Message Board Thread - "thermalcam vs thermometer"

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thermalcam vs thermometer enbasco 9/10/2007
Im new to IR community and want to hear some advise. Im working in one of manufacturing company here in Philippines (Psi Tech.Inc.)as a equipment preventive technician and recently FLIR conducted training here (level I and II infrared thermography certification)and our company bought the thermalcam model E45.
We had conducted comparison experiment between thermometer and thermalcam using same equipment(servo motor and dust motor of our machine).Why does thermometer has a lower reading than the thermalcam reading? How can I explain to my superiors what are the factor and which instrument have a accurate reading?
Sirs,I want some advise here or pls. email me at

Re:thermalcam vs thermometer ron lucier 9/11/2007
Thermometers and thermocouples can give very accurate readings of liquids and gasses but often are incorrect for surface temperatures for several reasons:

1) Most devices are cylindrical. Placing a cylinder on a flat or curved surface results in very small surface contact area for heat conduction.

2) Thermometers and Thermocouples also act as heat sinks - taking heat away from the surface and lowering it's temperature.

3) A calibrated IR measurement with correct emissivity can be very accurate as no heat conduction is involved - just radiation heat transfer - and no heat sink results.

A thermocouple welded to the surface - perfect mechanically bonded - can produce accurate measurements. One placed there temporarily rarely does. This is one of my standard demonstrations in Level I and II classes.
Re:thermalcam vs thermometer RK 10/10/2007
There are new IR thermocouples out on the market.
Commonly used for live busbar and high vibration targets. Non contact measurement for real time temperatures.

And it's not that the technology of the IR sensors is all that new, but these new sensors measure Delta T, (temperature rise above ambient of the target),require no yearly calibration, and are passive (no bias voltage or current).
Life time calibration and warranty.

Stand alone systems can be put together, or the measurements can be brought into you SCADA/BMS system.

These sensors are meant to be permanently mounted for trending for PdM, or can be mounted temporarily for trouble shooting or commissioning.

-Bob Kern

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