Thermal imaging cameras are camera types that are used to convert heat (thermal energy) to colour (visible light) to analyse a particular scene or object. The name given to the image produced by a thermal imaging camera is thermogram, while the process of analysing the image is called thermography.
Most industries use thermal imaging cameras to monitor temperatures and object movements.
Infrared cameras are another tool used to detect heat. It can survey some electrical equipment like high voltage, clamp and faults in various conducting joints and corrosion effects.
The working principle of industrial thermal imaging cameras is based on the fact that all objects radiate heat energy out of their surface. Industrial thermal cameras use a microbolometer which is a device used to detect thermal energy in things. The detecting device comprises sets of pixels made of different materials, mainly vanadium oxide and amorphous silicon.
The material used in the industrial thermal imaging camera will change its electrical resistance when it is heated by the thermal energy radiated by the objects. The electric resistance can then be calculated, measured and converted to an easy to read temperature value. For each temperature value you see on display, a thermogram is developed by allocating shades or colours.
What to consider when buying the best industrial thermal imaging cameras?
Several components are available that can change the quality and price of an industrial thermal camera. The most and main important factor you should consider when buying a thermal camera for your industrial monitoring include:
- Thermal sensitivity
- Detection resolution
Detection resolution involves the number of pixels present in the microbolometer array. For most industrial thermal imaging camera detectors, 640ꓫ480, 320ꓫ240, and 160ꓫ120 pixel are the available resolutions.
The first set of numbers on the resolution pixel represents the number of horizontal pixels, while the second part translates to the vertical pixel in an array. For example, a 320ꓫ240 cameral detector produces screen images containing 76800 pixels.
Each pixel has a different temperature associated with them. The higher the resolution, the more visible and clearer the images are on display.
Thermal sensitivity is the ability of the camera to detect the slightest temperature difference. For example, an industrial camera can differentiate two different surfaces using a degree temperature difference of five-hundredths if it has a sensitivity of 0.05⁰C.
The size of the surveying area will determine the resolution required.
Features present in the industrial thermal imaging cameras
The most important component found in thermal cameras is a memory card which can transfer captured images via USB interface into the PC. All the imaging cameras contain software that allows image analysation to create final words for industrial safety.
Like other electronic devices, thermal cameras contain a device that makes one imager more suitable and attractive than others based on a particular user.
Different manufacturers offer different style and design of industrial thermal imaging cameras to suit different market needs. We offer the best and high-quality FLIR thermal cameral for monitoring your industrial activities for safety and inspection failures.
It is essential to own your industrial thermal imaging cameras since they hold crucial information that you can use in future for costly repair reduction and inspection failures.
Reasons why thermal imaging cameras work better at night
Ambient temperature plays an important role is the best performance of thermal cameras at night. The environment’s core temperature and unheated objects are significantly low at night compared to a sunny day.
Thermal imaging sensors can display warm surfaces very well at high contrast. The unique lens in thermal cameras helps it to focus infrared energy produced by an object onto a thermal detector which is heat sensitive.
Thermal cameras are unaffected by light; hence they work in daylight using similar strength as in total darkness.
Unfortunately, industrial thermal imaging cameras cannot see through walls since the walls are thick and insulated enough to prevent infrared radiation penetration.
Type of thermal imaging cameras
There are three main types of thermal cameras: long wavelength, mid-wavelength and short wavelength. Each thermal imaging camera type has a role to play in industrial monitoring and maintenance based on the operation and use.
The ability to see objects in the dark makes heat imaging cameras different, meaningful, and more advanced than regular cameras. Always head to a reputable dealer like Process Parameters or Fluke.