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Uncertainty Analysis of Infrared Thermography in Convective Heat Transfer

[+] Author Affiliations
Nelson K. Akafuah, Carsie A. Hall, III, Ting Wang

University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56537, pp. 367-375; 9 pages
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 1
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4690-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Infrared thermography is the preferred choice in many industrial processes for thermal diagnostics, condition monitoring, and non-destructive testing. However, the inherent uncertainty of surface emissivity affects the accuracy of temperature measurement by infrared thermography. In this paper a comprehensive experimental investigation was conducted to assess the uncertainty of infrared thermography in convective heat transfer. Four convective heat transfer conditions, including natural and forced convection on a flat plate, were studied. A composite test plate was constructed with an embedded heater and thermocouples. The thermocouples were used as references to compare with measurements by the infrared camera. The results indicate that the uncertainty of temperature measurement is about 4°F (2.7% of the wall-to-ambient temperature difference) with the largest uncertainty being contributed by calibration of the infrared camera. The uncertainty of the heat transfer coefficient is 4.2% which is largely contributed by wall temperature measurement.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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