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What to do when tasked with inspecting thermally reflective surfaces?

Paint it Black?

No, this blog isn’t about The Rolling Stones – it’s about the practice of enhancing emissivity in the field. When a thermographer is tasked with inspecting thermally reflective surfaces there are two options.  Either accept that the surface doesn’t emit well—and therefore reflects very well—and therefore can’t provide reliable qualitative or quantitative data, […]

Transformer Cooling Tubes

One of the easiest, and often safest, types of electrical apparatus to inspect are oil-filled transformer cooling […]

Focus First

If you’ve had Level I Thermographic Applications training course you most likely heard the mantra of “Focus First!” from your instructor, and with good reason! Of all of the camera settings that can be adjusted by the camera operator, focus is by far the most important.  Focus is essential to both image quality and temperature […]

Infrared Cameras: The Answer my Friend is NOT Blowing in the Wind

Regardless if you’re inspecting buildings, roofs, or electrical or mechanical apparatus, when you have an abundance of air movement across a surface, there is an increase in heat loss or gain on that surface from convective cooling or heating.

Convective cooling is often discussed in many applications of thermography.  Often the result is cooling of anomalous […]

I Don't Know

Let’s face the facts: we are seen as experts. Customers expect answers from us, usually immediate answers. How tempting it can be to make them happy! Armed with our expensive, high-tech tools, it is all too easy to forget we can’t always come up with those answers.

The temperature difference on this failing surge protection […]

Back to the Basics

Some problems don’t necessarily “shout” at you. The increase in temperature of this surge protection device in a substation is only a few degrees warmer than normal. Seeing the signature required adjusting the imager skillfully. Understanding the device could fail at any moment required additional background knowledge and clear […]

Supporting Your Work

Last week I talked about the value of following professional standards. Not only do they lay out the best “recipe” for success but standards are also widely accepted as “collateral” in most industries where we work. By following standards, your work will immediately gain credibility.

Section 14 of ASTM C-1153, Standard Practice for Location of […]

Follow the "Recipe!"

Last week I talked about how to move yourself and your imager into the best position to get good thermal data. Another big part of being successful is understanding and following professional thermography standards. Like a good time-tested recipe, these help us get high quality, consistent results.

As I’ve said before, I’ve made plenty of mistakes […]

Move Your Feet

After years of working with new thermographers in our training classes, I’ve learned a lot about how people learn. First, we never get it right the first time! Don’t worry about making mistakes, in fact, it is important to make them. But it is also equally important to learn from them. In class we let […]

1-Time Auto Adjust

Last week we discussed how to adjust level and span manually. Sometimes this can lead to a lot of “button pushing!” It is not a big deal – just one of life’s little aggravations. Thankfully, many models of Fluke imagers have a very helpful solution: 1-TIME AUTO ADJUST.

Both images were taken using AUTO adjust. […]