What is Thermography?

In thermography, a camera captures the intensity of radiation of the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum and turns it to a picture. Industrial plants use thermography to inspect mechanical and electrical equipment by taking images showing heat distribution. This allows them to monitor performance of the systems, and make repairs before important services are grounded.

Thermography Allows Reading of Temperatures over Large Areas

Although industrial plants use infrared thermometers for spot readings, they could easily miss important components that need repair if they don’t scan large areas. That’s why they need to use thermal imaging cameras which can scan entire systems at once—no overheating or hazards will be missed.

The thermal image cameras are an asset to these industries because they: Factors Affecting Reading of Thermal Images

  • Store important information
  • Measure temperatures
  • Help identify potential problems
  • Allow inspections to be carried out
  • Are very easy to use, just like digital cameras or camcorders

To benefit from thermography, you should be able to correctly read the images produced by thermal image cameras. Factors that could influence temperature reading include: Thermal conductivity, Emissivity, Weather conditions,

  • Thermal conductivity: Since the thermal properties of various materials used differ, thermal conductivity of two dissimilar materials can cause large differences of temperature in some situations.
  • Emissivity: To correctly read images, it is important to take into account how effectively the object produces infrared radiation. Just like with thermal conductivity, emissivity also depends on the properties of the materials.
  • Weather conditions: The weather heavily influences temperature readings. It is important to note that high temperatures mask readings by warming up the object, while a lower weather conditions can cool it down.

Thermography is used in both high and low voltage installations. Thermal imaging can detect failure of high voltage installations. These include issues such as overheated connection, defects on insulators, and connections that haven’t been secured properly. The cameras can also be used to scan low voltage applications such as motor control centres and electrical cabinets. They can help you establish how severe the problem is, and help determine the timeframe needed to fix it.

You Can Monitor Mechanical Installations

Thermal information can be collected with thermal image cameras and used to monitor mechanical equipment. If such systems aren’t monitored, a problem might occur in some components of the system. For example, thermal imaging cameras will show a worn out roller in a conveyor belt. Usually when some parts of the system aren’t working as well as they should be, more heat will be generated. Thus, a system or equipment typically produces a lot of heat before failure. Readings in the thermal imaging cameras will show if the machine is operating at its normal temperature or if it is failing.

Shows Heat Loss

You can use thermography to check condition of tubes, pipes and valve installations. Heat loss caused by failing or poor installation will show up in the image. This will allow you to quickly repair the pipes and avoid more energy loss or additional damage. Thermal imaging can also detect pipework defects such as blocked piping or leaking pumps and valves.

Detects flare

Some production processes generate gasses that burn off flares which cannot be seen by the human eye. In this case, thermal cameras can produce images which show the flare. If the flare isn’t burning, the harmful gas could be released into the atmosphere. That’s why you should always use the thermal image camera.

Use in Other Applications

Thermal image can also show the level of liquid in a tank due to temperature differences. It can also be used to inspect paper mills and monitor aeronautical material. Thermography provides the best solution for these and other applications.


Thermography is important in many industrial applications. You shouldn’t skimp on money when buying a thermal image camera since the safety of workers and installations depend on it. You need to choose a thermal imaging camera that will not only suit the needs of your company, but one that you will be able to use for a long time.