Let’s Talk About Borescopes – Where Humans Fail, Instrument Wins




A borescope is an optical device that is used to examine the interiors of a structure using a tiny lens. It can be rigid or flexible. Borescopes vary in diameter, length, performance, and functionality. They are applicable in areas that include automotive, aviation, sanitation, electronic, refining, law enforcement, and metal casting.

What are the different types of borescopes available?

Industrial borescope

It’s challenging for humans to spot any distanced nano-objects in industrial areas through naked eyes. An Industrial borescope allows Remote Visual Inspections(RVI) of the areas which humans cannot easily spot.

Rigid borescope

Earlier, Remote Visual Inspections(RVI) were utilized for bore examinations in large guns. Rigid borescope has a metal insertion probe that looks like a thin long-shaped tube such as a telescope. It give you real-time view of the strtucture that you are inspecting.

  • The Rigid borescope gives a fascinating picture resolution in terms of the image quality. You get to see the images with very high clarity.
  • Considering it is rigid, this kind of borescope can only be used for accessing and viewing straight interiors of any structure.
  • The only pitfall is that you’ll find it difficult to inspect the interiors of objects that are not straight and have turns and corners.

They are used for observation of automotive cylinders, injectors, and hydraulic various other objects. A video push camera is attached to the eyepiece using a special adapter. The dimensions of rigid borescope, which are available in the market are 1.8 mm to 8 mm and length from 10 cm to 90 cm in diameters.

Semi-rigid borescope

Compared to the Rigid borescope, Semi-rigid borescope is bendable, flexible, and sturdy. They can enter any confined areas because of its ability to bend. However, they have low image quality when compared to other borescopes.

Fiberscopes

Fiberscopes are made with bunching many optical fibers, which are as thin as the hair strands. The inner layers of these minute fibers are made of glass. This type of fiber optics are deigned to transfer the image of objects or data at very high speeds, without causing any data or quality loss. They are also used for inspections in areas, where straight-line accessibility is not possible.

  • A fiberscope is also categorized as ‘semi-rigid’ and is convenient for articulation.
  • Some low-cost fiberscopes use elastic fibers instead of glass fibers, which compromises the image standards.
  • Unfortunately, if fiber breaks due to rough usage, then the view will be distorted, displaying tiny dots on your screen.

Video borescopes

Video borescopes are advanced fiberscopes, which allows video recording through a nano borescope camera located at the rear end of the insertion tube. There is no fear of breakage of the fibers. The camera captures the inspected area live and displays the output.

  • The 4 mm diameter video borescope is the most popular, because of its functionality. It’s flexible and is available with or without articulation of 3 meters(9.8 feet) of working length.
  • It is used in aviation and aerospace industry, as it can easily navigate through any confined chambered structures.

VJ-3 articulating video borescopes

These are built with a feature that captures and records high standard video footage, covering a wide range of commercial and industrial inspection areas. They serve as industrial portable borescope, and boasts of many features like 4-way joystick-operated articulation and also a medical-grade camera.  It is also available at a very competitive price.

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