Across many industries, borescopes are necessary tools that every engineer or technician needs to properly inspect equipment. This can range from aircraft engines, automotive engines, pipes, structures, and more. This type of equipment allows the individual to be able to access out-of-reach places within an area to be able to properly inspect for faults or to comply with safety standards.
Over the decades, the borescope has undergone some serious technological advancements with the introduction of remote visual inspection (RVI) technology, allowing one to even record and save images taken during the inspection. These advancements, as well, provide better optical clarity to detect even the most minute issues inside the deepest components of a structure or engine.
Prior to choosing your ideal borescope, there are careful considerations that must be made regarding the specifics of your work including the area being inspected and the size of the entry point. Once you know exactly what you need, finding the best borescope is the next step in your process. They have a vast selection of borescopes across all industries, making it simple to find the best one for you.
A Comprehensive Look at Borescopes
Before determining which borescope you will need to complete your job, you will need to consider some workplace factors. These can include entry port size, the inspection area, and the size of the defect area. As well, one would need to take into account any environmental factors such as pressure and the temperature of the area.
There are three types of borescopes available and each have their own qualities and strengths. They are rigid borescopes, flexible borescopes, and videoscopes. Rigid borescopes are ideal for situations where the place of inspection consists of a straight path as the tube is not flexible. Some common components for a rigid borescope include an eyepiece, viewing head, tubular shell, optical lens, and a light source.
For flexible borescopes, their tube is flexible, allowing the person to navigate into hard to reach places in different angles. These borescopes come equipped with 40,000 glass fibers which each have their own reflective index. Common components include:
- Objective lens
- Eyepiece lens
- Articulation controls
- Fiber bundles
- Protective sheath
- Focus and diopter ring
- Auxiliary light source
Lastly, there is a videoscope which has the capability of producing video images for optimal clarity and recording purposes. These borescopes can come with either a rigid or flexible tube, video processor, probe, and display. They can produce still or video images and come with software that can automate reports and even store data in a database for future reference.
The Future of Borescope Technology
However, this isn’t the “end all, be all” part of the story. There are others in the field who are attempting to upgrade the borescope so that it allow these instruments to become more than just passive observers. Currently there are three projects in the works that are attempting to tailor these borescopes to the customer’s specific needs including a:
- Working channel borescope – these will be fitted with a separate hollow channel that will allow the technician to attach other instruments including a vacuum line and a mechanical grabber for completing work in the area while inspecting it.
- Power blending borescope – this borescope will allow the technician to fix dents right away on turbine blades based on the engine’s specifications. They will also have the ability to connect to a portable viewer, allowing the tech to look at a separate, bigger screen while working and record the footage for later purposes.
- UV/White Light Videoscope – this is a 3mm videoscope that has the capability of switching between ultraviolet and white light for use with dye penetrant inspections. One can use the white light to navigate the tube into the engine and then switch over to the UV light to conduct the dye penetrant inspection.
It is truly remarkable how far borescopes have come over the years. They have become a vital tool for assisting technicians and engineers with inspecting components of their fields and to ensure that safety standards are met. They have undergone some technological advancements allowing for recording video, utilizing attachments for multitasking, and for making repairs on the spot. Finding the right borescope is easier now, more than ever, as long as you know what to look for to complete your job right.