Tips For Buying The Best Infrared Windows

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If you are currently evaluating the purchase of infrared windows for your company you should know which type is most suitable for your environment. It’s highly recommended to consult with a professional and not try to do this on your own. IR windows are also known as “inspection windows” as the purpose of this technology is to allow infrared radiation to transmit information to the outside environment. 

Infrared windows should not be confused with the reinforcements locksmiths recommend you to do of home windows to make them more resistant against direct attacks. While this is important for home security, the windows we are talking about here are of a very different kind. The IR windows we talk about here allow infrared cameras to see and measure the apparent temperature of objects inside energized electrical equipment indoors. This maintains safe and guarded conditions as IR inspection can identify issues like moisture intrusion at an early stage. These windows allow visual, infrared, and ultraviolet inspections and they also provide a safe and cheap way of completing inspections on energized electrical equipment. A multi-technology inspection window goes beyond infrared by adding ultrasound capabilities. In addition to allowing thermal imaging, UV, ultrasound, and partial discharge inspections to be performed all through a single window. One type of window can accommodate multiple inspection technologies.

What To Consider When Buying A New Infrared Window

Once you have decided upon which window will suit your needs best, the are extra criteria to consider:

  • Field of view: This takes into consideration the viewing angles or distance from target to camera, giving the window dimensions.

  • Are all the internal objects visible to the camera, or is something blocking the view? The field of view calculation determines the size of the inspection window needed for each piece of equipment. Specify the targets you want to be able to see so you can choose the right size for the infrared windows.

  • Compliance with flammability, impact, and load requirements with OEM specifications for materials and color. The window cover protects the window optic as well as the maintenance team.

  • The viewing lens materials must also be considered. The lens material must be able to withstand mechanical impact and static load requirements with the window open. It must have a fixed and stable transmission rate for the life of the unit and not change over time as this can lead to temperature measurement errors. It should not change with exposure to humidity or vibration and other environmental factors. Outdoor lens materials should withstand exposure to the sun and not degrade when exposed to water.

Depending on the application, windows may need to comply with various certifications. Keep in mind there are also infrared windows that incorporate diamond lite covers. These special covers come with a number of holes that have been either punched or drilled in order to enable thermographers to clearly look at the panel components and measure the temperature with zero interference. One drawback of these styles of infrared window panels makes it harder to spot the exact location of the high temperatures. Nonetheless, they are considered superior compared to measuring temperatures indirectly.

Choose The Right Lenses For The New Infrared Windows

You can always opt for some expert lens alternatives that will let you take images through tiny holes that can also be drilled inside the panels. The lens’ ends are usually 16mm in diameter or even smaller than that and they also feature wide FOV ranging from 4” to 45” or more. These dimensions will allow you to look at the components with more ease without interfering with the integrity of the panel that is being assessed. There is also a small drawback of using this type of lens – they come with a higher price tag and they are also only compatible with certain types of infrared windows, so they might not be a good alternative for everyone.

Keep in mind that some materials will be less sturdy compared to others, and you can look at the knoop hardness figures to learn what is the exact resistance to penetration. Some materials have a higher number, for example, rugged fabrics like Sapphire, while materials that are considered more fragile come with a low number. You will also need to pay special attention to the operating environments where they will be used on the infrared windows. Making the wrong choice when looking at the available materials is likely to cause you a lot of money later on.

If you are interested in investing in reliable IR windows made of crystals, you could opt for Germanium. This fabric features an excellent Anti-Reflective interior coating and it is also protected by hard carbon on the exterior. Germanium is considered more suitable than Zinc Selenide and it also comes with a more affordable price tag, which is an important aspect that should be considered when shopping for new infrared windows.

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