Frequently Asked Questions
What is Infrared Thermography?
Infrared Thermography is the acquisition, storage, and evaluation of radiated energy using an infrared imaging device. Different levels of this radiated energy from the scene viewed are displayed as different colors, or levels of grayscale, on a video monitor.
Do all objects emit infrared radiation?
Yes. All objects above absolute zero (-459F or -273C) emit invisible infrared radiation in the form of infrared rays. This radiation is a function of a number of different object characteristics, only one of which is temperature.
What minimum temperature is required to obtain an image on the viewer?
Approximately -35 degrees Celsius.
Is Infrared Thermography intrusive or destructive?
No. However, any coverings over electrical panels will need to be removed so that the components behind the panel can be viewed. Additionally, when a moisture source is discovered or suspected, it is confirmed with a moisture meter that utilizes two small probes about the size of a sewing pin or tack. If these holes are created in a waterproof barrier, they are sealed with an appropriate caulk or other sealant after the verification of moisture.
What systems and processes can benefit from Infrared Thermography?
Electrical systems, roofing systems, building envelopes, energy audits, blast furnaces, tank inspections, and mechanical systems are some of the most popular uses for Infrared Thermography today. However, other uses are being discovered all the time. Basically, if a temperature difference is created or can be created, there is a very good chance that infrared imaging can be of benefit.
Is Infrared Thermography safe?
Definitely, YES! The Infrared cameras are as safe as any everyday camera.
How will I know where the problem area is?
To assist in repairs by field personnel, a visible light photo is included alongside the infrared photo.
Why canít I perform the same inspection with a regular camera with infrared film, or even with night vision goggles?
A regular film camera captures only reflected energy, which is what is visible to the human eye. For infrared film, a temperature of approximately 527F degrees (275C degrees) is required to produce an accurate image of emitted radiation. Any image produced on the infrared film from lower temperatures will be due to reflected energy rather than emitted energy. Night vision goggles actually give off infrared energy that is usually not visible to the unaided human eye. The energy is then reflected off the objects in the scene and is then visible to the night vision equipment.
When should an electrical inspection be performed?
The electrical inspection should be performed when the system is under load and, if subject to wind exposure, when winds are low or not present.
When should a roofing survey be performed?
A roofing survey should be performed only after the roof has had sufficient thermal loading, or after a thermal loading has been created. Also, the wind should be low and, of course, no rainfall. Additionally, there should be no standing water on the roof.
Can you provide a video of the inspection?
Yes. A video can be provided if needed.
Can you tell me the cause of the problem?
No. We are not a repair service, nor do we hold licenses or certifications in those the various specialties.
How often should the infrared inspection be performed?
This answer varies depending on the critical nature of the system or component being inspected. Systems that are very critical to your bottom line should probably be inspected more frequently. For example, plants, distribution centers, hospitals, etc. that have a large dependence on electricity, may want to perform the inspections either annually, or semi-annually. The same thing goes for buildings that may have a large amount of inventory or exposure to pedestrian traffic may want to have the roof covering inspected every 6 or 12 months.
How does it work?
The amount of heat generated by mechanical or electrical components is positively correlated to its failure. The more heat generated, the more likely the component is to fail. The bright side is that, with more heat, the level of infrared emission goes up thus allowing potential problem areas to be detected prior to catastrophic failure.
Is it necessary to shut down operations while the inspection is being performed?
No. The inspection should not interfere with any of your operations.
Can infrared imagers see through walls?
No. Infrared imagers cannot see through anything. They simply see only the very surface of items. However, due to varying masses within walls, under roofing materials, etc., different levels of heat across the surface tend to create images that may resemble an X-ray, giving the impression that you are seeing through things.
Can Infrared imagers see mold?
No. Infrared imagers cannot see or detect mold. They can, however, detect areas of moisture and since you canít have mold without moisture, they are frequently used for mold detection.