Thermal imager improves strain testing of polymeric materials

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A UK-based stress analysis consultancy firm is using thermal imaging cameras from Micro-Epsilon to monitor energy flow processes in a wide range of components and materials.

Established in 2004, Chesterfield-based firm Strain Solutions is using Micro-Epsilon’s ThermoImager TIM160 inline radiometric thermal imaging camera to conduct thermal non-destructive evaluation (NDE) projects for clients in the UK, Continental Europe and North America. This work includes strain and fatigue performance tests, where the camera is used to detect very small changes in the temperature of materials or components as they are bent, fabricated or work-hardened.

Powered and operated via a USB 2.0 interface, the ThermoImager TIM160 is a low cost inline radiometric thermal imaging camera. It is supplied with a full software package, TIM Connect, that enables the user to configure all device parameters, as well as enabling the real-time capture (at 120Hz full frame rate) and storage of images or video of an event for slow motion play back or snapshots at a later date – an important feature in R&D and failure diagnostics work.

As Dr Richard John Greene, managing director at Strain Solutions comments: ‘The ThermoImager TIM160 is a superb little device with a high frame rate and unusually high thermal sensitivity and response rate for a camera of this price level [less than £3,000]. The camera housing and lens combination is also unusually compact, which has allowed us to use the system for internal inspection of structural components.’