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Custom Infrared Windows are in Demand for Nuclear Engineering
- Published: Tuesday, 27 August 2013 14:38
The nuclear industry is a natural market for IRISS industrial grade infrared windows and recent orders certainly prove the point.
Process and safety critical systems are central to many operations so predictive maintenance using IRISS windows is the perfect method to minimise downtime through breakdown. However, it is not just the UK nuclear industry that is benefiting from IRISS technology. Success in the UK has also prompted the receipt of several new orders from the wider Europe, largely for IRISS CAP Series of custom windows.
‘Caution, keep this door closed’ is a sign every maintenance engineer will encounter on electrical switchgear cabinets. This warning alerts them to the serious prospect of arc flash that has the potential to cause serious and even fatal burns. As a result there are two options.
The electrical system can be shut down so that an electrician, in full PPE can remove the panel and inspect components. The drawback is that this solution only allows faulty components such as terminals to be identified. As the system isn’t under load there is no possibility of assessing, for example, the heat rise in a bus bar.
The increasingly preferable solution for many in the nuclear engineering industry is predictive maintenance using the combination of thermal imaging and IRISS polymer infrared windows. These provide data collection points that keep the thermographer safe whilst allowing him or her to inspect the fully energised system and obtain both quantitative and qualitative information.
To meet this need IRISS is now processing orders for its custom application, CAP Series, windows for two sites in England and one in Scotland. And in recent weeks orders for the same products have been received from Bulgaria and Slovenia. As they are made from a patented polymer, CAP allows the size of the window to match the application. For example, a CAP window can be specified to allow a thermal camera to image a bus bar or multiple components in a single pass.
The nuclear sector is also showing interest in the new IRISS rainbow format windows that allow them to be ‘wrapped around’ systems such as turbines and motors. Additionally, these products can be incorporated into guarding, allowing the thermographer to inspect operating machinery without compromising personal safety.