Thermal Imaging Inspection: We Detect What You Can’t See

Thermographic inspections, also known as an infrared inspection is a contact-free predictive maintenance process that is widely used to find hidden faults in an object, instrument, and surface or a building structure. It is a non-destructive and non-invasive technique that temperature variations in a component as heat that flows through, from, or to it. It is also known as IR thermography, thermal thermography, thermal imaging, and IR thermometry. Thermal radiation is proportional to temperature changes. In other words, as the temperature of a part varies, so does the amount of radiation released. Components must be studied using infrared cameras since this type of radiation is a form of electromagnetic waves that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Infrared cameras can detect and view infrared energy that is emitted, reflected, or transmitted from a component. The thermal image can then be analyzed to determine the component’s temperature.

The aim of measuring a component’s temperature levels and differences is to find any hot spots where equipment may weaken or fail. Corrosion damage, breakage, voids, inclusions, and other flaws that affect heat transfer can all be detected using IR thermography. However, there must be an adequate temperature difference between the component and its surroundings to detect these anomalies.

Use of thermography

Thermal imaging is thought to have originated during the Korean War when it was used for military purposes such as scouting and night combat missions. Since then, its implementations have spread far and broad, covering many fields and a wide range of practical applications. Using thermography you can find hidden faults in equipment, surfaces, buildings, electrical panels, mechanical systems, and much more. Today thermography is widely used for home inspection purposes. Using thermal imaging you can find faults inside your building that are not visible to naked eye.

Below are a few areas where you can widely use thermography:

1. Electrical maintenance

Electrical system failures, such as failure of electrical wire insulation, terminals, and related parts are often detected with thermal imaging. Many electrical components are often hidden inside walls, ceilings, and floors. Many electrical components are not visible to us directly and any fault in them goes unnoticed. We often only learn of the problem when an issue arises. According to reports, failure of electrical components are estimated to be responsible for 10% of fires in manufacturing properties. Thermal imaging has a wide range of applications in electrical repairs as well. Thermal imaging is used to identify and pinpoint joints and parts that are at risk of overheating because they emit more heat. It can also help in the detection of faulty links that are well packed inside the walls.

2. Water leaks

Water leakage in any part of the house can cause significant damage to a home or building, and it is often difficult to detect until it is too late.

Fortunately, the good news is that a thermographic inspection is very helpful in identifying water leakages in one’s home or business. Using a thermal imaging camera it is easy to detect hidden water spots without cutting the walls. When there is a leakage, moisture will arise in the walls or at the surface. Using a thermal imaging camera, the moisture in the wall is detected by detecting subtle temperature variations and patterns that indicate the presence of moisture. Also, any breakage in water pipes can be found using a thermographic inspection.

3. Heat Loss Inspection

We can inspect heat loss through the building’s surface using our thermographic equipment.  Thermography uses infrared video and still cameras to measure surface temperatures. These tools see the light that is in the heat spectrum. The temperature differences of the building’s skin are captured in images which range from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. The images that result help the inspection team in determining where the insulation is needed, proving as a very useful technique to detect heat loss and air leakage in building envelopes.

4. In-floor heating

A thermographic inspection is the best non-destructive and non-invasive method to locate faults in your in-floor heating systems. This method can exactly pinpoint the hotspot without any need of digging or cutting into your floor. Inspections should be done regularly to catch leaks and possible failures early. If not fixed promptly, a faulty radiant heating system leak can waste energy and cause significant property damage.

Aside from the above mentioned areas, a professional thermographic inspection has countless other applications, ultimately detecting what we can’t see. To know more about thermal inspections and their uses you can reach Thermo Elite Inc. at 514-969-5150 not sure if this is for Ott or Mtl or you can email us at [email protected].

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