Infrared Thermography: Understanding Its Types and Uses

Infrared Thermography: Understanding Its Types and Uses

Infrared thermography has been around for ages. The technology is now used in many industries, from aeronautics to photography. The ongoing pandemic has made more people around the world aware of it. After all, they’ve been seeing it for months now when they use COVID 19 temperature screening devices. Here’s what you should know about it.

What’s Infrared Thermography?

Infrared thermography is the technology that uses an infrared imaging camera. It’s used to determine the temperature of a surface without contact. The device sees and measures the invisible infrared (IR) energy emitted by an object.

The naked eye can’t see infrared or thermal energy. It’s because its wavelength is too long for our eye’s sensors to see. While we can’t see it, we can feel it as at. Everything in the spectrum with a temperature above absolute zero has electromagnetic energy. It might come as a surprise to many but objects like ice cubes also emit radiation. Of course, the hotter an object is, the higher the IR radiation it emits. This makes it easier for the camera to pick up.

There are two types of thermography:

  • Passive: The camera points towards the object or area in passive thermography. It uses an outside heat source (ex. a lamp) to create a thermal map or image of the subject. It measures the difference in temperature of the object’s surface to make the image. Any discontinuity or change under the surface could mean a problem.
  • Active: This type measures the subject’s temperature without any external heat source. The thermal camera will show the heat’s effect on the subject. For example, it can see if an object has become damaged. It can also pinpoint the location of the problem by mapping out the temperature. This is very useful in certain industries, like aeronautics and construction.

Top Applications of the IR Thermography

Human eyes have limitations in what they can detect. People can only see a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. People can’t see intense light wavelengths. Long and slow wavelengths are also invisible to the human eye. This is where thermal imaging and infrared cameras come in. This technology helps expand what the eyes can see. Here’s where IR cameras are often used:

  • Aerial Imaging

Aerial thermography was first used by the military. Some experts say it’s already been in use since the Korean War. At the time, a thermal scanner camera was being used to find enemy forces on the ground. The military could also locate key resources this way. Its high resolution made it easy to detect small details even from far away. It made it ideal for monitoring and observing the enemy.

The military is always looking for ways to improve technology. These upgrades are now used in other fields. Here are some ways thermography is being used today:

  • See the minute detail of small items on the ground
  • Assess environmental damage without compromising people’s safety
  • Helps combine visual images and GPS data
  • Observation of massive geological areas for any changes
  • Inspection of thermal storage capacities of industrial facilities
  • Improve Security

Like its military counterpart, IR cameras can enhance security around an establishment. The technology does more than detect threats or show movement on the ground. An automatic temperature scanner is also used to find some-filled rooms. It is also used to discover chemicals and weapons that are now allowed inside a facility. It’s also a very good way to safeguard your home.

  • Enhance Photography

Thermography has made a big difference in the videos and photographs that we take. Military planes and police helicopters are often equipped with FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared). These cameras can spot heat sources and display them on video. They’re different from night-vision equipment as they can only show a specific range.

Thermal imaging also makes it possible to capture high-speed images. Photographers and scientists can now observe how parts and systems work in detail. It also helps researchers understand fast-acting chemical processes. The technology provides a lot of information. It’s especially useful when combined with a powerful reporting and measuring app.

  • Advance Medical Treatments

Infrared thermography also has a lot of applications in the healthcare industry. As we’ve been seeing these past two years, a body temperature sensor is now used to check for COVID temperature. It can also discover cancer earlier. It can locate arthritis sources and catch circulation problems before they worsen. These cameras or scanners are a boon since they’re non-invasive. Most are easy to use as well.

  • Safer and Faster Plant Inspections

Health and safety inspections are now required in factories and manufacturing plants. Infrared technology does a lot to keep employees safe. It also ensures the company works like a well-oiled machine. Thermography is being used to check for problems in the machinery. These issues could lead to accidents. It’s a good addition to predictive maintenance as well. It makes it easier to find issues in both manufacturing and electronic firms.

Infrared systems also help streamline the inspection process. Thermal cameras can assess equipment without requiring contact with the machines. The company’s daily operations won’t become hindered and there’s minimal risk to the employees.

Take Advantage of Technology

More companies are using technology to keep their employees healthy and happy. You can do the same with Well Health Works. We are the premier provider of corporate wellness solutions. Our experts can design programs to keep your staff safe and productive. We offer COVID-19 employee screenings in your workplace. We also offer flu shots and biometric screenings. We can also install an AI temperature screening station if needed. You can reach us at 833-935-9355 or at

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