Real-time, non-intrusive and non-destructive process monitoring of micromoulding has been performed using novel ultrasonic sensors integrated onto the barrel and mould insert with an ultrasonic pulse-echo technique. The relative variation of the polymer melt temperature inside the extrusion barrel can be obtained using the ultrasonic velocities of the melt measured at the barrel during extrusion. Melt flow arrival in the mould, and solidification, shrinkage and detachment of the polymer inside the mould cavity are also successfully monitored. The presented ultrasonic sensors and technique enable optimizing the micromoulding process, and improving quality of the moulded parts and process efficiency.

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Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control
Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Ono, Y, Whiteside, B.R., Brown, E.C., Kobayashi, M., Cheng, C.-C., Jen, C.-K., & Coates, P.D. (2007). Real-time process monitoring of micromoulding using integrated ultrasonic sensors. Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control, 29(5), 383–401. doi:10.1177/0142331207080153