‘A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.’
Thermal imaging is a way for us to 'see' heat or temperature. Heat or temperature is a measure of the amount of energy possessed by a material. Even cold materials, such as ice-cubes, give off energy. This form of energy is called infra-red and is part of the electromagnetic spectrum of energies that permeates our universe.
Normally infra-red is completely invisible to us, but a thermal camera can capture the relative amounts of infra-red given off by objects and use that to construct an image that allows us to 'see' the temperature of those objects.
Thermal imaging is a non-invasive way of surveying an area quickly and efficiently in a way that is easily accessible for everyone to see. The camera quite literally 'sees' the heat directly, and captures all the radiant infra-red given off by any object. The images are then presented in false colour, with the hottest areas highlighted in white and the coldest appearing as blue/black.
This has several advantages.
- The machinery or process need not be stopped whilst the images are taken. So maintenance is kept to a minimum.
- Since the camera does not interact with any processes, it is a completely safe form of non-destructive testing.
- The camera can also pick up on defects that may not be noticed during the course of a visual inspection. Such as overheating couplings or subsurface flaws in pipe-work.
- It also can be used to pinpoint areas in a building where cold air from the outside is entering and hot air from within is escaping.
This analysis is very useful for locating areas in either walls or roofs where water has penetrated and is not visible to the naked eye.
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