Thermography ... any hints?
Hello lads.

I am interested in Thermograhy .. I need to see solids in tanks, large tanks, 1'' thick steel tanks.. does anyone have experience in this field, software or technology?
all thoughts are welcome.


ieezitin, proud to be a member of MetalworkingFun Forum since Jan 2013.
Thanks given by:
Sounds like you need to suit up in a lead overcoat and take X-rays.
Thanks given by:
This might be a good place to begin:

1'' thick steel tanks? 17428
Sherman, Panzer or Abrahms? Big Grin
Thanks given by:
Having spent my entire professional life tangental to the printing industry, I thought I could add something... in that context, thermography is a post-print process in which powdered plastic is dusted onto the still-tacky ink, the excess blown off & recycled, then run through a heat setting oven to give the type a raised, slightly pebbly finish. It was very popular in the '80s on business cards.

Sorry, no 1" steel tanks involved. :)
Thanks given by:
Thermograhy can work really well if you are trying to see, maybe say, fluid levels in tanks, but only when the fluid level differs in temperature significantly to the ambient and where the tank material is conductive of heat but not overly conductive. 

So evaporating Propane in a 3mm steel tank can be easily seen as there is about a 10 degree difference pretty quickly and while the steel conducts the heat difference it doesn't have the conductivity required to equalise the whole tank evenly as say 10mm thick Aluminium might,
So solids... depends on grain size and contact surface area but it'll never be as good as liquid, also important is temperature of the solid and the ratio of mass of solid to the mass of the tank.

My guess is "find another path" sorry

I worked in "Specialised Diagnostics" my last two years at the Steelworks in which I was trained, we used Ultra sonics, vibration analysis, Radiography, Thermography and various other non destructive methods to "Diagnose" all kinds of stuff.

Level sensing is pretty easy, but surface profile sensing much harder, what is it you're trying to do?

Whatever it is, do it today, Tomorrow may not be an option and regret outlasts fatigue.
Thanks given by:

I think it might be doable with a FLIR sensor depending on what you are looking at. The gas above liquid in a tank responds to temperature changes much more quickly that the liquid, so it creates a gradient. Here is a link to an article on the subject with some pretty impressive pics:

Twenty years ago I could have got you some answers since I used to work for a company that built aerial FLIR scanners. Unfortunately I've lost touch with those guys.

[Image: TomsTechLogo-Profile.png]
Thanks given by:

thanks for the replies.

Tom that article was a good read and it explains exactly the business i am in, I work for a refinery and co manage all storage tanks for the plant, cleaning and repairs are a huge cost of tankage and this technology plays a big part for gathering data.

To set the scene, an average crude tank is 150' dia x 50' high and after 10 years of service may yield 3' of sludge, do the math and you will find thats a huge amount of material to recycle or dispose of,crude tanks are not the real problem, we have smaller diameter tanks that cost 3 times more to clean they are mainly our slop tanks, these are tanks that get every product within the plant either refined or not sent to it for temporary storage for what ever reason, this means the residue it produces contains nasty materials like sand, cat finds, heavy metals and general trash which is extremely expensive to dispose of, average cost of $0.70 per pound. 

We have a rather expensive camera at work (its about 5 years old technology) and gives us pretty decent shots but its only one dimension, solids don't settle equally they pile or lean, my original question was does anyone know more about this subject is because i want to put a FLIR on a drone and survey my tanks that way so i can get a better picture of my solids which makes my budgeting more accurate.

We had a drone company come in and show us there technology and we had them fly around taking pictures and stuff but as yet no FLIR.

When i get the pictures back ill post them.

ieezitin, proud to be a member of MetalworkingFun Forum since Jan 2013.
Thanks given by:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)