ATEC offers a wide range of borescope rentals and videoscopes at affordable rates from trusted manufacturers including Olympus, Extech, and GE.
What is a Borescope?
An industrial borescope is a tool used for remote visual inspections in cramped or dangerous environments that cannot be observed by the human eye. The borescope uses a long, durable tube to reach and continue working in those unsafe areas. Some borescopes use a stiff metal for the tubing, while others have a flexible rubber and mesh combination to navigate a winding path.
One end of the borescope will feature either an opening or a camera and light to capture clear images of the environment. As technology has improved, the borescope inspection camera has also been upgraded with most models able to record video. The other end of a borescope has an eyepiece or digital monitor to view the recorded image.
Both reliable and versatile, the borescope rental is an essential tool for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). Professionals in aerospace, automotive, metal casting, weaponry, aviation, electronics, and sanitation continue to rent borescopes and videoscopes for everyday tasks.
Common Borescope Visual Inspection Applications
- Automotive engines
- Turbine engines
- Casting parts
- Electrical systems inspection
- Tubes, especially heat exchanger tubes
- Gear boxes
- Welded parts
- Manufactured components
- Sanitary checks
- Weapons inspection
- Metal casing
- Item retrieval
- Law enforcement inspection
Choosing the Right Industrial Borescope Camera
One borescope rental might be ideal for an inspection, but a different probe may be needed for other NDT testing. Consider these specifications when choosing a borescope rental:
- Length - Determine the distance from yourself to the inspection area and choose a borescope that offers more length than needed. Most borescopes are available up to 30 meters in length.
- Diameter - Similar to length, borescope diameter depends on the width of the part being inspected. The diameter should generally be as large as possible to provide the most comprehensive view.
- Field of View (FOV) - The cone of vision extended by the camera, field of view can range from 10° to 100°. A larger FOV sees more of an area but loses clarity, with image detail improving as the FOV gets smaller.
- Depth of Field (DOF) - Also called effective focus range, depth of field determines how far the camera can reside from an object while maintaining image quality.
- Lighting - Borescope lights are available as an accessory, but many devices come with a built-in LED source to better inspect an area.
- Flexibility - Borescope, fiberscope, and videoscope rentals can range from unbending to fully flexible to meet all needs for NDT inspections.
Do I Need a Rigid, Semi-Rigid, or Flexible Borescope Rental?
While borescopes vary in size, length, and camera details, flexibility and rigidity could be the most important detail.
These tools resemble a narrow telescope thanks to an outer tube made of stainless steel. That strong exterior prevents any flexibility, using a lens system to relay the image from one open end of the borescope to an eyepiece on the other end. These devices offer the highest resolution for a borescope, producing a clear view from great distances.
Easy to use, the stainless steel outer layer also prevents damage in extreme temperatures. Rigid borescopes can continue operating in temperatures that range from -20°C to 140°C.
Rigid borescopes are most often used by manufacturers and in the automotive industry where there's a straight path to view an area.
The most durable type, semi-rigid borescopes use a stainless steel exterior that bends slightly. Instead of a glass lens, these devices use fiber optics to produce the image. While the change allows for better flexibility in the borescope, it sacrifices image quality and high-resolution viewing.
These devices are best for inspecting the smallest and most poorly-lit areas. Semi-rigid borescopes are often much smaller than other types, with some available rentals reaching 0.35 mm. While the flexibility is limited, it allows these tools to navigate bores and catheters with ease.
Flexible Borescopes and Fiberscopes
Mesh tubing and a metal weave protect these probes and make them the most flexible borescopes. The flexible coating allows fiberscopes to weave through the most confined spaces for NDT testing.
A fiber-optic lens on one end of the borescope captures the image, although it has a lower resolution than other borescopes. Fiberscopes also allow users to turn the probe's head and offer a better view angle.
Fiberscope rentals are often used for machine maintenance in the aviation, automotive, and medical industries.
What is a Videoscope?
Another tool for Non-Destructive Testing, the videoscope is a borescope with a video camera on the end. The videoscope, or video borescope, sends a live feed from the camera to a monitor on the other end.
Like any other borescope rental, videoscopes can have either a rigid or flexible exterior to meet every inspection need. From the LCD monitor, users can control all aspects of the camera while in use including: zoom, recording, playback, and camera direction. In aviation, military, automotive, and manufacturing, videoscope rentals have become a desired and reliable form of NDT testing.