Non-contact testing of individual paint layers

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The new Terascope system from Helmut Fischer can detect and precisely determine each individual layer of paint in a multilayer system. And in just one step. The company sees an initial area of application for the innovation in automotive painting. The system, which can be integrated into a painting line as an automatic measuring cell, uses so-called terahertz radiation, i.e. the electromagnetic frequency range between 0.1 and 10 terahertz, for coating thickness measurement. The method reliably measures coating layers from 5 micrometers to several millimeters on metallic and non-metallic substrates. This means that the system can also analyze layer thicknesses on plastics, ceramics and lightweight materials such as CFRP. Each individual layer can be checked for quality. Since the technology works without contact, it can even be used for wet coatings. In addition to automatic terahertz solutions in which the measuring head is mounted on a robot arm, Fischer is also planning laboratory equipment. In these cases, a vacuum table is used to position the test piece evenly. The flushing with purified air ensures that the layer characterization is repeatable.

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