Infrared Imaging Services LLC

Your Complete Source for Thermal Imaging,
Infrared Consulting and Certification Training

Call 845-641-5482 and find out how Infrared
can help your business!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Thermography?

Answer -Thermography is the art and science of using infrared to observe and measure the temperature  of an object's surface. The total range of the electromagnetic spectrum classified, as "infrared radiation" is .1um to 1000um

The difference between a thermal imager and a regular daylight camera is the daylight camera’s sensor is sensitive to electromagnetic energy in the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum while the thermal imager’s sensor is sensitive to the slightly lower frequency energy of EM energy in the infrared portion of the spectrum at  .1um to 1000um wavelengths.

Every physical object is made up of atoms and electrons, which vibrate; the temperature of an object depends on how fast its electrons are vibrating. The faster they vibrate the higher the energy levels and the warmer the object gets. As the temperature of a surface increases the wavelength of the energy radiated decreases (Planks Constant) and the energy emitted gets higher. Eventually, a surface can become so hot that the frequency of the energy increases to the point that it can be seen without the need of a thermal imager. At this point the surface may appear as red in color, we call this “Red-hot”. 

As a surface continues to heat up, the wavelength continues to be come shorter, the radiated energy becomes stronger and the color is moving through the visible spectrum as the surface heats. We see the color of the increased temperature going from red hot and moving through the color spectrum to orange, blue and finally white-hot.  If the temperature continues to climb, the frequency will leave the daylight spectrum and enter the Ultra Violet portion of the EM spectrum. An example of UV radiation caused by heat is the flash of an arc welder. The “light” of the arc is a whitish blue, a temperature hot enough to melt steel and emit EM radiation in the UV portion of the spectrum

San interesting fact is that some snakes like Pythons and Rattlesnakes have a row of heat sensors in their jaws and can detect their prey in total darkness. Not only can the see their prey in the dark, they can follow the heat trail left on the ground by the prey animal. These snakes “see” in infrared. Animals such as caribou can see in UV, which helps them see the camouflaged white fur of a wolf against a snowy background. The wolf fur shows up as black in UV!

What does Emissivity mean?

Answer

The term "Emissivity" is used to describe the efficiency of a surface for radiating Electromagnetic energy at a given wavelength as compared to a perfect, theoretical "Blackbody” radiator.  It is a value expressed as a percentage from 0% to 100% where 0% would be no emission of infrared energy and 100% would imply the perfect infrared radiator. In the real world, there is no perfect radiator so emissivity value of an object will always be a fraction of 100%, such as .98, or .45. 

The flip side of Emissivity is called "Reflectivity". Emissivity and reflectivity are two sides of the same coin; you cannot have one without the other. All surfaces have both an emissive component and a reflective component, at the same time. For example, a surface with an emissivity value .82 also has a reflectivity value of .18 for a total of 100%.

The higher the reflectivity value is the more "shiny" the object appears in visible light and infrared. For an infrared imager viewing a surface, which has an “E” value of .5 it, is also .5 reflective. This means that 50% of the energy seen by the infrared imager may be coming from another source being reflected off of the target surface. The reflected energy may be from source colder than the target’s surface or hotter than the target’s surface. Unfortunately, the infrared imager cannot tell the difference between reflected and emitted energy, that determination is left to the trained thermographer to sort out.

Wood, concrete, dirt, water, brick, human skin, most organic materials all have relativity high emissivity values and are good emitters and absorbers (Kirchhoff) of infrared radiation. These materials can easily be viewed through an infrared imager and measured with accurate results by adjusting the imager's emissivity value to match the "E" value of the objects surface.

Low emissivity surfaces such as polished steel, shiny copper, aluminum foil, and in general metals with various degrees of light oxidation do not emit infrared well. With these materials the infrared imager will “see” relatively little of the objects heat and much more of what the shiny surface is reflecting from the background of the room it is in. Low emissivity surfaces are more prone to measurement and observational errors because they do not radiate infrared well.

Surface emissivity and reflectivity are a function of the micro texture of a surface relative to the incident wavelength. When the texture becomes so fine that the wavelengths can no longer fit into the texture, it is reflected away from the surface. In addition, because of the mismatch between wavelength size and surface texture size the surface cannot emit infrared energy.  Simply put, reflective surfaces are bad antennas for broadcasting and receiving electromagnetic energy at IR frequencies.

When the EM wavelengths are able to fit into the surface micro texture, not only can the infrared energy be absorbed, but it can also be broadcasted or emitted.  Surfaces with high emissivity values are very good at broadcasting and receiving electromagnetic energy at IR frequencies.

 

What type of equipment do we use?

We use the P640 High Definition  infrred camera from FLIR, the first and largest infrared camera manufacture in the world!

The P640 infrared camera/thermal imager sets a new standard for professional thermographers with its high-definition 640 X 480 infrared detector delivering exceptional resolution and image quality for accurate infrared surveys. Due to its high pixel count, accurate readings can be taken on smaller objects at further distances. High Definition is what gives Infrared Imaging Services some of the clearest and most informative Infrared images available in the industry today with 307,000 individual temperature measurement pixels, that's 4 times the pixel resolution of conventional cameras Infrared cameras!

Take a look at the beautiful mages above, on the Photos page to see how fantastic an infrared image can look when it has been captured by Infrared Imaging Services  LLC using our FLIR P640!

Where can Thermography be used?

In the first question, "What is Thermography?" We discussed that everything above the temperature of Absolute Zero gives off some amount of heat so if that is true and it is, then the applications for Infrared analysis are virtually endless!

For example, there are medical uses; if someone twisted an ankle and it swelled up, Infrared can show how far the inflammation had spread. It can also look at arthritis, carpel tunnel and other injuries, diseases and body functions.

Commercial property management and manufacturing companies conduct infrared electrical inspections of their buildings and systems to safely detect overloaded and loose or corroded electrical distribution equipment. Infrared is used to detect the signs of roof leaks and wet insulation, tank levels, clogged pipes and broken valves. It can find broken steam pipes below ground and leaking radiant heating pipes.  

Missing insulation, air leaks and other building energy problems can be diagnosed by using infrared inspection. Infrared is perfect for locating high friction points of worn belts and bearings, electrical motor inspection, process equipment such as heaters and furnaces, air conditioning, steam, printed circuit board evaluation, pollution tracking, forest fire mapping, surveillance (and no, it cannot see "through walls" like in the movies) military and many more applications.

Click here to link to the FLIR corporation's application page. Flir is one of the industry leaders and a manufacturer of Infrared technology. You will find they have many very interesting application notes. Because "everything gives off heat" you may have an idea of how Infrared technology could work for you, if so, just give us a call, we'd be glad to discuss your application.

Think ahead, call Infrared!

Contact us today to ensure you are taking advantage of all the benefits Infrared technology has to offer at your company.
Infrared Imaging Services LLC 845-641-5482

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Areas We Serve

Rockland County - New York

Located in New City, NY, Below is a partial list of towns Infrared Imaging Services LLC: New City, Nyack, Piermont, Haverstraw, Stony Point, Nanuet, Pearl River, Orangeburg, Chestnut Ridge, Wesley Hills, Pomona, Suffern, Airmont, Sloatsburg

Orange County - New York

Tuxedo, Goshen, Monroe, Central Valley, New Windsor, Newburgh, West Point, fort Montgomery, Middletown, Florida, Warwick, Port Jervis

Westchester County - New York

Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, White Plains, Ardsley, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Bronxville, Eastchester, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Port Chester, Valhalla, Hawthorne Pleasantville, Armonk, Chappaqua, Croton, Mount Kisco, Bedford, Buchanan, Yorktown Heights, Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, south Salem, North Salem, Golden’s Bridge, Yorktown Heights

Bergen County - New Jersey

Ramsey, Mahwah, Upper Saddle River, Saddle River, Montvale, Park Ridge, Old Tappan, Northvale, Alpine, Closter, Norwood, Westwood Washington Township, Waldwick, Wyckoff, Ridgewood, Paramus, New Milford, Tenafly, Englewood Cliffs, Englewood, Hackensack, Teaneck, Fairlawn, Hawthorne

New York City - New York

Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island