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Things aren’t always as they seem…

Whether you have a commercial or domestic building, I’m sure you’re aware that things happen in your property without you knowing about it! Regardless of the kids having a sneaky snack or an employee taking extra time for lunch there could be more sinister things at play, like your electrics!

Electricians are trained for three years before they are allowed out onto public jobs but even the best can miss things that are blindingly obvious to a thermographer, especially things like faulty wires or loose connections. The images below can show you that!

But what actually happens within the wires that make them unsafe? Well the answer lies in the movements of electrons as the diagram below shows. All wires do this, even if they work perfectly, it’s only when you get excess agitation (like with a faulty wire or with loose connection) that the increased heat can become problematic.

Imagine if there were 50 people in a car park. If they could all walk along the road and there was no traffic outside, there would be a very small queue, this is situation A. Situation B is where the only way out is a narrow squeeze between two concrete pillars. This would cause a long queue backing into the car park. Situation C is where there is a lot of traffic outside of the car park. This would also cause a long queue backing into the car park. Situation A is a normal functioning wire with a proper connection. Situation B is a faulty connection and situation C is when a component fails on the other side of a good connection. You can imagine how bad it could be if you had a faulty connection and a faulty component!

why wires get hot

This image shows why it is that wires get hot. When the electrons are constantly changing direction and bumping into other atoms and electrons, they get hot.

 

IR wires with one faulty

Spot the faulty connection!

IR wires, with one faulty

With this infrared view of the wires and connections you can see that what meets the eye is not necessarily the whole story. By having an infrared survey you can find out what is really happening in your building.

Electrical fires are no fun at all. How do you know that your electrics are safe?

In commercial and domestic properties alike, faulty electrics are potentially devastating! They are the leading cause of fires in commercial buildings and the second most common cause of fires in domestic buildings. The fires they cause have the inherent ability to ruin any building, any personal possessions and any important documents. No one wants that!

This is where thermal imaging can step in, by looking at the heat being radiated by a particular circuit board, piece of equipment or electrical connection, we can spot any worrying signs before they manifest themselves into full-blown problems.

As you can see from the picture below, it is super easy to spot when things are going wrong with your electrics with our thermal imaging cameras! What you are looking at in this case is a loose connection from the (bright yellow) wire into the circuit board. The reason that this wire has got so hot is that the electrons within the wire are moving about more than they normally would  as they cannot flow smoothly. This additional motion causes the particles the heat up exponentially which in turn could cause a fire.

In short, don’t let your electrics go unchecked! How do you know that your electrics are safe? You call us in!

pipes infrared 3

This image shows a loose connection and just how problematic they can be. By causing the wire to heat to that temperature there is a severe risk of fires.

A new view of the human body…

As shown below, there are medical uses of thermography too. Unlike MRI scans or X-rays, infrared shows us the “heat” (which is really infrared radiation) emitted by certain parts of the body. It has been proven that if any part of the human body is a lot hotter than it is meant to be then there is definately  problem in that area. The below show inflammation over the right kidney and this is easy for everyone to see. However you do need to be careful with how you diagnose as if you look a little higher there are two more “hot spots”. These however, are caused by excess fat causing the skin to roll over onto itself. This keeps those parts particularly warm and so they are outliers in this examination.

Unfortunately we do not offer these kind of services at Direct Thermography but we do think that it is a very interesting application for thermal imaging cameras!

medical - human

If only they could talk!

Horses are beautiful animals but they can certainly be expensive! Vet bills alone can be pretty scary, so here at Direct Thermography we certainly try to help all our hoofed friends.

As we’re sure you’re aware, horses can’t actually speak to us, yet, so we must find other ways to find out where it hurts and what is wrong with them. Whereas vets find the problem via observations and palpitation, thermal imaging cameras can show us the inner workings of a horse in seconds, and when we find something, it’s rarely difficult to miss.

Take the two hooves in the below picture as an example, it doesn’t take a genius to tell that there is something wrong with the right hand hoof. The skill comes in telling what that excess heat really means. When the image was taken, our consultant vet told us that in this case, the problem was an abscess under the frog which we would suggest draining and antibiotics as the treatment.

Moreover, with thermography it is possible to see abnormalities present stressed tissue before there is damage visible which can completely lower the amount of pain or discomfort your horse has to go through. Additionally, as thermography is completely non-invasive and non-contact, we will never place your horse under stress. In fact, our team of technicians has quite a soft spot when it comes to horses!

Thermography has shown that it works particularly well when it comes to dealing with: pre-purchase check overs, hoof balancing, saddle fit, joint inflammation and general diagnostics.

Pesky Rodents!

It’s terrible having rodents in your house or shop but with thermal imaging we can cut the time it takes to find and eradicate your problem. Whereas before thermal imaging, it could take between two and three months to get rid of a rodent problem in a commercial setting, with thermography it can be finished within just three days! How’s that for a quick turnaround time?

We are able to achieve this fantastic time by using our cameras to not only detect nests but also individual rodents and their frequently used paths. With this information we can quickly and efficiently “rodent proof” the property and deal with the existing rodents in a quick, efficient but human way.

The two images show how the above is achieve. The bright yellow spots are mice that are moving behind a wall and the other image shows how easy it is to spot nests, and the damage caused in producing them.

 

A Whole New World…

Thermography can provide views that Aladdin himself couldn’t give, and so the uses of thermal imaging are astronomical! With thermal imaging, we can find a nest of mice or rats in a wall, diagnose a horse’s medical condition, or even view parts of our universe that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see! While, here at Direct Thermography, we cannot  show you a whole new world, we can show you parts of your world that you haven’t seen before.

But what is thermography?

Thermography is a long word but ultimately it is the study of something fairly simple, the study of images produced when infrared is coloured with visible light. We have to colour infrared radiation as we cannot see it with the naked eye, much like the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum.

snazzy em spectrum

Welcome!

thermal-face IRWelcome to Direct Thermography’s Blog! We’re aiming to give you insights into the world of thermography, with facts and figures along the way.