Simply stated, thermology is
the study of heat. The term radiometer is common
throughout the infrared industry for a tool to view radiation in
the infrared spectrum that otherwise is not visible to the naked
eye. Radiothermology is common term used in the
medical field for the use of radiometers to diagnose health conditions.
Radiothermology is not a common term in the Predictive
Maintenance business and does not replace thermography
or infrared scanning. On the contrary, it has confused patrons seeking
quality methods of applying thermography for Predictive Maintenance
services. The term thermography is the standard
term in the infrared business as the process of studying invisible
heat energy in the light spectrum just beyond visible red. This
process is done via the use of radiometers to produce a visible
Infrared scanning is a term that started when
the ability to detect infrared radiation was first produced. The
first instruments used for Predictive Maintenance purposes were
simply infrared scanners (see Photo A) that were able to detect
heat, but not produce a visible image. This process is also commonly
referred to as a thermal scan.
As the technology improved to produce
visible infrared images, thermography was born (see Photo B). Thermographers
are those individual who are professionally trained and certified
by qualified training centers. Trained and certified thermographers
assure quality and accurate interpretations and results.
Infrared scanning is a term that
never became obsolete and is commonly used throughout the industry.
A typical application of Predictive Maintenance may be the inspection
of an electrical panel; this would be done via an infrared scan
by a trained thermographer.
I hope this article has been informative and educational
as well. Please feel free to contact me for further clarifications.
David F. Lyman