Thermal imaging

Thermomechanical analysis is a method of measuring the temperature of the surface of an object without touching it, by scanning the infrared spectrum of radiation from its surface.

Every object emits heat in the form of infrared radiation waves, whose frequency depends on the temperature of the object. A thermomechanical camera is a device which enables us to scan the radiation of an object’s surface and portray it in a visible optical form.

Simply said, thermomechanical analysis helps us to find out and visually display the temperature of an object without having to come into contact with it.

Due to this, thermomechanical analysis has a place in all branches of science, technology and medicine.

In the laboratory for vibration diagnostics at RWlab, we use thermomechanical analysis:

  • as an additional method for vibration spectrum analysis
  • for testing electrical installations

A large number of defects in the normal functioning of equipment manifest themselves in the form of a temperature gradient (a thermal hot spot) at the affected place. So, if we look at misaligned axles, or axles which are not parallel for example, in additon to analysing the vibration spectrum, we can further confirm this defect with thermomechanical scans which show an increase in the temperature of the bearings and journal box close to the couplings. Problems which can occur with the isolation of an electric motor stator, for example, overheating of the electric motor housing, can be detected through the spectrum of vibrations, as well as located by thermomechanical scans. So, bearing this in mind, concerning the spectral analysis of vibrations, thermomechanical analysis is a very useful additional method which enables us to further confirm the results of tests.

Termovizija nesaosnosti elektro-motora
The use of thermomechanical analysis to detect misalignment in electric motors

When working with electrical installations, thermomechanical analysis is an irreplaceable method for the early detection of a defect.  Such defects can be:

  • faulty electrical connections
  • an increase in the driving current
  • worn out fuses and connections
  • an inefficient cooling system

The laboratory for vibration diagnostics at RWlab, works with a thermomechanical camera of the manufacturer SKF, model TMTI 2DTS, with a measurement range of -10°C to +500°C.