Optical probes check moulding materials in process

Sapphire window optical process probes fit into standard transducer ports on extruders, injection moulding machines o allow on-line spectroscopic analysis of a wide range of materials.

Celsum Technologies has introduced SWOPP Sapphire Window Optical Process Probes to fit into standard transducer ports on extruders, injection moulding machines, fluid transfer lines, reaction vessels, and laboratory instruments The probes allow on-line spectroscopic analysis of a wide range of materials, including plastics, rubbers, aqueous systems, pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs, etc.

Spectroscopic techniques which may be used include FTIR, Raman, NIR, and UV.

The probes can be supplied in ‘transmission’ configurations, where two probes are mounted on the same axis on either side of the flow to be studied.

The probes can also be configured in ‘reflectance’ mode.

In the latter mode, the light source is typically transmitted down a central fibre, and the back-scattered light is collected and passed to the analyser by a bundle of fibres around the central one.

SWOPP01 has been designed especially to allow the fibre optic bundle to be removed from the probe without the need to remove the probe from the machine.

Consequently, the plant need not be shut down to allow probe removal.

This provides a ready method of using the same analytical instruments to take measurements at different points on the plant, or of using different analytical techniques with the same probe.

Celsum Technologies’ managing director, Roy Carter, said: "The SWOPP Sapphire Window probes are a welcome addition to our range of process and laboratory instrumentation.

Analytical methods such as NIR, FTIR and UV provide powerful means of getting real-time information on the instantaneous state of the production process".

He continued: "In some cases, the data obtained may be correlated to parameters such as viscosity and melt flow index.

SWOPP Probes have applications in quality control and trouble-shooting for production and pilot plants, and in research and development too".

The probe bodies are made in stainless steel, typically 17-4PH or 316, with a precision-ground, abrasion-resistant sapphire window bonded into the interface with the test material.

The inner face of the sapphire window inside each probe is ground at an angle to minimise internal reflections from the window itself.

Probes may be supplied to operate in vacuum or up to high pressures, and to temperatures of 360 deg C.

Additionally, they may be supplied with standard SMA connectors to allow the optical fibres to be disconnected, or with integral fibre bundles of a length to suit the needs of the application.

related catagory mold steel, Mold base

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