Accurate temperature measurements are critical in manufacturing, affecting both product quality and energy consumption. At elevated temperatures, non-contact thermometers are often the only option. However, such instruments require prior knowledge of the surface emissivity, which is often unknown or difficult to determine, leading to large errors. Here we present a novel imaging luminescence thermometer based on the intensity ratio technique using magnesium fluorogermanate phosphor, with the potential to overcome this limitation. We describe measurements performed on a number of engineering alloys undergoing heat treatment at temperatures of up to 750 °C and compare these measurements against a traditional contact thermocouple and thermal imager system. Agreement between the luminescence and embedded thermocouple temperatures was found to be better than 45 °C at all temperatures. However, the thermal imager measurement on the bare metal samples, with the instrument emissivity set to 1.0, showed differences of up to 500 °C at 750 °C, a factor of 10 larger. In an effort to improve the thermal imager accuracy, its instrument emissivity was adjusted until its temperature agreed with that of the thermocouple. When measuring on the bare metal, the effective emissivity was strongly sample dependent, with mean values ranging from 0.205 to 0.784. Since the phosphor derived temperatures exhibited substantially smaller errors compared to the thermal imager, it is suggested that this method can be used to compliment the thermal imaging technique, by providing a robust mechanism for adjustment of the instrument emissivity until agreement between the thermal imager and phosphor thermometer is obtained.
- heat treatment