Commercial ships are rewarding objects for thermographic inspections: they have huge machinery, vast
electrical installations, extended electronic systems, which can hardly be surveyed by visual inspections. Moreover, fire
prevention is an important issue and relevant prescriptions are clear: according to the International Convention for the
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the maximum surface temperature of machinery, parts and components in a vessel’s engine
room should not rise above 220°C. In order to avoid ignition and fire development, all surfaces above 220°C are to be insulated
or otherwise protected (SOLAS, Ch.II-2, reg.15.2.10).
Statistics show that the majority
of engine room fires are caused by broken pipes or damaged gasket on fuel or oil pipes, which eventually spray
on close hot surfaces. This is why infrared thermography can be used to locate this hot places which can not bee seen
with the naked eye. Such fires is hard to stop, and create severe damages and possible loss of life.