Extrusion: Real-Time Roughness Scanner for Polymer Webs

Unit automatically scans for the web’s microtopography across its full width and calculates the standard roughness parameters.

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The MicroProfiler MP 9000 from FocalSpec Inc. (U.S. office Cumming, Ga.), is an on-line surface roughness measurement system for polymer web applications. The MP 9000 is based on the firm’s patented Line Confocal Imaging (LCI) technology that enables a continuous, non-contact 3D surface imaging of fast-moving transparent, non-transparent, matte, and glossy web structures, such as PVB films, sheets, laminates and coatings.

The system’s LCI sensor, mounted on a traversing frame, automatically scans for the web’s microtopography across its full width. The system freezes and analyzes the actual 3D surface profile at a high rate and calculates the standard roughness parameters including Ra, Rz and RSm. Roughness results are displayed in real-time and operators are alerted for unusual process changes enabling instant corrective actions. If desired, the measurement data can be used in closed-loop machine control. All results from the entire length of each produced roll are stored in the system’s database for quality certification and production reporting purposes.

In addition to surface roughness, LCI sensors can also measure other 3D characteristics such as surface texture, thickness, edge height, wrinkles and folds, the company says.