All the Ways You Can Use a Micro Borescope

by | Nov 30, 2020 | News

Micro borescopes are inspection tools that can be used anywhere from the aviation industry to automotive work. Although versatile, these industrial borescopes are not one size fits all. That’s why USA Borescopes allows clients to customize their micro borescope. Whether you need a longer probe or a camera to record the examination, we can create a tool that suits your borescope inspection needs. 

Unsure if you need a micro borescope? In this article, we will cover the different ways micro borescopes are used and what to consider when buying your own. Let’s get started!

What Is A Micro Borescope

Before we go over how micro borescopes are used, let’s discuss their distinguishing features. A micro borescope is a type of remote visual inspection tool designed to examine small spaces. Unlike most modern borescopes, micro borescopes use an eyepiece to transfer images to the operator, as opposed to a camera. According to Advanced Turbine Support, “They transmit images using traditional lenses that display through an eyepiece.” The eyepiece is mounted to the end of an insertion rod, which the operator can use to navigate the machine during a borescope inspection. 

Micro borescopes are made with a durable poly exterior sheathing, making them popular industrial borescopes. In the aviation industry, for example, it’s important that borescopes have a protective layer when navigating complex machines. If you want to take extra steps to protect your borescope, USA Borescopes offers stainless steel sheathing on micro borescopes at least 0.7mm in diameter.

Most micro borescopes are actually fiberscopes, as they feature semi-flexible probes which allow them to navigate tight bends and corners. In the aviation industry, micro fiberscopes are particularly helpful for deep turbine engine inspections, which require technicians to maneuver around corners and past obstacles. USA Borescopes also offers semi-rigid micro borescopes via custom order. These devices are more durable than rigid borescopes and can be used as industrial borescopes to examine HVAC systems, automotive engines and more.

No borescope inspection is too small for a micro borescope, and at USA Borescopes we offer devices with custom length probes for technicians who require a borescope outside the standard 500mm to 1000mm length range. No matter the inspection, we’ll make sure you get the job done. 

What Features Do Micro Borescopes Offer?

Micro borescopes normally range from 0.37mm to 2.0mm in diameter, while the average borescope is usually at least 3.0mm in diameter. These tools feature a detachable eyepiece which can be used on various probes, allowing operators more flexibility while performing a borescope inspection. 

Due to their small size, micro borescopes ranging from 0.37mm to 0.70mm in diameter are only available with 0-degree angle of view (AOV). This means the borescope can only view objects straight ahead of it. 

Certain borescope inspections may require an angled view. For borescopes at least 1mm in diameter, operators customize the AOV of their inspection tool. Some technicians may choose to install a side view, meaning the borescope will enter the inspection area at a side angle. These borescopes are called side-viewing systems and, at USA Borescopes, are considered special-order items. Should you purchase a side-viewing borescope, expect to wait approximately 20 business days to receive it – these tools require an extensive manufacturing process. 

Despite their lack of flexibility, most technicians feel straight-viewing systems perform satisfactory borescope inspections, as they offer an adequate field of view. According to TechTarget, “Field of view (FOV) is the open observable area a person can see through his or her eyes or via an optical device.” Straight-viewing micro borescopes provide a 70-degree FOV, which allows the operator to perform a thorough inspection when examining a small passage. These devices are readily available for shipping at USA Borescopes. 

Who Uses Micro Borescopes? 

Micro borescopes are most commonly used as industrial borescopes and are particularly popular in the aviation industry. Whenever a borescope inspection requires navigating a narrow entry point or passage, a micro borescope is needed. 

Micro Borescopes In The Aviation Industry

When it comes to the aviation industry, borescope inspections are vital to preventing turbine engine failure. 

For a deep inspection of the turbine engine, a semi-flexible micro borescope or micro fiberscope is the right choice. When examining the internal engine, the inspection tool must pass through narrow entry points and navigate curves and obstructions. These small, flexible tools allow technicians to inspect the most confined components of the engine, such as the internal rotating sections and combustion chambers.

These tiny industrial borescopes can also be used to inspect engine fan blades. This is an important step in the borescope inspection because the fan keeps the engine cool. If the fan is damaged, it is unable to prevent stress to the engine, shortening it’s lifespan, and in worst cases, causing engine failure. 

By detecting corrosion early on, maintenance technicians can extend the life of aviation turbine engines and avoid potentially life-threatening consequences for those who come in contact with the aircraft.

Other Ways To Use Micro Industrial Borescopes

Micro borescopes have many industrial uses outside of the aviation industry. Industrial borescopes, for example, are commonly used to inspect combustion engines, steam turbines and industrial gas turbines. They are also popular when evaluating the performance of cars and trucks. 

As for tiny industrial borescopes, these tools are necessary when borescope inspections require passage through small entry points or narrow internal structures. This may be the case when inspecting and cleaning HVAC systems. A miniature borescope will allow you to examine narrow pipes and detect leaks, blockages and other forms of corrosion.  

Micro borescopes can also be used for engine inspection. Whether you’re performing a routine borescope inspection or diagnosing a damaged machine, small industrial borescopes can help you examine hard-to-reach pistons, valves, seals and casting. These durable tools can also take the heat – use them to inspect the hot turbine section or individual turbine blades. 

When borescope inspections reveal no engine corrosion, you’ll save time and money by avoiding disassembly. However, it’s important to remember some engines require a closer look. According to EngineerLive, “Initial inspections by an experienced service engineer using a borescope can reveal more obvious defects but sometimes a more detailed inspection will be required.”

To capture images and record video with the micro borescopes you will have to utilize an USB Camera attachment that will connect to the eye piece of the tiny borescope.  Through a USB cable the camera will connect to your laptop or PC and the that will become the vehicle to view and capture images.   Normal the fiberscope light source that is recommend in a high intensity LED light source as this will provide a clean light output that will assist with a better view of the inspection area.   If you’re not going to require images and videos to be captured with the mini borescope you can choose to use a portable LED light source.

Buying A Micro Borescope

Do you want to add a micro borescope to your toolbox? These small industrial borescopes have many uses, so it’s important to purchase a device that suits your specific borescope inspection needs. 

If you’re in the aviation industry, for example, consider the size of the aircraft turbines you’ll be inspecting. What probe dimensions are needed to access the gearboxes or turbine? What about the inspection hole? Plan ahead to ensure your micro borescope can perform a complete inspection of the turbine engines you work with.  

It is also worth noting that micro borescopes are nearly impossible to repair. That’s why USA Borescopes recommends purchasing a micro fiberscope with a detachable eyepiece. When the probe is damaged on site, users can simply swap it out for a working probe, avoiding the downtime needed to repair the system. 

If you want to record, save and share borescope inspections, consider attaching a video camera to your micro industrial borescope. Due to the small diameter of the device, USA Borescopes also recommends choosing a borescope that features a high intensity LED light source. This will improve the image quality of your inspection footage. 

Contact Us

Micro borescopes are vital to certain borescope inspections. These small yet durable industrial borescopes can reach the most isolated areas, meaning you can feel confident in your inspection. If you’re unsure which device suits your inspection needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. The seasoned staff at USA Borescopes is happy to assist you in selecting a borescope that’s perfect for any job.