Infrared Technology - Overview

Infrared Technology

Accurate infrared temperature monitoring improves product quality and increases productivity

Infrared (IR) thermometers are non-contact temperature measuring devices that detect infrared radiation from the surface of all objects and calculate it to relevant temperature readings.

Download the Principles and Benefits of IR Temperature Measurement to learn more about these effective thermometers that take temperature measurements in just a fraction of a second without touching the object.

Temperature plays an important role as an indicator of the condition of a product or piece of machinery, both in manufacturing and in quality control. Downtimes are decreased since the manufacturing processes can proceed without interruption and under optimal conditions:

Benefits of Noncontact IR Temperature Measurement

  • It is fast (in the millisecond range) – saving time and allowing for more measurements and data accumulation.
  • It facilitates measurement of moving targets i.e. conveyor processes.
  • Measurements can be taken of hazardous or physically inaccessible objects i.e. high-voltage parts or large measurement distances.
  • Measurements of high temperatures (above 1300°C/2375°F) present no problems. Contact thermometers often cannot be used in such conditions.
  • There is no interference as no energy is lost from the target.
  • Noncontact temperature measurement is wearfree – there is no risk of contamination and no mechanical effect on the surface of the object.

Infrared technology has been utilized successfully in industry for decades, but new developments have reduced costs, increased reliability, and resulted in smaller, noncontact infrared measurement devices.

What is infrared?

Every form of matter with a temperature above absolute zero (-273.15°C / -459.8°F) emits infrared radiation according to its temperature. This is called characteristic radiation.

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Discovery of infrared radiation

The discovery of infrared radiation by the physicist Wilhelm Herschel at the beginning of the 19th Century opened new possibilities for measuring temperature – without contact and thus without affecting the object being measured and the measurement device itself.

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How do ratio pyrometers work?

A pyrometer is a type of thermal sensor used for measuring high temperatures of a surface, often in large furnaces or kilns. These devices measure the temperature of an object or surface from the thermal radiation emitted, also known as radiometry.

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Accurate Noncontact Infrared Temperature Measurement

To assure accurate noncontact infrared temperature measurement keep in mind the following: Distance to Target (Spot) Ratio, Field of View, Environmental Conditions, Ambient Temperatures and Emissivity.

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Temperature Monitoring of Rotary Kiln Shell

In cement manufacturing processes, it is clear that one of the most critical steps takes place in the rotary kiln. When it comes to extending the life of this piece of equipment, as well as preventing failures, it is imperative that operators understand the condition of the refractory material coating it.

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Growing Industrial Value for Fixed Thermal Imaging

Overheating, underheating, hot spots, and other undesirable temperature-related conditions can be detected early with thermal imagers and proactively addressed before the situation escalates. Compared to the old days, this is a monumental improvement.

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What is emissivity?

Emissivity is the measure of an object's ability to emit infrared energy. Emitted energy indicates the temperature of the object. Emissivity can have a value from 0 (shiny mirror) to 1.0 (blackbody). Most organic, painted, or oxidized surfaces have emissivity values close to 0.95.

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Emissivity - Non-metals

Some common non-metals are asphalt, carbon, glass, paper and plastic.

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Emissivity - Metals

Common metals are steel, copper, iron, titanium and zinc, among others.

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Frequently Asked Questions about IR Sensors

What is a two-color pyrometer? What happens if the IR sensor is overheated? How do I calibrate my instrument? Find these answers and more.

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