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Old 09-24-2011, 02:04 PM
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Infrared Thermometers for Casting

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My Lyman thermometer gave out yesterday so I need a replacement. Is there any reason one of the Infrared Thermometers shouldn't work for this? I'm talking of those units that have a pistol grip and you aim it at the item you are measuring the temp on. I see several that will go as high as 1000 degrees F which will more than cover casting temps. It could be useful on other items you want to know the temp on as well. Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:20 PM
bsn bsn is offline
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No reason why it shouldn't.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:02 PM
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There may be a reason. It depends what you will measure and how accurately. These devices are calibrated to surface emissivity of a target and will only be accurate with a match to the emissivity setting. The good ones come with selectable emissivity and a table of emissivities of common example targets to use to pick a number. Emissivity is a scaling number, where 1.0 is a perfect black body, and 0 is a perfect reflector. A perfect black body emits IR perfectly in proportion to its absolute temperature, while a perfectly reflective body emits nothing and looks like a cold spot to an IR thermometer. Nothing practical is either a 1 or 0, but the maker of a fixed emissivity thermometer, like the one in the link, has to use a sort of typical number and it tends to favor black objects. It will give errors reading off reflective metal surfaces.

You can rig a surface for measuring by blackening it. You could float a square of black iron plate on your melt and get a reading off of it. Putting black stickers on things is a common strategy for getting a reading with an IR thermometer.

I think it's just easier to stick with thermocouple thermometers for melting and for having a probe on a mold block. HF used to carry one, but I don't see it now. I found this one on eBay for under $20 opening bid. With 1 resolution selected, it will go beyond lead melting temperatures. There are plenty of others offered.
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Last edited by unclenick; 09-24-2011 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys. I've done some research on the subject since yesterday and conclude the infrared units would not give readings that are consistent with my Lyman unit before it broke. It has the 6" stem that protrudes to the bottom of my Lee Pro 4-20 thus giving me a truer reading of my alloy temp. That unit you have a link to looks interesting I'm just not sure of the seller and quality. Roto-Metals sells a unit ($36.99+shipping) that they claim is the same as the RCBS Thermometer without the RCBS name on it. I can also pick up another Lyman unit from my local Cabela's for $37.99+sales tax. I was just considering getting something that could be used on other projects as well. Thanks again for your help.
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