Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it's the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. The higher the object's temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot.
Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible infrared or "heat" radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities. Nearly everything gets hot before it fails, making infrared cameras extremely cost-effective, valuable diagnostic tools in many diverse applications. And as industry strives to improve manufacturing efficiencies, manage energy, improve product quality, and enhance worker safety, new applications for infrared cameras continually emerge.
Why use infrared thermography in the building industry?
Since the oil crisis in the 1970s we have become increasingly conscious that our energy stocks are valuable and limited. Global warming due to CO2 emissions is also known to be largely caused by pollution related to burning fossil fuels used for heating buildings. Infrared can easily detect building abnormalities that result into energy losses. By repairing these areas energy can be saved.
Architects and contractors are faced with new materials and ever-shorter production times. Efficient planning, supervision and documentation of the execution with regard to air tightness and thermal insulation are demanded. Unhealthy situations due to mould build-up or moist need to be avoided. Infrared thermography can provide important information so that costly and time-consuming repair work can be avoided.
Furthermore, to a building owner or an insurance company involved in property damage settlement, clear images of normally invisible diagnostic evidence can be invaluable for planning the restoration effort and rationalizing settlements
Thermal imaging has evolved into one of the most valuable diagnostic tools for Predictive Maintenance. By detecting anomalies often invisible to the naked eye, thermography allows corrective action to be taken before costly system failures occur.
Infrared cameras have become compact systems that look just like a normal video camera, are easy to use and generate a real-time high-resolution image. Numerous industries worldwide have discovered the advantage of incorporating infrared cameras in their Predictive Maintenance programs.