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May/June 2009

Use of Infrared Thermometers

Providing practical advice on the use of infrared thermometers is the purpose of a proposed new ASTM International standard. Infrared thermometry is used in a variety of measurement applications, including heating, ventilating and air conditioning, building inspection, industrial and manufacturing, automotive and food service equipment.

The proposed new standard, WK21204, Guide for the Selection and Use of Wide-Band, Low Temperature Infrared Thermometers, is being developed by Subcommittee E20.02 on Radiation Thermometry, part of ASTM International Committee E20 on Temperature Measurement.

According to Frank Liebmann, senior design engineer, Fluke Corp., Hart Scientific Division, and chair of Subcommittee E20.02, WK21204 will provide a general guide in the use of infrared thermometry. Liebmann says that the proposed standard is designed to increase basic understanding of infrared thermometers in order to minimize the potential for inaccurate measurements.

Infrared thermometers are used for noncontact temperature measurement, which means they do not touch the object whose temperature is being measured. In addition to not having to touch what is being measured, another advantage to IR thermometry is quicker measurements because contact thermometers usually have a longer reaction time due to the thermal mass of their sensors.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the development of WK21204.


Technical Information: Frank Liebmann, Fluke Corp., Hart Scientific Division, American Fork, Utah

Phone: 801-763-1600

ASTM Staff: Christine DeJong

Phone: 610-832-9736