Someone comes in to your facility with an infrared camera to make measurements through an IR window. How do you know the camera will work with your Infrared window?

Step 1. Determine the type of IR Camera you are using.

There are 3 types of IR cameras:

  • Short wave covering 1 to 3 microns
  • Mid Wave covering 3 to 5 microns and used mainly by police or military
  • Long wave covering 8 to 12 microns - most commonly used in industrial settings

Note: 5 to 8 micron range is not used for infrared surveys.

Step 2. Determine the type of infrared window material.

The most common IR materials used in industrial settings you will run into are:

  • Calcium Fluoride
  • IR Polymer
  • Sapphire

Step 3. Determine the transmission range of the material

  • Calcium Fluoride .13 to 10 microns
  • IR Polymer about 3 to about 12.5 microns
  • Sapphire .17 to 5.5 microns


1. Long wave cameras that are used for most industrial applications cannot collect infrared data through a sapphire window because the sapphire does not transmit beyond 5.5 microns. Long wave cameras operate beginning at 8 microns.

2. Any brand of long wave camera can collect data from a calcium fluoride crystal window. The calcium fluoride range ends at about 10 microns and the long wave cameras operate beginning at 8 microns.

3. Any brand of long wave camera can collect data through an IR polymer window. IR Polymers transmit infrared energy from about 3 to 12.5 microns and the long wave cameras cover 8 to 12 microns.

4. Infrared windows are not camera or brand specific. You must know the material properties you are trying to see through as well as the operating range of your camera.

5. Infrared cameras are not window brand specific.

6. Long wave cameras in an industrial setting can collect infrared data from both calcium fluoride windows as well as IR Polymer windows.
For more information on this topic and the full line of IRISS products, contact IRISS today at: +1 (941) 907-9128 or by e-mail at:

Tip provided by IRISS

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