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Applications of Infrared Thermal Imaging

Applications of Infrared Thermal Imaging

Issue Time:2022/05/09
There is more to the world than can be seen with the naked eye. The human eye can only capture a specific range of light and has a limited ability to capture certain high-speed movements or invisible forces. From body heat to invisible gases, human vision has limitations that can be addressed with infrared and thermal imaging techniques.

Below you can learn more about the basics of thermal imaging cameras and thermal imaging. In addition to reading more about the fundamental principles of the field, you'll learn more about some of the exciting and common applications of thermal imaging cameras in the world today.

What is infrared and thermal imaging?

As mentioned above, the human eye can only capture a small portion of the larger electromagnetic spectrum. Short, strong wavelengths of light and long, slow wavelengths are beyond the capabilities of the human eye. This is where infrared cameras and thermal imaging can fill the gaps in human vision. Thermal energy has a much longer wavelength than visible light. In fact, it's so long that the human eye can't even see it.

Thermal imaging cameras extend the "visible" spectrum of the human eye by doing things that the naked eye cannot. It senses these longer wavelengths and captures them in a color-coded world that the human eye can understand. Anything in the world that is warmer than absolute zero emits a certain amount of heat that can be detected and measured.

Aerial thermal imaging

The history of aerial thermal imaging technology begins with military applications during the Korean War to detect enemy forces and resources on the ground. The high geometric resolution of the thermal imaging system allows detection of the smallest details from very high altitudes, which can then be used for observation and monitoring. While the U.S. military has been developing this feature for continuous improvement, here are some examples of its different uses in other areas:

Improve the visual clarity of small objects on the ground

Assess the extent of environmental damage without risking your life

A fast infrared camera system provides low smear

Integration of GPS data and visual imagery

Extensive accessories such as a gimbal system

Monitoring changes in large geological properties

Examine the thermal storage capacity of biomes on industrial complexes

Thermal imaging in the aerospace industry

Aerospace places the highest demands on infrared camera systems due to the high safety and material requirements. Typically, a high thermal resolution of 20mk and/or a high frame rate of 100Hz and higher is required. Aerospace companies can use thermal imaging to test active heat flow on new composite materials to ensure the next generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient planes are as safe as today's models.

Thermal imaging in the automotive industry

Deconstructing a car's parts can be cumbersome, and thermal imaging offers a non-invasive and non-destructive method of testing that saves time and effort. Intense competition and the quest for better performance, fuel savings, and lighter vehicles have inspired thermal imaging technology to deliver the required efficiency by quality checking every electrical system, motor assembly, and window heating element. It provides defect and defect detection for a wide range of products for the automotive industry that is only detected by temperature changes and allows the thermal behavior of components to be reconciled with their standard behavior.

Thermal imaging in the chemical industry

Industries dealing with hazardous and non-hazardous chemical materials can benefit from infrared cameras that help detect heat flow from chemical processes. Thermal imaging makes it easier and more accurate to capture and measure temperature distributions, as well as analyze chemical reactions throughout the process chain. On top of that, the non-invasive and non-contact nature of thermal imaging means that people are kept at a safe distance, while the thermal imager is responsible for collecting the relevant data.


Many of the thermal imaging applications we discuss focus on large-scale operations. Given that infrared cameras can not only show humans what the human eye cannot see, they can also examine processes that cannot be properly seen or analyzed by the naked eye. There are many micro thermography applications, that is, those that take place on a microscopic scale.

A common example comes from the field of mobile technology, as circuit boards and processors continue to shrink to accommodate modern devices. However, there are other popular thermal imaging applications at the microscopic level. For example, it can be used to visualize and detect the latent heat of freezing of biological cell clusters, contributing to cryopreservation and advances in biotechnology. Microscopic thermal imaging can also be used to observe the crystallization of organic materials.

Infrared camera for security

Infrared cameras do more in the security world than simple threat detection and enemy movement on the battlefield. Thermal imaging applications in security can be used to detect smoky rooms, provide effective home security, and even locate weapons and chemicals smuggled into jails or county jails.

The above briefly describes the application fields of thermal imaging cameras, if you need it, please feel free to contact us.

Javol is a professional custom infrared thermal imaging systems manufacturer, we believe that good service starts with a good service attitude. A good service attitude is not only a value to customers but also a necessary factor for transactions. Customer-first is the value of our customer service staff. Whenever and wherever, as long as you need it, we will reply to you within 24 hours and give you a satisfactory answer.
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