Thermal imaging refers to the production of images by cameras that detect radiation in the infrared (IR) range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared radiation has a wavelength longer than visible light, though shorter than that of microwaves, measuring approximately 900 to 14,000 nanometers.
Thermographic cameras produce images in a way similar to cameras that use visible light, except that visible light cameras capture wavelengths in the 450- to 750-nanometer range of the electromagnetic spectrum-wavelengths too short for thermal imaging equipment to register.
All objects emit infrared radiation, the amount of which is proportional to an object’s temperature. Thermography makes it possible to view objects by varying degrees of heat, with warmer objects rendered brighter than cooler objects.
Thermographic inspection is a form of nondestructive testing that is safe, non-intrusive and noncontact. It allows quick detection of subsurface defects a few millimeters under large surfaces. With passive thermographic inspection, features of interest are naturally at a higher or lower temperature than the background. With active thermographic inspection, an energy source is needed to produce a thermal contrast between the feature of interest and the background.
Electrophysics (www.electrophysics.com) introduces the HotShot HD portable infrared camera product line. The thermographic camera has a 640 by 480 resolution-four times the number of pixels of 320 by 240 cameras and more than 20 times the pixels of entry-level infrared cameras. The camera is designed for maintenance professionals responsible for inspection of high-voltage electrical systems, production machinery and building envelopes. The camera includes a patent-pending laser highlighting system that permits camera operators to more easily identify objects on the thermal image. The camera’s software is able to suggest typical problem causes and recommendations for observed equipment symptoms to the operator.
FLIR Systems Inc. (www.goinfrared.com/tpr1) introduces the T-series infrared cameras. The cameras have 76,800 pixels, delivering four times the resolution of 160 by 120 infrared cameras. The series also includes a 1.3 mega pixel visual camera, one-hand control ergonomics, an eight-hour battery life and isothermic thermal fusion. Other features include one-touch automatic or manual focus, 8X continuous zoom, high thermal sensitivity, five temperature spots, Delta T functionality, operator-directed audible/visible alarming, and voice and touch-screen controls.
Palmer Wahl Instrumentation Group (www.palmerwahl.com) introduces a long-distance model of the Heat Spy thermal imaging camera. The HSI3003 is fully radiometric and measures the temperature of every pixel. Easy Report software allows the operator to insert multiple images with data taken during a site survey to produce an inspection report. The instrument has a temperature range of 32 to 482 F (0 to 250 C), and a trigger activated, Class II laser that identifies the problem hot spot shown on the marked center of the display.
Sensors Unlimited Inc., part of Goodrich Corp., (www.sensorsinc.com) introduces the shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera based on indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology. The camera can be used to monitor a variety of hot processes and furnaces as a control of process consistency and quality. The camera is made for a range of thermal emission intensities produced by objects from 150 to thousands of degrees Celsius. Unlike longer wavelength cameras that work at wavelengths beyond 2.5 microns, the cameras image through the low-cost glass or quartz materials used in safety windows or high-temperature lens optics. Using a base Camera Link interface, the camera can be integrated into a machine vision environment to inspect product dimensions and defects while hot; monitor flame shape, material flow and wall build up in furnaces; or detect process end-point from emissivity changes.
Thermal Wave Imaging Inc. (www.thermalwave.com) introduces the EchoTherm VT and Flash system, a set of inspection tools that combine the speed and ease of thermographic inspection with state-of the-art processing. The result is a reliable and accurate turbine component inspection system. The system offers fast, accurate blade wall thickness and thermal barrier coating (TBC) thickness measurement and detection of defects such as wall thinning, cooling channel blockages and anomalies, core shift, TBC delamination, porosity and cracks.
Jenoptik-IR (www.jenoptik-ir.com) introduces the TCM640 infrared camera, designed for machine vision, automatic test and quality control process applications. The camera provides temperature measurements to within 0.06 C per pixel. There are multiple lenses available that can spatially resolve objects down to 25 microns or have a field of view as wide as 65 by 51 degrees. The camera uses a 640 by 480 microbolometer that is sensitive from 7.5 to 14 microns and can operate in harsh environmental conditions and accurately record temperatures from -40 C to more than 2,500 C. The camera can be interfaced with GigE, Mini Camera link, RS232 or Firewire connections that export full radiometric 16-bit 640 by 480 image data at programmable sample rates up to 60 hertz. Operators can externally synchronize the camera with either TTL or LVDS triggers. The company also provides a LabView developer’s Vision Builder kit and custom software support for third-party software integration.
JSPI Corp. (www.imaging1.com) introduces the RAZ-IR thermal infrared camera. The camera’s infrared system combines accurate temperature measurement, sharp thermal images, digital image storage, USB connectivity, laser pointer, CCTV imaging and analysis software. Because the camera is a full-screen radiometric thermal camera, it can measure temperature at any pixel in the image. The camera is available in three versions: SX, LITE and PRO.
Janos Technology (www.janostech.com) designs, manufactures and tests thermal imaging camera lenses for LWIR, MWIR and SWIR systems. Designs include 2FOV, 3FOV, continuous zoom and catadioptric systems. The company can provide lenses for any type of thermal imaging application.