infrared inspection can quickly and cost effectively inspect which rollers under conveyor are going out, by the heat the failure generates. The mechanical infrared applications are so diverse that the Online Infrared Training Center has an IR Mechanical Certificate Course specific for maintenance and mechanics.


Lesser know infrared applications that the knowledge gained in the Online Infrared Training Center is used for are: surveillance and security, medical and veterinary, civil engineering, HVAC, renewable energy (solar cells & wind turbines), Maritime, farming, forensic investigations, astronomy, road inspection, R&D, fire fighting, wildlife/nature studies, even paranormal investigations (ghost hunting!), etc. Below we take a closer look at just a few of those lesser know infrared thermography application fields:

Infrared Applications


Surveillance and Security Infrared Applications:

Search and rescue, night operations and enemy identification is possible. You can also detect smoke filled rooms. Infrared technology provides security in homes, but that is not typically infrared thermography, it is infrared sensors. Businesses are a different story though, as high security for businesses and prisons may use infrared thermography for weapon and chemical detection. The list of security applications for infrared thermography, are like in many other fields, constantly growing. With the new and current threat of the Ebola virus, airports may start using infrared to spot if a passenger has a severe fever, before letting them on a plane. A application that should have been implemented a long time ago (or may have already in some places).


Medical and Veterinary Infrared Applications:

Using infrared thermography, you can detect cancer, arthritis and circulation issues. Doctors find muscular and skeletal problems. Vets to discover muscular and skeletal problems can use the technology. Infrared technology is even used to fit horses with saddles.


Other Infrared Applications:

In process industry dryer rolls, you can detect condensate buildup and increased bearing temperatures. For storage tanks, you can use the technology to determine liquid levels and inadequate insulation. For ovens and furnaces, you can detect insulation breakdown. In a landfill, you can use the technology to detect gas generation or leaks, otherwise invisible to the human eye. Sub-surface combustion and particulate plumes can be discovered. Watercourse pollution can also be detected, even building pest control. As you can see, infrared thermography has numerous applications and you can learn more at the Online Infrared Training Center.


Individuals open more doors!  Businesses, gain new revenue streams!


At the Online Infrared Training Center, you can learn about the numerous applications of infrared thermography. Full ranges of training courses provided so you can become a Certified Infrared Thermographer© or earn a specialized certificate in your desired field or application, or both! Of course, as seen from the above many infrared applications, you can also profit from running your own infrared inspection business or adding infrared inspection services to your existing business offering to increase your company's revenue stream.


Please use the comment area below to tell us about unique infrared thermography applications you know of. Or if you think of a new possible application of infrared thermography, we would love to hear your ideas.

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