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FLIR Systems reports on an academic journal paper, written by researchers Dr. Alexandros Charogiannis, Dr. Ivan Zadrazil and Dr. Christos Markides at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (London, UK), that describes a novel, combined IR thermographic and velocimetry technique for the investigation of multiphase flows.

Liquid-film flows are open-flow systems that can exhibit a rich spectrum of complex wave regimes, flow transitions and dynamics. Ongoing research into these flow systems is motivated by a strong desire to harness the already excellent high heat and mass transfer capabilities of these flows in the broad range of engineering and industrial applications in which they are employed. Examples of such applications include cooling schemes used in electronic and mechanical systems, heat exchangers, film condensers, evaporators and reactors.

The paper describes a new technique, termed ‘thermographic particle velocimetry’ (TPV), which is capable of the simultaneous measurement of two-dimensional (2-D) surface temperature and velocity at the interface of multiphase flows. The TPV technique relies on high-resolution IR thermography measurements taken at high frame-rates using a FLIR X6540sc IR camera and is based on the employment of highly reflective particles which, when suspended near or at the interface, can be distinguished from the surrounding fluid domain due to their different emissivity.

The Imperial College London researchers used a series of image processing steps to recover the temperature and velocity distributions, including the decomposition of each original raw IR image into separate thermal and particle images, the application of perspective distortion corrections and spatial calibration, and finally the implementation of standard particle velocimetry algorithms. This procedure is demonstrated by application of the TPV technique to a heated and stirred flow in an open container. In addition, two validation experiments are presented, one dedicated to the measurement of interfacial temperature and one to the measurement of interfacial velocity. The results generated by the TPV technique are shown to correlate well with data generated by conventional techniques.

A copy of the academic journal paper may be downloaded by visiting http://www.flir.eu/science/blog/?id=71216.

The X6540sc IR camera from FLIR Systems provides ultra-fast frame-rate acquisition for scientific and research applications involving dynamic thermal events. The device features a 640 × 512 digital InSb detector with spectral sensitivity from 1.5 to 5.5 µm and a f/3 aperture. It provides images up to 125 Hz in full frame and up to 4011 Hz in a 64 × 8 sub-windowing mode. Features on this research grade camera include high thermal sensitivity, snapshot imagery, a motorized spectral filter wheel and a detachable touch-screen LCD. The camera connects to the company’s ResearchIR Max R&D software for thermal imaging data acquisition, analysis and reporting.  The X6540sc can be temperature-calibrated up to 300°C, or up to 3000°C with spectral and/or neutral density filters, and it provides measurement accuracy of ±1°C for standard configurations.

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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