Thin coatings and their properties can be crucial for the quality of products. Often, such thin layers must be applied to large surfaces at high speed. Fraunhofer IPM develops technologies to test these coatings - across large surfaces, fast and directly in production.
Example of press plant: High-resolution oiling measurement
Press plants produce stamped and formed parts - for example, for the automotive industry. These are made from large metal sheets, the so-called coils. For the processing of these sheets, it is necessary to oil the material before forming, while the exact dosage of the amount of oil is crucial for the quality of the moldings and the subsequent processing steps. With the F-Scanner, Fraunhofer IPM has developed a process that precisely determines and controls the oil distribution on the entire sheet with a fast imaging fluorescence measuring technique. Fast laser scanners measure up to 400 lines per second. With a feed of the metal sheet of several meters per second, 100 percent of the surface is analyzed directly in production.
Example of plastic coating
The fluorescence measurement technique also allows the rapid and high-resolution characterization of plastic coatings, for example, applied in plain bearings, as transparent coatings, or as corrosion protection coatings on components or sheets. This too is an application of the F-Scanner in the production line.
Example of metal coating: Determination of layer thickness and atomic composition
For the functionality of coatings applied, for example, to protect against corrosion or as adhesion promoters on sheets or other surfaces, compliance with the target thickness and composition plays an essential role. For a spatially resolved measurement of the thickness of coatings, Fraunhofer IPM has further developed the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology with the systems ANALIZEsingle and ANALIZEmulti. Using these two detection systems, a depth profile of the atomic layer composition can be created within a few milliseconds.