The Difference Between Medical and Industrial Infrared Thermometers

An Infrared thermometer is a tool used to measure an object’s surface temperature without needing to come in contact with it. There are critical differences between infrared thermometers used in industrial settings and those used in medical settings.

They cannot be used interchangeably, but the data from both is crucial for driving decisions that impact humans. 

Infrared thermometers are also known as laser or non-contact thermometers. They generally work from a distance to measure a surface’s emissivity and infrared radiation value. The lens focuses its infrared light and guides it through the tool and to the thermopile, a detector.

The thermopile converts it to an electrical signal displayed as a temperature unit. It sounds like a complicated process, and while it is, it happens within just seconds. 

1. Medical Versus Industrial Infrared Thermometers

There are three types of infrared thermometers – mica lens, no lens, and fresnel lens. They all have different purposes, price ranges, and durability levels.

The infrared thermometer you would use to measure a human’s temperature is not the same as you would use to tackle industrial temperatures.

Whatever you plan to use your infrared thermometer for, you need the gun specifically designed for that particular use. 

a. Medical Infrared Thermometer

A medical infrared thermometer is incredibly accurate because it caters specifically to humankind’s bodily temperature range. That gives them a temperature range between 32°C and 42.5°C, and the level of accuracy you can expect is ±0.1°C.

The difference in human temperature between unwell and well is a degree or two. So, an infrared medical thermometer must be used rather than an industrial infrared thermometer that isn’t calibrated for such accuracy. 

b. Industrial Infrared Thermometer

The environmental or industrial infrared thermometer measures an extensive range to cater to various industrial applications. Its purpose is to measure surface temperatures. The extent of the industrial infrared thermometer’s temperature ranges from -60°C to 2200°C.

The tradeoff for the range of temperature reading the industrial infrared thermometer can handle accuracy. While they are still accurate, particularly for environmental or industrial applications, they have an error factor between ±1°C and 3°C. 

Final thoughts

In an industrial setting, a degree or two of inaccuracy isn’t a significant issue. Ultimately, if a circuit breaker is overloaded or a fuse is reaching its capacity, the accuracy rate will still provide you with the result you need to take the correct next steps. However, accuracy is vital to protecting human health in a medical setting. 

If you need to take safe and accurate temperature measurements of a human body, the only suitable choice is a medical infrared thermometer. If you want to check high-powered electrical circuits for faulty terminations, an infrared thermometer designed for industrial or environmental purposes is the most suitable option. 

Whatever temperature is right for your , team members must be adequately trained on correctly using the infrared thermometer. The only way to record the most accurate reading possible is to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. To find a range of infrared thermometers, check out RS components today!

This post was last modified on June 16, 2022 8:55 pm

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