Published on 27-Nov-2023

Infrared Thermography and its Applications: An Overview

Infrared Thermography and its Applications: An Overview

Sources - Reliable Plant

Table of Contents


Infrared Thermography, a revolutionary technique used in Non-destructive Testing (NDT), employs specialized cameras to detect the imperceptible and invisible infrared energy emitted by objects.

This thermal energy, which is beyond the scope of human vision, serves as a tangible representation of heat in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Unlike visible light, the infrared spectrum encompasses all objects emitting infrared energy, even those seemingly cold, like ice cubes. 

In industries, Infrared Thermography proves invaluable for diagnosing issues as objects typically undergo temperature fluctuations before failure.

Similarly, in the built environment, it becomes a crucial tool for detecting thermal anomalies and exposing heat Leaks in Structures.

This introduction unravels the transformative potential of Infrared Thermography, allowing us to witness and understand the unseen forces shaping our surroundings using various NDT Techniques

Infrared Thermography Applications

What is Infrared Thermography?

Infrared thermography uses thermal imagers, to unveil the invisible thermal radiation emanating from objects, converting it into temperature data and projecting it to a visual representation of the temperature distribution, commonly referred to as Thermograms.

These thermal images act like a unique lens, exposing heat-producing objects that are imperceptible to the naked eye. 

Infrared thermography is a pivotal tool in various NDT Industries and is widely employed in predictive maintenance and condition monitoring.

Its applications span diverse industries, including machine condition monitoring, building diagnostics for moisture, roof inspections, and energy-loss assessments, as well as medical imaging for conditions like peripheral vascular disease and metabolic abnormalities.

Given that all objects emit thermal infrared energy above absolute zero, thermal imagers effortlessly capture and display infrared wavelengths irrespective of ambient light conditions.

A parallel can be drawn with night-vision goggles, showcasing the versatility of infrared thermography in detecting objects in darkness. 

In law enforcement and security, infrared thermography plays a crucial role, while its utility extends to chemical imaging, earth science imaging, and monitoring electrical and fluid systems.

Specific to plant maintenance, it proves invaluable in tasks such as inspecting motor conditions, identifying abnormal bearing friction, and monitoring refractory insulation.

The primary objective of infrared thermography in maintenance is to confirm normal machinery operation and detect abnormal heat patterns indicative of inefficiency or defects.

This process gives asset managers a significant advantage in condition monitoring.

While infrared imagers are user-friendly, decoding the generated data requires a nuanced understanding of their operation, coupled with baseline knowledge of radiometry and heat transfer processes.

Inspecting mechanical equipment through infrared thermography reveals a wealth of insights, but effective interpretation necessitates a holistic comprehension of the technology for NDT Services