Thermal image made with thermographic cameras is one of the most valuable tools for inspection and diagnostics, allowing the detection of imperfections and anomalies that cannot be identified in the visible range.
In a general way, we talk about thermographic cameras, when referring to devices that contain a matrix sensor being each pixel, for all effects, a calibrated temperature meter. Therefore, the acquired image represents temperature differences between distinct points of the scene and each pixel contains information about the measured absolute temperature.
Although it is not a strict norm but generally speaking, thermal cameras correspond to those in which the temperature measurement is not calibrated. In this way, due to the technology itself, the temperature differences between distinct pixels are determined with reliability. Thermal cameras are adequate for relative measurements but not reliable for absolute temperature measurements of each pixel. Thus, we can say that a thermographic camera is a calibrated thermal camera.
Also relevant is the fact that thermal cameras measure surface temperature of the object under inspection. The interior of the object is examined only to the extent that influences the surface.
In order to achieve a correct measurement is relevant to consider environmental factors such as temperature and humidity of the air and distance to the object of interest. We should not forget also the orientation of the object with respect to the camera as the measurement of surfaces in front of the camera are more precise (surfaces perpendicular to the axis determined by the camera’s objective). In the same manner, object’s characteristics specially its emissivity play a crucial role for obtaining a good quality thermographic image.
For the mentioned reasons, in thermography it is important to know how to use the camera and all its features, much more than in other imaging applications in the visible range. Relying on a powerful software as Infratec cameras do, facilitates the achievement of good quality measurements. Remember that in thermography, taking images is indeed to measure pixel by pixel. The most complex your application is the better you will appreciate Infratec capabilities.
In thermography there are two basic types of sensors and cameras:
1) Cameras with microbolometers sensors – uncooled
With sensitivity in the far infrared (LWIR), typically 7 – 14 micron (µm).
They are intrinsically slow (30 Hz at 640 x 512 px is the typical).
2) Cameras with quantum sensors – cooled
With sensitivity in the midwave infrared (MWIR), typically 2 - 6 micron (µm) or less.
They are faster, more sensitive and expensive than the previous ones and are dedicated to the most demanding applications (high resolution, high sensitivity, high speed, microthermography).
Thermographic cameras catalog
Our wide variety of cameras, added to a wide possibility of lenses and filters, including cameras with incorporated zoom, allows us to cover the most demanding applications. Some industries and applications that make use of thermographic cameras are for example:
- High speed thermography: inspection and analysis of fast processes
- Microthermography: thermal analysis of small features down to micron range
- Additive manufacturing: line monitoring of parameters of thermal processes
- Laser industry: advanced thermography in materials laser processing with heat generation
- Welding inspection
- Materials testing: nondestructive essays (NDE)
- Spectral thermography: with precision filters incorporated
- Active thermography: for NDE and contactless testing in line and off-line solutions
- Adhesives and sealing: monitoring of temperatures and geometries, temperatures for use and processing, …
- Aerial thermography: detection of objects and persons in wide areas, structures and environment monitoring, forest and plantation surveillance, …
- Defense, surveillance and security: borders control, protection, …
- Thermal optimization: identification of problems at R&D stage
- Inspection of installations and power plants: identification of dangerous hotspots
- Inspection of mechanical systems
- Solar and photovoltaics industry
- Buildings thermography
All of it based not only in excellent quality cameras but also in powerful software packages oriented to specific applications or general-purpose use.
We are the distributors of InfraTec in Portugal and Spain: high-end and quality thermographic imaging.