All About Borescope Inspection – Uses and and Borescope Types

All About Borescope Inspection – Uses and and Borescope Types

Large industrial machinery and equipment like turbines need to be regularly inspected and evaluated with the utmost care. Using an optical tool called a borescope allows turbines and machinery to be evaluated without wreaking havoc. Find out more about types of borescopes, borescope inspection and other uses.

Boroscopic Inspection of Gas Turbine

Borescopes are used in many industrial procedures but are commonly used in gas turbine inspection. This procedure can be very dangerous since gas turbines operate at higher temperatures than other turbines (steam). Steam turbines typically operate at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, while gas turbines operate at 2,000.

Borescopes allow these gas turbines to be safely inspected during routine borescope services provided by an inspection company. They prevent accidents due to overwhelming heat from the turbines while identifying any unknown issues inside the machine.

Types of Borescopes and Best Practices

The difference in optical relay in borescopes creates a few different models. These consist of rigid, flexible and semi-flexible.

  • Rigid: Rigid boroscopes are the most affordable type of boroscope. They are commonly used in areas that have direct access to the area in question since they have little to no flexibility. They transmit images using traditional lenses that display through an eyepiece. Borescope inspection services commonly use this rigid type for its image clarity and durability.
  • Flexible: Also known as a fiberscope, flexible borescopes have fiber-optic lenses attached within a sheath on the device. Although these don’t provide the best quality pictures, they are useful devices for hard to reach areas. Be aware that image quality may appear fuzzy or have granulated pixels. Use of flexible borescopes in uncommon in turbines and large machinery because of cost and image quality.
  • Semi-Flexible: Semi-flexible borescopes are a useful middle ground in between rigid and flexible. Though they don’t cost as much as the flexible type, they do have better picture quality than flexible. Use semi-flexible when minimal manipulation is needed for inspection or inside small tubes and catheters.


Overall, borescopes are easy-to-use devices that provide optimal picture viewings of gas turbines and large machinery. The different types of borescopes allow for multiple advantages during inspections including high-resolution pictures, accurate and detailed coverage of difficult-to-reach locations and even the aid in the retrieval of foreign objects.

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