How color palettes, alarms and markers improve infrared inspections

May 10, 2021
How color palettes, alarms and markers improve infrared inspections

Some thermal imagers include special in-camera features to expedite the process of finding potential trouble areas when inspecting equipment.

Color palettes

Infrared cameras provide a choice of color palettes—color schemes—on the camera and in software, that help quickly distinguish thermal variations and patterns in an image. The color tones correspond to the apparent surface temperatures of the target. The key is to select the palette that best shows the thermal differences for your specific application.

Some applications can be analyzed more effectively in a monochromatic palette such as grayscale or amber. Applications where you are dealing with smaller differences in temperature are easier to see and analyze by showing an image in a rich color palette such as ironbow, blue-red, or a high contrast palette. Keep in mind that one color palette may work better for on screen display and another may work better for printed reports.

All Fluke thermal imagers, for example, include multiple palettes, ranging from three standard palettes to eight standard and eight Ultra Contrast™ palettes. Standard palettes offer an equal, linear presentation of colors to provide the best detail. Ultra Contrast™ palettes offer a weighted presentation of colors that provides extra color contrast between the high and low temperatures, which works best where there is high thermal contrast.

Technicians can select or change the palette in the camera and in the software as needed.

Color Alarms

Some infrared cameras offer user-selectable high and/or low apparent temperature color alarms to quickly highlight areas that are outside of the normal temperature range. On Fluke infrared cameras, when you scan the area with the color alarms activated you see a visible light image of everything within the high and low parameters. Anything outside of those temperatures appears in infrared. That feature gives you a quick indication of where issues might be so you can drill down into those areas.

User-definable spot markers

Spot markers provide real-time diagnostic benefits on the camera that were previously only available in software. Several Fluke infrared cameras offer from one to three fixed-temperature spot markers that you can position on the camera display to highlight points of interest before saving the image.

To set the markers on a Fluke camera, go into the menu, select measurements, markers, and then the number of markers you want. The first marker will drop into the screen so you can drag and drop it into position by using the touchscreen or arrow keys. Then you can repeat the positioning process for one or two more markers.

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