thermal inspections

Three Ways to Conduct Thermal Inspections

Have you ever wondered how most pipes in buildings get maintained? Or how about some unwanted leaks?

These are just some of the things that thermal imaging can do.

Thermal came from the Greek thermē which means heat. With that said, thermal imaging is done using a thermal camera or thermal imager and is essentially a heat sensor that is capable of detecting any small difference in temperatures in objects. It collects the infrared radiation from the objects then proceeds to create an electronic image based on the information collected.

While it is never a complete guarantee that nothing will be overlooked, thermal inspection is a way to ensure further unforeseen damage can be prevented. The use of thermal imaging has been becoming part of practice when it comes to inspections and for good reason. Thermal imaging is important in the detection of unwanted and excessive moisture in building materials, insulation gaps, heating, and cooling placement, leaks, and unwanted water infiltration to name a few.

Because the purpose of imaging is different for each case depending on what equipment is being inspected, there is no one imaging solution that fits all infrared inspections with the thermal camera. However, there are three commonly used methods that can cover most situations.

Baseline Thermography

This is an easy way to dive into thermal imaging as it can work for almost any application. This is done by first scanning the object or equipment when it is first commissioned or used, which is then turned into the point of reference for future inspections. That is called the baseline. This approach allows you to spot any anomalies down the line of the object’s lifecycle.

Thermal Trending Thermography

Once the baseline has been set, this approach of thermal trending thermography can be used to compare how temperature is distributed in the same components over time. This helps in detecting any change in performance over time and over the object’s lifecycle. This allows you to be one step ahead in scheduling the maintenance for the object before it becomes unable to function.

Comparative Thermography

This approach is based on the idea that you expect similar components under similar loads to have similar temperature profiles. Under this approach, you scan similar components with the thermal camera under the same conditions and compare the results. With three or more components it becomes easier to pick up any deviation or irregularity.

While this approach may seem simple at first, it becomes complex depending on the component being compared. The real difference in temperature that can be considered normal or irregularity will also be different for each component depending on their respective functions.

 

All of these approaches all work to help maintain appliances and ensure that it is running properly. Thermal inspections are a good measure to maintain the objects and also prevent them from further damage. With Fluke’s Thermal Cameras, you are guaranteed to perform thermal inspections with confidence and faster results and better imaging.

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