Thermography Advantages & Disadvantages

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Thermography---also known as thermal imaging---is a method often used in science and business to view a range of the electromagnetic spectrum that is not visible to the human eye. Thermography makes use of infrared radiation that is emitted by objects. Since infrared radiation varies with temperature, thermography is a useful imaging technique to pick-out objects with variable temperatures.

Large Area

Thermography equipment allows for a large area to be assessed. Since thermography equipment can be used over a large area, it serves some practical uses—firefighters use thermo-imaging equipment that allows them to see through smoke, which otherwise impairs normal eyesight. This is a tremendous safety innovation that thermography provides.

Real Time

Current thermography technology allows for recording in real-time rather than just snapshots. This technology allows thermo-imaging to be more useful in a variety of circumstances. Even automakers are including live thermo-imaging technology in luxury cars. Vehicles—such as certain models of Cadillacs—use thermo-imaging equipment to help drivers on the road, as well as with parking.

Detecting Defects

Infrared detection is very important for pipes and shafts that are built into buildings, skyscrapers, and homes. For high-end projects, many construction companies use thermographic cameras that detect leaks in pipes to ensure they are repaired prior to finishing the project.

Inaccurate Measurements

If temperatures are very close in range, infrared imaging can lead to misreading information taken in from the camera; objects can become indistinguishable. The current technology in thermography only allows for imaging to be applied to surface temperatures.


The downside to thermography is the price tag that is associated with thermo-imaging equipment. This equipment is rarely used by anybody other than large companies, public services, or educational institutions due to the price that it costs to purchase equipment.


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Steve Johnson is an avid and passionate writer with more than five years of experience. He's written for several industries, including health, dating and Internet marketing, as well as for various websites. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas.