At the manufacturing stage of bottles and preforms, a quintessential step to ensure consistent quality involves the precise measurement of each layer of plastic. Current techniques for measuring the thickness of mono-layer and multi-layer plastic bottles and preforms are often contact-based, destructive and time-consuming. Ranging from cutting the bottle and preform to alternative techniques that are limited in their ability to capture each layer in the structure, it is evident that a solution is needed to revolutionize current practices.
A new and non-destructive way of measuring layers IMDvista’s LAYER multi-layer thickness measurement system provides a quick, non-contact and non-destructive alternative to current measurement techniques for plastic bottles and preforms. This off-line system boasts unprecedented speed and accuracy to provide individual layer thickness measurements of multi-layer bottles and preforms. IMDvista LAYER is capable of measuring up to 10 layers ranging in thickness from 0.01mm to 5mm in a matter of seconds. Perfectly suited for cylindrical plastic bottles and preforms, LAYER can be used to measure bottles with a maximum height of 300mm, a maximum diameter of 150mm and a neck diameter between 10mm to 100mm. Measures both transparent and opaque plastics IMDvista’s LAYER is powered by TeraGauge™; a core terahertz technology provided by measurement solutions company TeTechS. By leveraging the unique properties of terahertz waves, LAYER can measure both opaque and translucent plastics in a non-contact and non-destructive manner.
Determine individual layer thickness This turn-key system not only enables users to effectively determine individual layer thickness, but allows them to locate and measure the costly, ultra-thin barrier layer within the preform or bottle. With a thickness measurement accuracy of 0.01mm, IMDvista’s LAYER eliminates the need for destructive testing while providing users with precision, ease of use and confidence in the quality of their plastic products. Powered by TERAHERTZ technology Terahertz waves fall along the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared and possess unique properties that render them ideal for non-destructive testing of plastic bottles and preforms. Waterloo, Ontario based TeTechS’ TeraGauge™ is at the heart of IMDvista’s LAYER system and works based on the terahertz time-domain principle. Essentially, short terahertz pulses penetrate the sample under test and are reflected back into TeraGauge™ at each layer. The reflected pulses then have their time-delay measured which corresponds to the thickness of the layers of the plastic bottle or preform. The difference between the time delay of two reflected pulses, allows for the calculation of the precise thickness of the individual layers within the plastic structure. Figure 2 below depicts the process.