Choosing an Infrared Pyrometer

What to know when choosing an infrared pyrometer

Choosing an Infrared Thermometer

Infrared temperature sensors are designed for industrial use where having a durable, robust and reliable sensor with a long life expectancy is required.  When choosing an infrared pyrometer for your application, there are many a few things to be aware of.

What is an Infrared Pyrometer?

An infrared pyrometer is a non-contact temperature measuring device that uses infrared radiation to determine the temperature of an object.

It operates based on the principle that all objects emit infrared radiation proportional to their temperature. An infrared pyrometer typically consists of a lens to focus the radiation onto a sensor, which converts the received radiation into an electrical signal.

The device then uses this signal to calculate and display the object’s temperature. Infrared pyrometers are widely used in various industries, including manufacturing, automotive, and metallurgy, where precise and non-invasive temperature measurement is essential for quality control and safety.

How Does a Pyrometer Work?

A pyrometer works by detecting the infrared radiation (heat) emitted by an object. It uses a sensor to capture this radiation and then converts it into a temperature reading. This non-contact method allows pyrometers to measure the temperature of hot objects, like metals, without physically touching them.

8 Things to Know When Choosing an Infrared Thermometer

When choosing an infrared pyrometer, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. The material you want to measure and its surface finish

Choosing the right infrared pyrometer for the material you need to measure and the surface finish is essential for your application.

This is extremely important to be able to take a reliable temperature measurement and will have a direct impact on the sensor chosen and the emissivity setting you use.

Remember that metallic parts are potentially tricky to measure but with careful sensor selection, we can overcome these issues. Special sensors are also available to accurately measure the temperature of thin film plastics, glass and through flames. Also, don’t forget to choose a sensor with adjustable emissivity.

All Optris sensors have this facility but you may find that other manufacturers do not.

2. The size of the object that you are measuring

When choosing an infrared pyrometer, the size of the object being measured is necessary so the correct sensor can be selected. The measuring spot for the sensor needs to be positioned completely on the part.

We can offer plenty of choices when it comes to selecting a sensor with a variety of optical resolutions available including spot size down to less than 1mm in some cases.

3. Ambient temperature

Is the infrared pyrometer you have chosen suitable for the operating environment it will be working in? If not, it is possible to cool or heat the sensor to ensure it meets the operating parameters.

4. Dust, dirt and humidity

Is there a high possibility of debris or moisture settling on the lens of your infrared pyrometer? If so, this will almost certainly lead to poor-quality measurements. It is possible to fit air purge collars to our sensors in order to prevent this.

5. How you’ll aim the infrared pyrometer

For many applications, it is easy to aim the industrial infrared pyrometer as the parts are large enough that it is almost impossible to miss. However, when considering smaller parts and when measuring through gaps in machinery aiming will be important. We can offer laser aiming accessories and our high-performance series have an innovative dual laser aiming system built in that gives spot size and position.

6. Are you measuring through a window?

If your infrared pyrometer is measuring through a window, then you’ll consider two things. First of all, will the window transmit infrared light in the part of the spectrum you need for your sensor? If so, you will also need to consider losses.

Placing a window in front of your sensor is a bit like wearing sunglasses, some energy gets lost. All you need to do is compensate for this loss by entering a transmissivity setting in your sensor’s software.

7. Infrared pyrometer output signal

You will obviously need to know what signal you need from your sensor in order for it to operate with your instrumentation. Fortunately, Optris sensors have a multitude of possibilities available and many are configurable on the unit itself.

8. Speed of response

By their very nature infrared temperature sensors are a lot quicker than contact probes such as thermocouples or RTDs. However, in some applications speed of response is extremely important.

Typically an Optris sensor will have a response time of fewer than 100 milliseconds but we offer products with response times as fast as 1 millisecond.

Summary of Infrared Pyrometers for Universal Measurements

This article is intended as a guide and does not replace our own free technical assistance which is always readily available.

If you have any questions about choosing an infrared pyrometer for your application, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Process Parameters. Call us at 01628 778688 or email us here.

Send An Enquiry

Related Articles: