4 Important Applications of Infrared Thermography
It’s amazing how temperature can be used to tell if there’s something wrong. Temperature anomalies can mean a lot of things depending on what is being examined. However, identifying temperature anomalies without the right technology is difficult and prone to wrong readings. This is why infrared thermography is a lifesaver for countless businesses and organizations across multiple industries.
Infrared Thermography in a Nutshell
Infrared thermography uses a thermal imager that detects infrared radiation emitted by an object. The thermal imager turns the information into something that resembles an image, but with colors representing different temperature levels. This can be used to quickly pinpoint heat anomalies such as random hot or cold spots on a surface.
By using advanced motor solutions for thermal imagers, an IR camera can easily achieve optimal focus, ensuring maximum speed and accuracy when taking measurements.
While the resulting images may seem easy to read at first glance, some heat anomalies are only evident if you take other factors such as heat transfer and the technical limitations of the imager, you will be able to find anomalies that would otherwise be missed by an untrained eye.
While the resulting images may seem easy to read at first glance, some heat anomalies are only evident to those with expertise in the use of thermography devices. If you take into consideration other factors such as heat transfer and the technical limitations of the imager, you will be able to find anomalies that would otherwise be missed by an untrained eye.
Notable Uses of Infrared Thermography
- Medical Applications
Infrared thermography is safe to use on humans because it only reads infrared radiation, not emit it. In fact, this makes infrared technology a less invasive alternative to conventional thermometers.
Furthermore, infrared technology allows localized detection of heat anomalies, which could be related to certain diseases. For example, an area of the body may have blocked blood vessels, which could show up having a slightly cooler reading. Infrared Thermography has been used to correctly diagnose serious diseases such as diabetes.
Plenty of friction is involved when it comes to machines, which means making sure each component can handle the friction is very important. Just having excess friction for over a short amount of time can cause immense wear and tear on certain machinery, which means detection should be quick but accurate.
By using high-quality thermal imagers, it’s possible to get an accurate reading without having to wait for the heat anomaly to be big enough to cause damage. The slightest deviation in heat patterns can be detected, and the right adjustments can be made earlier to avoid unnecessary strain on the components.
3. Surveillance and Law Enforcement
While normal cameras are often good enough to provide surveillance, they are not that effective when used in areas with low visibility conditions, such as when there is bad weather, when there are poor lighting conditions, or when thick fog or physical obstructions are present. However, infrared thermal imagers create images using temperature readings, which means everything will still be fairly visible.
How effective is thermal imaging as a surveillance and law enforcement tool? To give you an idea, it was instrumental in the successful manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two suspects responsible for the Boston Marathon Bombing incident in 2013. Infrared thermography allowed law enforcement personnel to detect the heat signature of the suspect, who was then hiding inside a boat covered by tarpaulin.
- Rescue and Disaster Management
Infrared thermography can help find disaster victims in low-visibility conditions. Rescuers equipped with portable thermographs can spot people stranded in the woods or in the middle of the sea as from up to 5 kilometers away. This also makes it an ideal search tool for rescue boats, especially during night searches.
Another important application of infrared thermography is by searching for thermal anomalies near a volcano. By observing the anomalies, it’s possible to predict volcanic explosions way before they happen, allowing disaster management crews to make the necessary preparations to minimize casualties.
Infrared thermography is a fine example of aversatile technology, but it still has plenty of potentialfor improvement. Soon, more accurate thermal imagers and more intuitive data interpretation will expand the number of viable applications for thermal imagers across all industries.