In many applications, thin films and their composition are a key aspect in product quality. These thin layers often need to be applied to large surfaces at very high speeds. Fraunhofer IPM is developing technologies for the inspection of such coatings that are fast, cover the entire surface and can be used directly in production.
Pressing plant case study: High-resolution lubricant film measurement
Punched and molded parts are created in pressing plants – for sectors such as the automotive industry – from large metal sheets in coils. To process the sheets, it is necessary to lubricate the material prior to forming, and precise dosing of the lubricant is crucial to the quality of the formed parts. Fraunhofer IPM has now developed a process based on rapid fluorescence imaging measurement techniques which determines and thus controls the distribution of oil across the entire coil. Fast laser scanners perform measurements for this purpose at rates of up to 400 lines per second. With a throughput of several meters of metal sheeting every second, 100 percent of the surface area can be analyzed as a direct part of the production process.
Metal coating case study: Determining coating thickness and atomic composition
The homogeneity of metal coatings, which may be applied to protect against corrosion or as a bonding agent on other coatings, has a major influence on their functionality. Fraunhofer IPM has therefore developed laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology to enable spatially resolved measurements of metal coating thicknesses. This technology allows users to create atomic layer composition depth profiles in just a few milliseconds.