Atlantis Thermal Imaging
Atlantis Thermal imaging is a Toronto based thermographic consulting and Energy Management Evaluation services company.
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Thermography

Thermal Imaging

Infrared energy is energy which is not visible because its wavelength is too long for the sensors in our eyes to detect. It is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared spectrum, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits infrared electromagnetic energy. Even cold objects such as ice cubes, emit infrared radiation. The higher the temperature of the object, the greater the infrared radiation emitted. The Infrared camera allows us to see what our eyes cannot!

Infrared radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and travels at the speed of light. It can be reflected, refracted and focused. Infrared radiation can be emitted by an object with a temperature above absolute zero (-273.16 centigrade.) The basis of infrared thermography is quite simple; all objects emit heat or electromagnetic energy but only a fraction of this energy is visible to the naked eye.

Radiation of the Electromagnetic Spectrum is often categorized by wavelength or discrete packets known as photons. Short wavelength is the highest energy and can be quite destructive. Ultraviolet, gamma and x-ray are types of short wavelength radiation. Longer wavelength radiation, such as infrared, radio and microwave, is of lower energy and is less destructive.

The introduction of focal plane array (FPA) imagers during the early 1990s revolutionized infrared imaging by providing high-resolution imaging systems while greatly reducing size and weight. Thermal imaging systems have evolved from cumbersome systems often weighing more than 20 kg (44 lbs.) to systems resembling a video camera that fit in the palm of the user’s hand.

Light Spectrum

Not all light beams have the same wavelength. The spectrum of visible light ranges from wavelength of 0,00078 mm or 780 nm (nanometer) to a wavelength of 0,00038 mm (380 nm). We perceive the various wavelengths as different colors. The longest wavelength (which corresponds to the lowest frequency) is seen by us as the color red followed by the known colors of the rainbow: orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet which is the shortest wavelength (and highest frequency). White is not a color but the combination of the other colors. Wavelengths which we are unable to perceive (occurring just below the red and just above the violet area), are the infrared and ultraviolet rays, respectively.
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Visible light is only visible because we can see the source and the objects being illuminated. The light beam itself cannot be seen. The beams of headlights in the mist for instance, can only be seen because the small water drops making up the mist reflect the light.

Advancements in Infrared Thermography

Infrared Thermography is an electronic technique that quite literally allows us to see thermal energy. With this new capability Facilities Manager’s have recognized infrared thermography as one of the most versatile and effective condition monitoring tools available today. Thermal imaging enhances a company's ability to predict equipment failure and plan corrective action before a costly shutdown, equipment damage, or personal injury occurs.

Companies are expanding their maintenance programs to include predictive and proactive technologies such as infrared thermography which is one of the few predictive maintenance tools that provide immediate payback and results.

Recent years have seen an increase in the acceptance and use of infrared thermography for preventive and predictive maintenance. While early applications were confined primarily to electrical and structural situations, today’s industrial environment has found new and diverse applications for thermal imaging and non contact temperature measurement.

These high-resolution infrared imaging systems allow thermography to be applied to more applications than ever before, such as with mechanical systems, intricate process equipment, and printed circuit boards. Infrared thermography can detect unseen problems such as loose or deteriorated electrical connections. Timely repair of these incipient failures can provide tremendous cost savings by avoiding unscheduled downtime.

Advantages

An advantage about conducting an infrared imaging scan is the equipment doesn't need to be shutdown. In fact, it is preferable for the equipment to operate near full-load capacity. That way we can measure the severity of the fault with greater accuracy.

A trained and knowledgeable thermographer has the ability to scan both mechanical and electrical components and provide immediate feedback on areas of concern. As the technology continues to improve the applications in this field are virtually limitless.

It is only a matter of time before all manufacturing & building facilities require thermographic solutions as part of their predictive maintenance programs.

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