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    Thermal Imaging Cameras

    Thermal imaging cameras, also known as thermal imagers, infrared cameras, thermal cameras and IR cameras, are handheld non-contact devices used to capture detailed images in low-light and hard-to-see environments. They work by detecting infrared energy (heat) and converting it into an image. What’s more, thermal cameras are used for troubleshooting, identifying potential hotspots and ensuring machinery and equipment run correctly and efficiently.

    RS also offer a calibration service if required. See more about our calibration services.

    How Does a Thermal Imaging Camera Work?

    Thermal imaging cameras are point-and-shoot devices that enable the user to see in real-time in an infrared spectrum, interpreting temperature as colour. Warmer areas appear as red and yellow, and cooler areas as purple or blue. Thermal imaging cameras use an external lens to focus infrared energy to an internal thermal sensor. The sensor, along with processing electronics, convert the heat and use the captured data to create images. Images can be used for immediate diagnosis or can be stored and processed through dedicated software for further evaluation.

    Types of Thermal Imaging Features

    Thermal imaging cameras come with a variety of features that make them suitable for different applications. Here are some key configurations to consider when you’re looking for the right product for your needs:

    • Temperature Measurement Range: This defines the range of temperatures that a thermal imaging camera can detect. Industrial thermal imaging cameras, for instance, offer a wide range, from -20°C to 2000°C. As such, they are suitable for applications ranging from building inspections to industrial processes that require temperature monitoring relays.
    • Thermal Sensitivity: Also known as NETD (Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference), thermal sensitivity indicates the smallest temperature difference the camera can detect. High sensitivity (low NETD value) is essential for applications requiring precise temperature measurements, such as detecting insulation defects or monitoring critical machinery. A sensitivity of 0.05°C or lower is considered excellent for detailed thermal analysis.
    • Measurement Accuracy: The accuracy of a thermal imaging camera is crucial for reliable temperature readings. High-quality thermal cameras, for instance, offer an accuracy of ±2°C or ±2% of the reading. This level of precision is vital for tasks like electrical inspections, where accurate temperature readings can help identify potential issues before they lead to equipment failure.
    • Resolution: Thermal resolution determines the level of detail the camera can capture. The higher the resolution, the clearer and more detailed the images. Common resolutions range from 80x60 pixels for basic models to 640x480 pixels for advanced industrial cameras.
    • Frame Rate: The frame rate indicates how quickly the camera captures thermal images. For example, higher frame rates (e.g., 30Hz or 60Hz) are beneficial for capturing fast-moving objects or processes. When you prioritise this feature, you can ensure that no critical thermal data is missed.
    • Focus: Thermal cameras have different focusing mechanisms, including fixed focus, manual focus, auto-focus and motorised focus. Fixed focus is ideal for general-purpose use, while manual focus offers precision for specific applications. On the other hand, auto-focus adjusts automatically for varying distances. If you need frequent changes in focus or a camera for hard-to-reach areas, motorised focus is appropriate because it allows remote adjustment.

    What Do Thermal Imaging Cameras Detect?

    Any object with a temperature above zero will give off thermal energy. The hotter an object is the more thermal energy will be emitted. So, essentially thermographic cameras can detect anything that produces a heat signature.

    Applications of Thermal Imagers

    Before, the applications of thermal cameras were limited to military and surveillance operations. But now, their useful technology enables the cameras to be used for a wide range of other purposes. Some of their most common uses are:

    • Electrical Engineering – Thermal cameras identify hotspots in electrical enclosures, allowing engineers to detect potential equipment failures due to overheating.
    • Fire Service – Firefighters use thermal imagers to see through smoke and locate fire hotspots, enhancing safety and effectiveness in emergency situations.
    • Automotive Industry – Mechanics utilise thermal imaging cameras for engine diagnostics, helping to identify issues such as overheating components.
    • Medical – Doctors, nurses and vets can use cameras to detect fevers in humans or temperature variations in animals.
    • ConstructionBuilding inspectors rely on thermal imagers to check insulation and detect leaks in heating systems, ensuring building integrity and energy efficiency.
    • Manufacturing – Thermal camera sensors are used in factories to monitor machinery and electrical installations, identifying hotspots that could indicate potential failures or fire hazards. They are also used to detect gas leaks in petrochemical plants, ensuring safe operations.

    Buying Thermal Imaging Cameras: Ordering & Delivery Information for Australia

    RS offers a range of high-performance, state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras and measurement equipment from industry-leading brands including FLIR, Fluke, Testo, Keysight Technologies, and of course, RS PRO. Here’s everything you need to know about ordering and delivery for thermal imaging cameras in Australia:

    Delivery Information:

    • Next Working Day Delivery: Available for orders placed before 5 pm AEST on weekdays, except for global stock and large items.
    • Same Day Delivery: This option is available for local stock orders placed before 11:45 am AEST on weekdays. The delivery address must be within the Sydney Metro area.

    To get a detailed price list or ask about ordering and shipment information, contact Customer Service or visit our Delivery page.

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