As technology advances, there are more dynamic developments in thermometers where sophisticated features such as infrared are incorporated for a wider range of industrial and commercial applications. Good thermometers are always desired to measure temperatures accurately and an infrared thermometer is ideal to measure the thermal radiation of an object. This is known as blackbody radiation which is emitted. Infrared (IR) thermometers could be known by other names such as laser thermometers, temperature guns or non-contact thermometers for handling various situations where the temperature of the object in focus is being measured. The advancement of laser technology enhances the design and development of IR thermometers for various applications in the market.
Uses of IR Thermometers
IR thermometers are excellent temperature guns with an acute measuring ability to measure the temperature of a targeted object from a distance. The quantum of IR energy emitted by the target with its emissivity helps determine its temperature accurately through the infrared thermometer.
IR thermometers are also known as thermal radiation thermometers where more accurate temperatures could be read off even in ambient temperatures regardless of the radiation emitted from another body that could be hotter.
The IR thermometer design is very simple yet effective and efficient to its purpose. It comprises a lens that would focus or direct infrared thermal radiation to an identified detector which is used to convert radiant power into electrical signals displayed in temperature units with a certain compensation for potential ambient temperatures. Hence, the temperature is accurately measured without contact from a distance.
Such non-contact IR thermometer is widely applied in thermocouples environments or situations where probing sensors are not available to generate the desired accurate data. A dynamic IR thermometer could also be applied on moving objects even in an electromagnetic field environment such as induction heating.
The IR thermometer is excellent in vacuums or any type of controlled environment where fast and accurate measurements are quickly generated. Such advanced thermometers could also detect clouds for important remote telescope operations, checking electrical or mechanical equipment used in hot spots or measuring temperature of patients without contact.
Other growing popular uses of IR thermometers include checking the heater temperature or oven heat in homes to ensure better temperature calibration and control that would offer a more comfortable home environment besides excellent foods cooked nutritiously.
Industrial uses of IR thermometers include monitoring process materials in heating or cooling applications as well as measuring the temperatures of volcanoes to determine their possibility of eruption or over-heating. It is a highly useful device at times of epidemics where contagious diseases like SARS or Ebola could be kept under control with a tight measurement process at all entry or exit points.
Characteristics of Good IR Thermometers
One of the important characteristics of IR thermometers is accuracy where the best infrared thermometer should offer a measurement error of ±2 °C (that is, ±4 °F).
The Stefan-Boltzmann law on IR thermometer accuracy indicates a high radiant power on any measurement surface that displays hot and cold areas. Most surfaces generate a high emissivity which good infrared thermometers pick up accurately.
Another dynamic characteristic of the best IR thermometers is its adjustability to measure various types of surfaces. The market offers a variety of sensors and devices with adjustable emissivity setting for all types of surfaces. A non-adjustable thermometer could experience loss of measurement accuracy on a reflective surface whereas an adjustable emissivity device could be calibrated to measure different types of surface temperature or its emissivity.
Types of IR Thermometers
There are a variety of IR thermometers on the market to cater to the different applications in the industry, commercial and domestic environments.
1) Spot IR Thermometer
This is also known as the IR Pyrometer which measures temperature at any surface spot with a small area. The specific area to be measured is identified through a visible red dot at the center with no other role.
2) Infrared Scanning Systems
Such a thermometer system is capable of scanning a large environment using a spot thermometer which is designed to point at a rotating mirror. This type of systems is common in the manufacturing environment where challenging web processes are implemented. Industrial applications include large glass or metal sheets being produced along the conveyor belt cut at the right temperature to maintain its strength and tensile features without warping.
3) IR Thermal Imaging
Advanced IR thermal cameras are highly popular in the market where IR radiation features encompass such dynamic thermometers to measure multiple points over a large area. A 2-dimension image known as the thermogram is generated with every pixel indicating the temperature.
Such progressive technology is very software-intensive with typical apps that include perimeter monitoring for security, inspection or process monitoring of quality in manufacturing processes.
An infrared camera is basically a photographic camera of infrared film with a special lens that captures short waves without interruptions from potential thermal radiation emitted by room temperature objects.
4) Clinical IR Thermometers
A more amazing infrared invention has to be the widely used clinical thermometers which come in a variety of forms and designs to function explicitly in measuring patient temperatures. These clinical devices operate based on IR technology principle with the inclusion of lasers in a more accurate temperature measurement.
Every object emits infrared energy which could be measured by IR clinical thermometers accurately without being affected by hot or cold surface temperature.
The advancement of technologies has led to the widening designs of infrared thermometers in various sizes and higher measurement accuracy. The market is now flooded with an increasing scope of top brands by competitive manufacturing companies designing new features on these IR measurement devices.
The demand for sophisticated IR thermometers is increasing from all types of industries with multiple commercial applications. These thermometers are highly accurate in their measurements to ensure higher quality of product at the end of the day to satisfy consumers at the receiving end. This includes the gun or pistol IR thermometers where an easier grasp for manipulation is preferred.