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Introduction to Infrared Thermometers

We all know thermometers. They are the most common instruments used to measure temperature. A thermometer works by having the mercury inside it go up when it is exposed to heat. The more the heat, the more it goes up, which then indicates the temperature appropriate to the level inscribed on the thermometer. Infrared thermometers are similar to normal thermometers, in the sense that they also measure temperature. But the main difference between the two lies in the contact they make, or not make. Thermometers require to be physically touching the object for quite some time to have the mercury raised, but an infrared thermometer works without any physical contact. This concept alone has changed the world of temperature measurement as we know it.

Introduction to Infrared Thermometers

Main function

Instead of directly evaluating the increase in temperature, infrared thermometers rely on thermal radiations to assume a result. All objects emit a certain amount of radiation, which in specific correlate to their body temperature. Infrared thermometers assess the infrared energy being radiated by a body, and then calculates the rate at which this energy is being released. The device then utilizes all these measurements to predict the temperature of the object, all without needing to come in contact. Some infrared thermometers use a laser to guide them to the object and its thermal energy, so they are called laser thermometers as well. They are sometimes referred to as temperature guns because of their shape. In all instances and purpose, though, this ability to calculate thermal energy put infrared thermometers a step above other instruments of its kind.

In-depth Function

The lens of an infrared thermometer focuses the thermal radiation and reflects it on the detector, which is responsible for starting the initial calculations. The detector is able to transform the thermal radiation to a signal which the device can decipher. After taking in matters such as cosmic radiation, the device then displays a calculation of the temperature. Because thermal radiation does not require close proximity to be noticed, detectors can perform well from a distance, or during situations where contact can be dangerous; like with heated pans and electromagnetic fields. Infrared thermometers are especially effective against moving objects, since it is still possible to calculate the thermal radiation emitted by a body exhibiting kinetic energy. The functions of these devices can also include detection of hot spots during fire-fighting, checking the temperature of volcanoes, and also scanning for epidemics. If you want to learn more about thermal calculation and the likes, check out: http://www.omega.co.uk/techref/iredtempmeasur.html

Infrared thermometers may seem quite complex at first, but they are designed for simple applications. While they do utilize concepts such as distance to target ratio, temperature range, calibration, emissivity, and radiations, they are quite easy to use even for newcomers. What’s more, infrared thermometers are quite affordable, which is quite a surprise considering even a simple model’s capabilities. Keep in mind there are many advanced models out there that can measure with more specifications, so not all of them are meant for beginners. Nonetheless, for simple home or classroom usages, infrared thermometers are irreplaceable.