Infrared Training Center Channel

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just Scrape and Paint…or Not!

ITC instructor Ron Lucier is back with another great post, one that I can certainly relate to having recently moved from an old house that once had similar moisture issues.  Yes, they can be fun to renovate, but older homes are not for everyone, especially when a lot a scraping and painting (or worse) is involved.  Here’s Ron’s take on something that he recently dealt with at his house which also includes a couple of infrared images and some thermal science that our building thermographers should enjoy:


Renovating older homes can be fun. Or not. One thing for sure is they are full of surprises and expensive!

I own a horse farm and the house was built in 1910. Not sure when the porch was added but I noticed the other day that it is the only section of the house that doesn’t have rain gutters (ugh!). I also noticed that one section has paint that was peeling while the other areas of the fascia did not.

An inspection with my T650sc was in order. Yes, I am hung up on the grey scale and in the first image I used a blue interval isotherm. I have water damage:

just-scrape-02

Looking under the soffit…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Basics of Heat Capacitance (Video)

Heat capacitance, the ability of a material to store thermal energy, often affects what we see with an infrared camera.  While this property of matter is what makes some IR applications possible, it can also hide more critical issues that a thermographer may dismiss, or simply miss, if they don't understand the science behind what is happening.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Online Thermography Basics Course Updated

Description

ITC Thermography BasicsThis course is a more advanced introductory course in thermography and serves as an excellent, and recommended, addition to the infrared camera basics and infrared basics courses. Thermography involves more than just learning how to use an infrared camera. IR science, heat transfer, thermal tuning, and application knowledge are all essential subjects a thermographer must understand in order to properly interpret an image. This course is FREE.

This course will give the learner the basic information to understand these concepts.

Accreditation: 2.5 ITC Certification Renewal Credits, 2 RCI Continuing Educational Hours (CEHs)

Note: You can stop the course and re-enter exactly where you left off at a later time or day, you don't have to complete the course in one sitting.

Students' Course Rating: 4.6/5

Updated 2014-07-17: New course format and player, New professional narration, Added more interactivity, Added instructor led video tutorials, Added step by step emissivity measurement

Link to the course

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Live Webcasts Now Scheduled Through September 2014

ElectricalOur series of free live webcasts continues with dates set through the end of September.  We're getting lots of positive feedback from thermographers who have attended these sessions and appreciate everyone’s interest!

ITC’s live and on-demand webinars are designed for those that are new to thermography or perhaps need a quick refresher.  Participants learn not only the basics of thermal imaging, but also where IR can reduce costs, save energy and increase safety for professionals across a variety of industries.

Registration is available at www.infraredtraining.com/webinars where you’ll also find the on-demand recordings posted from past live events which can be viewed at any time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

IR on Electric Motors: Great for the Plant…and at Home Too!

It’s no secret that infrared can be used to diagnose problems with electric motors in industry, but residential applications? As ITC Instructor Ron Lucier recently discovered, possibilities exist at home as well, this one involving his pool pump motor:


Returning from a recent Level III class in Nashua I heard an awful noise in my backyard when I stepped out of my car. Pretty quickly I determined it was my pool pump motor (1 horsepower). What a racket. Sounded like just a bearing so I brought out my trusty vibration acceleration detector: a screwdriver. Measuring at each bearing of the motor and the pump I didn’t feel very much. However, I noticed a black spot on the side of the gold painted motor. It was time to get out the IR camera: my brand new FLIR T650sc.

I would find out the next day that the long wave emissivity for this paint is 0.91 so making the correction the hot spot was about 201 F! Good thing that I didn’t try to touch it!

pool-pump-01-800w

Thursday, June 19, 2014

FLIR Tools Online Course Updated

itc logo (2)

FLIR Tools is a software suite specifically designed to provide an easy way to update your infrared camera and create inspection reports. There is NO CHARGE for this FREE course.


Updated 2014-06-19: Added new sections on activation, creating reports in Word, using templates, creating a Word template, and how to group images.

At the conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe how to import images from a FLIR camera to the FLIR Tools library using the USB connection.
  • Summarize how to remotely control FLIR cameras using the FLIR Tools software.
  • Explain how to measure temperatures and interpret thermal images using the FLIR Tools software.
  • Describe how to record radiometric sequences from FLIR USB Video, Ethernet, and SC-Firewire cameras using optional Tools+ Software.
  • Summarize how to use Word and templates to create custom reporting and analysis formats

Course Homepage

Interactive Labs: An Important Part of the ITC Learning Experience

electrical panel - closed smallAt our Boston-Regional training facility we have a number of interactive, hands-on, labs set-up around the perimeter of the classroom. All are designed to help re-enforce the principles of thermography taught during a course. Students use these with their thermal imagers to improve their camera skills and learn more about infrared science as part of planned exercises that create a unique and valuable training experience for everyone in attendance.

One of my personal favorites is a simple mock-up of an electrical panel rigged with several thermal anomalies on the inside. Warm breakers, hot connections and more can all be safely inspected in this controlled environment. I use this particular lab in Level I training to demonstrate the concept of indirect heating that we teach as a part of basic heat transfer. This is the physics behind why the temperature you measure on the surface of a component is often much cooler than what is happening on the inside, at the point of failure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Infrared Everywhere: Hot Chicks

After I joined the ITC team this past fall, my family and I have been caught up in the process of relocating to southern New Hampshire. Now that we’re finally settled in, and the last of the moving boxes have been emptied, I guess it was time to take on another challenge, this one involving fresh eggs. My wife has always wanted to try raising chickens, and now that we live on a small farm, what better place to take the plunge!

The little ladies arrived in the mail about five weeks ago (yes, the Post Office delivers chicks) and have been growing rapidly ever since. Here’s a quick infrared video from their first week inside the house, captured with a FLIR T650 thermal imager:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cost Avoidance/Energy Savings for IR Thermography

"Has anyone documented Cost Avoidance Or Potential energy savings using Thermography. Ex. Downtime, Labor, Materials. I would be interested in understanding how you determined final cost or energy savings."

This is the $64,000 question, how to justify the cost and benefits of an IR program. The methods used vary depending on your situation, what downtime costs in your facility, overtime and rush ordering to get new parts, lost production cost, your energy cost, etc.

I have selected several white papers that illustrate how different organizations have calculated their costs. Use them as examples of what can be done, and how they are presented.      Use this link to download the files.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

A New Look at Air Infiltration in Buildings

gf-mw-air-infiltration-thumbWe can’t see air with a thermal imager, right? Anyone who has completed Level I training knows this very well. A common follow-up question is always why, then, can thermographers still detect air leakage bypasses in buildings?

That’s possible because an infrared camera senses changes in thermal patterns created by air moving over a surface (given there’s a temperature difference) when either infiltrating into (example seen here, image above), or exfiltrating from, a building.

Thanks to a video that my fellow colleague, and ITC Instructor, Ron Lucier recently sent in it looked like, at least for a fleeting moment, that we might have to re-consider this question; can we see air with infrared?  In his video, available below, it certainly appeared that way when using a FLIR GF320 mid-wave infrared camera to view air leakage.  Was it actually detecting air?  How was this possible?  Well not exactly, as we’ll explain, but it was still interesting to watch: