Understanding How An Infrared Thermometer Works

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Within most industrial and clinical environments, we need infrared thermometers to assist us in the measuring of temperatures. These are temperature measurement devices with no contact. Hence, it is useful to measure the temperature of objects which are unsuitable to be touched. These can include fragile or hazardous objects.

How infrared thermometers work is that they use infrared radiation to sense the surface temperature of objects.

What is Infrared Radiation?

This movement speed of atoms in the object is directly proportional to its temperature. Therefore, the faster the movement of the atoms means that the temperature of the object is higher. That source of atom vibration will emit energy in the form of infrared radiation.

We cannot see the radiation with our eyes as its wavelength is longer than that of the visible light. Interestingly, the radiation can be seen when an object gets too hot. This may be seen when the object glows red or white in some cases.

Generally, even if we do not see infrared radiation, we can still feel heat. It is this heat that the thermometers can help to sense the temperature of objects.

Infrared Thermometers

An infrared thermometer has a lens known as thermopile which focuses the emitted infrared light onto a detector. A thermopile consists of thermocouples which are connected in series or parallel.

The infrared radiation is absorbed and converted to heat when it falls on the thermopile surface. This then creates a voltage output which is used by the detector to determine the displayed temperature.

The whole process may seem confusing. However, it is a smart device which takes only a few seconds to display the temperature in your desired unit.

Common Applications

The infrared thermometers are advisable for usage when you need to check the surface area of an object quickly or when touching the object is not safe or not possible. They may include the following.

  • Places difficult to reach
  • Burning or hot surfaces
  • Clean and sterile places
  • Moving surfaces or objects

High Value of Emissivity

The emissivity setting informs us about the sensor. It tells us how emissive the surface is and improves the accuracy of the temperature measurement when it is set appropriately. The infrared thermometers can also read more objects as they have a higher value of emissivity.

Varying Temperature Range

An infrared thermometer may have a wide temperature range to measure different object temperatures. However, you can also use an infrared thermometer with a narrow temperature range to sense a temperature requiring higher resolution.

Fast Response Time

The infrared thermometer works by providing a fast reading speed. It means the time the thermometer takes to deliver an accurate temperature after starting the thermometer’s reading process. This is an important function as it can quickly check before an object heats up too quickly or if the object moves.

Though they have complex inner work processes, they give fast results and are easy to use. There are many kinds of infrared thermometers but how they all work is similar. They may have different functions hence it is important to choose one based on your requirements and research. Before you choose a thermometer, figure out the temperature range you need and usage for it. Also, read the instruction manual and fill up the warranty. This ensures that they are able to make repairs when necessary. Lastly, use the device correctly, and regularly do your maintenance so that you can always achieve accurate results.

Use our Pyrometer Selector to find the right solution for your temperature monitoring needs and place a request for quote.

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