Polymer Vs Crystal IR Windows: What’s the Difference?
Crystal IR Windows
IR windows were all constructed from crystal lenses, traditionally. This tradition has been brought through to the crystal infrared window industry of today. We find Germanium, Zinc Selenide, Calcium Fluoride, and Sapphire comprising modern-day crystal installations.
But what are the limitations of crystal, and its advantages?
- The plates used in these installations are usually limited to 4? diameters
- In addition to their size, these plates are also only available in round shapes
- They’re considered quite fragile, and certainly not impact resistant
- Often more expensive than a polymer configuration
- It’s a material that’s built for high ambient temperatures
- It can withstand extreme environments
- Crystals allow for relatively straightforward visual inspections
- These installations are compatible with every IR imager out there
It must be stated again that crystal IR windows are hygroscopic and quite fragile. They have a high degree of efficacy in their use but can be a hassle to use. Visually and thermally, they let us observe higher voltage equipment without disrupting it.
Polymer can be considered the “new kid on the block” in the infrared window community. Having only really gained its popularity in the last few years, this material may come in several varieties, depending on what you buy, and why.
Whether you get yours in opaque or clear, with reinforcement or without, there are a few things you should know, ahead of time.
- These aren’t suitable in any high-temperature environment above 200?C
- It’s recommended you bring in an expert for consultation before you order a window in a custom size or shape
- These are ideal for use in industrial environments
- They have a consistent transmissivity that is also very stable
- Polymer is compatible with all IR imagers
- They are impact-resistant
- There are a variety of size and shape options available
- They’re less expensive than traditional crystal
Polymer Vs Crystal IR Windows
There’s no mystery to it: Infrared windows are windows into cabinets that allow us to examine electrical components. What they share in common is their construction: metal or plastic frames, with a precisely-cut transmissive optic. Where they differ, however, is in the optics, themselves.
Hopefully, today’s article has enlightened you somewhat as to what each one does, and what it has to offer you.
Interested in learning more about Polymer Vs Crystal IR Windows or other thermal standard? Get in touch with us, today, and find out more about our expert inspection services.