Just as many barrier layers as necessary
It is not only crisps that should remain crisp. In order to maintain the freshness of the product, barrier layers are used in food packaging that fulfil a wide variety of functions. In addition to their use in the food industry, barrier layers are also used in containers for the storage of hazardous substances or to prevent media penetration. These barrier layers are usually only a few micrometres thick and have been tested purely destructively in the context of quality assurance up to now by means of thin cuts and microscopy. Destruction of the product in the testing process thus allows neither 100 percent testing of the entire product nor further use after testing.
Electromagnetic radiationFor the first time, the SKZ Plastics Centre has developed a measuring system that avoids precisely these disadvantages. It is based on the use of harmless electromagnetic rays – similar to light. It makes it possible to measure the thickness of each individual product layer, and especially the barrier layer, non-destructively and without contact, with accuracies on the micrometre scale.
Even if the layer thicknesses are very small, i.e. below 10µm, intelligent signal processing methods help further and guarantee a high reproducibility of the results. If the desired junction thickness falls below the tolerance range defined by the user, this is detected and indicated by the system, as shown in the illustration. This prevents expensive product complaints. In addition, the manufacturer receives valuable information that is very helpful for optimising the process and the product.
Free preliminary examinationsTo demonstrate the benefits and versatility of the system technology, the SKZ offers free preliminary tests, depending on the scope. If it is confirmed that the system is suitable for the individual testing task, integration into ongoing manufacturing processes or a laboratory environment can be carried out together with the customer.
The SKZ is a member of the Zuse Community. This is an association of independent, industry-related research institutions that pursue the goal of improving the performance and competitiveness of industry, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, through innovation and networking.www.skz.de