Splash Protection for Your IR Imager
Taking your infrared imager into dusty or wet environments can have disastrous consequences for your imager. While it is best to wait for such conditions to subside, you can use a polyethylene sheet or trash bag to temporarily protect your imager and accomplish a qualitative inspection.
Since not all imagers and trash bags are created equal, you can follow the following steps to ensure good results.
- Set up imager looking at a thermally stable target with a high emittance. If using an imaging radiometer, note the apparent temperature of the target.
- Select a clean, unused, polyethylene trash bag with a uniform thickness.
- Open trash bag and place over imager. Use only a single layer of the bag plastic to cover the lens.
- Use a rubber band to keep plastic smooth and wrinkle free over the imager lens.
- Image target in Step 1 again and note image quality and apparent temperature.
- Repeat above steps using different brand bags and thicknesses until you find a bag that gives minimal attenuation of image and apparent temperature.
- After selecting the bag that works, trim to fit imager so as to prevent a tripping hazard. If your imager requires air cooling, leave the bottom of the bag open so the imager can ‘breathe’.
- When finished imaging, remove bag from imager and discard.
While not glamorous, this procedure can allow you to successfully perform a qualitative inspection in an environment that might otherwise harm your imager.
Infrared equipment selection and operation are two of the many topics covered in all Level I Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographer® training courses. Level I training is available at several locations each month and through our Distance Learning Program. For information on thermographer training including course locations and dates, visit us online at www.infraspection.com or call us at 609-239-4788.
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