Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 6, 9–18, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/jsss-6-9-2017

Special issue: Sensors and Measurement Systems 2016

J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 6, 9–18, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/jsss-6-9-2017

Regular research article 10 Jan 2017

Regular research article | 10 Jan 2017

Ultrasound tomography for inline monitoring of plastic melts

Norbert Halmen, Christoph Kugler, Thomas Hochrein, Peter Heidemeyer, and Martin Bastian Norbert Halmen et al.
  • SKZ – German Plastics Center, Würzburg, 97076, Germany

Abstract. The inline determination of process and product parameters is of great help for the evaluation and optimization of new procedures. Therefore, an ultrasound process tomography system has been developed, which enables the imaging of the local filler distribution in plastic melts.

The objects investigated were extruded rods made of polypropylene (PP) with radial filler gradients. During extrusion, sound velocity and attenuation of the plastic melt were determined and processed via a modified reconstruction algorithm according to Radon transform into 2-D sectional images. Despite the challenges of higher attenuation and impedance mismatch of 60 mm filled PP melt compared to water, the resulting images are of good quality. An important factor for the image quality after tomographic reconstruction is the opening angle of the used ultrasound transducers. Furthermore, a simulation environment was developed in Matlab, which serves as a testing platform for the measurement system.

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Short summary
An ultrasound process tomography system has been developed, which enables the imaging of the local filler distribution in plastic melts. The objects investigated were extruded rods made of polypropylene (PP) with radial filler gradients. During extrusion, sound velocity and attenuation of the plastic melt were determined and processed via a modified reconstruction algorithm according to Radon transform into 2-D sectional images.