Your THERMOGRAPHY COMFORT LEVEL – Why can’t my infrared camera see through glass?

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Have you ever asked the question “Why can’t my infrared camera see through glass”?  First of all, let’s appreciate that IR cameras do not “see through” things.  The detectors in thermal imaging cameras “receive” energy waves that come from the surface of objects.  Some infrared energy waves travel through glass and some do not.  For example, energy waves in the 2-5 micron wave length can travel through or transmit through glass.  Energy waves in the 7-14 micron wave length do not transmit through glass.  Most of the IR cameras being sold in the market today to water damage restoration technicians or home inspectors or energy auditors operate in the approximate bandwidth of 7-14 microns.  So, they are not able to detect energy waves coming through glass.  The Fluke TiS, TiR, TiR1, TiR32, Ti32, TiR3, TiR4, Ti50, Ti55 are all examples of IR cameras that operate in the approximate bandwidth of 7-14 microns. What the advantage of that bandwidth?  It’s an optimal bandwidth for transmission of infrared energy waves in earth’s atmosphere.  Notice the lack of IR transmission in the 2nd image below.

Our infrared camera does not see through glass
Our eyes can see through glass

 

However, infrared energy waves DO transmit through thin plastic.  Notice the IR transmission in the 2nd image below.

Our eyes can not see through this dark plastic bag
Infrared radiation as seen by the Fluke IR camera


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