Non Contact Temperature Measurement

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The ability to accurately perform non contact temperature measurement is a boon for many industrial workers. It allows many people to safely measure the temperature of many different kinds of surfaces, both large and small. In addition, IR thermometers allow people to measure "through" some surfaces and detect areas of high heat or extreme cold on the other side.

Common Utilities of Non Contact Temperature Measurement

Firefighters often use IR non contact temperature measurement devices to see past smoke in burning buildings. Though the smoke itself is hot, and is emitting infrared radiation, the fact that smoke largely consists of tiny particles afloat in normal air allows IR sensors to pierce though and detect areas of heat on the other side. Firefighters can also use IR sensors to search some kinds of walls, particularly wood-frame walls, for hot spots.

Likewise, builders and engineers can use non contact temperature measurement techniques to scan for overheating components in a piece of machinery. Used either routinely or as a diagnostic check, IR scans can lead to the discovery of faulty bearings, leaks, or other trouble spots. IR thermometers can detect cold areas as well, such as leaks in building insulation, particularly around windows and doors.

IR thermometers measure temperature by reading the amount or infrared radiation that is being emitted by the surface of an object. Once the amount of radiation is measured, the actual surface temperature of an object can be computed quickly and accurately--often in half of a second or less. Some powerful IR thermometers with a large distance-to-spot size ratio can accurately measure the surface temperature of a small object (less than two-inches across) from 50 feet away.


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