Which data is necessary to ensure the desired component quality with regard to mechanical performance?The limitation for a good component is given after the component design and the layout by the manufacturing process: the resins must completely fill a cavity with or without semi-finished fiber products and the tool may only be opened again after sufficient cross-linking. Pressure and temperature sensors have been used for more than 15 years and their data are used to attempt to control the process and define quality criteria. Pressure sensors provide information about the filling of a cavity via the cavity pressure. Temperature sensors monitor the mold temperature to process the resins in the correct process window. However, sensor technology, which characterizes the actually critical material behavior, namely the cross-linking reaction, has only been used insufficiently so far. Therefore, some components from the automotive sector, which have not found the compromise between the required cost reduction and high component quality, have been in the prototype stage for many years. In order to solve the difficulties, a combination of sensors is required that allow an insight into all areas of a process. In my opinion there are three types of sensors inevitable to enlighten the invisible in-mold processing and to enable process automation in composite manufacturing:
- pressure sensors
- temperature sensors
- dielectric sensors
Dielectric sensors – a game changer for composite process automationDielectric sensors have a high sensitivity and an advanced sensor technology. They meet the industrial requirements in a wide pressure and temperature range and clearly exceed the possibilities of some alternative methods. But the dielectric technique was struggling with electrically conductive fillers in the past. A newly developed sensor by NETZSCH Analyzing & Testing provides the possibility to characterize the material behavior of carbon composites and polymers with other electrically conductive fillers in the invisible and critical curing process in the tool. This brings robust processes, cost savings and higher productivity. This new sensor, applicable in harsh process conditions, is unique in the world and exceeds state-of-the-art. Not only do the new sensors achieve unparalleled performance in dielectric measurement, but their application range has also been significantly expanded:
- continuous operating temperature of 300°C
- pressure resistance 300 bar
- extremely scratch resistant due to the ceramic based material
- resistance to solvents
Get more information Others have already focused on the potential of this unique dielectric sensor. Read the article of Advanced Science News and visit our website for more.
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