A Thermographer’s Magic Marker
Tip suggested by: Randall D. Cain, American Water Company
An age-old challenge for thermographers is the ability to annotate or mark objects to make them easier to identify in recorded imagery. One possible solution is to mark targets with an ink pen with low emittance ink.
Many thermographers have long sought ways to mark targets in such a fashion that numbers or text can clearly be seen with a thermal imager. Over time, some thermographers have used paints with emittances that contrast sharply with the objects being marked. In these cases, text and/or numbers painted on the target are clearly visible within resulting thermal imagery and recorded thermograms.
Recently some thermographers have reported good results in utilizing a Sharpie permanent felt-tip marker in silver color. The low emittance of the metallic ink contrasts markedly with high emittance targets allowing annotations to clearly appear within thermal images. In many cases, the silver ink can also be clearly seen in daylight images as well. An example can be seen below.
One should be aware that Sharpie markers are permanent unless the ink is applied to a removable material such as tape or labels affixed to the target. Prior to marking any target, be certain it is safe to do so and that marking will not permanently damage the target.
For more information on thermographer training and certification or to obtain a copy of the Standard for Infrared Inspection of Electrical Systems and Rotating Equipment, call Infraspection Institute at 609-239-4788 or visit us online at wwww.infraspection.com.
Cold Weather Clothing
Tip written by: Infraspection Institute
Cold weather clothing is a matter of functionality not fashion. Clothing needs to be worn in layers in order to trap air which is warmed by the body. When selecting clothing, start with the innermost layer and work outward. The use of multiple layers will trap warm air while providing greater ease of movement. As you add layers, be sure to adjust the next layer’s size accordingly.
The first layer should be made of a synthetic material that will wick perspiration away from the body and maintain its insulating properties when damp. The second layer is your main insulator and should be a breathable material that maintains its insulating properties when wet. Synthetic fleeces or natural wool are good choices. The outermost layer should be breathable and both wind and water resistant.
Head and neck protection is a must since nearly 40% of body heat is lost here. Perspiration is the main enemy of feet. The best footwear will have sturdy outers, good treads and a removable felt liner. Buy extra liners and replace them every few hours. Liners can take a full day to fully dry out so buy enough to get through a typical workday.
Mittens are the warmest but present problems in grasping tools, etc. I have found that a heavy duty welder’s glove with cotton or wool gloves lining them provide good warmth and mobility. Buy enough liners to get you through the day. One final note, the body needs fuel to produce heat. Your calorie needs increase in cold weather and require regular replenishment with good wholesome foods.