Thermography, also referred to as thermal imaging, is the science of acquiring and analysing data from non-contact infrared imaging devices. This process has been made simpler over the years due to the development of more efficient and high resolution infrared cameras. The principle behind these devices is fairly simple.
They convert the invisible infrared radiation emitted by an object into temperature which can be then be displayed as a thermal image. As such, thermography is a very useful testing tool in the field of Engineering. Herein is a brief account on thermography and testing.
1. NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING IN CIVIL ENGINEERING
The evaluation of the performance of building materials is crucial for constructing and maintaining structures. This has become even more important today as engineers try out new materials with unknown properties and different techniques. The characteristics of most building materials are related to the action of temperature on them. Therefore, thermography is employed to improve technical regulations and solutions in order to guarantee the comfort and durability of buildings.
Also, it makes it possible to test material pathologies without destroying them. Thermal imaging can also be used to evaluate building performance over an extended time period. This enables the detection of insulation defects, faulty ducts, air leakages, heat loss and dampness.
2. EVALUATION IN POWER ENGINEERING
This is one of the more common applications of thermography. Power engineers use this technique to inspect power transformers and other machines. The main advantage of this evaluation method is that the transformers can be examined in normal operation mode.
Any defects such as cold parts or overheating are easier to detect when transformers are not switched off. These would be very difficult and time-consuming to find with conventional inspection methods. This is not to mention the safety and cost concerns associated with switching off entire lines.
There are many other applications of thermal imaging in engineering and other fields. However, many of these applications have not been thoroughly studied yet and it could prove even more useful in coming years