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TeraCota - Terahertz Coating Thickness Analysis

TeraCota - Terahertz Coating Thickness Analysis

TeraView introduces a film thickness gauge designed for the automotive sector. It is a non-contact, multi-layer coating and paint thickness sensor with scanning capability. The sensor can determine the individual thickness of many paint layers on both metallic and non-metallic substrates, and provides major benefits over current techniques.

The TeraView sensor is ideal for working on curved surfaces and can perform vertical and horizontal line scans.

Based on terahertz technology, the sensor represents important progress beyond the existing technique of measurement for quality and process control in automotive paint application, and also provides considerable environmental and economic benefits.

Product Features

  • Non-contact - couplant is not required; operates on curved and flat surfaces
  • High accuracy reporting of film thickness
  • Both fully automated and hand-held options are available
  • Self-calibrating without the time and expense of sending samples to a third party
  • Ideal for wet-on-wet preparations
  • Industrialized form factor; designed for the automotive manufacturing environment
  • Can be integrated with plant IT systems and current robotic hardware
  • Non-interpretive; automatic layer thickness calculation without operator input
  • Incorporates angle and distance sensors to guarantee optimized measurements

Application Areas

Paint Systems

Application types Liquid and powder coatings | wet-on-wet preparations | tri-coats
Basecoats Solid | Pearlescent | Metallic (independent of hiding power)
Substrates Metallic (steel, aluminum, etc.) | Non-metallic (plastic, carbon fiber, etc.)

Measurable Surfaces

Curvature Operates on both flat and curved surfaces
Accessible areas Recessed areas, including window flange
Temperature range From ambient to 150 °C (post bake)

Comparison Table

Technique Non-
destructive
Non-
contact
Individual film builds Non-metal substrate Automation possible Curved surface Real time Scanning
Terahertz
Magnetic /Eddy current X X X X
Ultrasound X X X
Optical microscopy X X X X X
Surface profilometer X X X X

Technical Specification

Measurement

Thickness Accuracy* 1.5 µm
Minimum Thickness* 5 µm
Sampled Area Spot size of 1 - 2 mm
Measurement Time Typically 2 - 4 seconds per point (acquisition plus analysis)
Sensor Positioning Working distance to painted surface of 50 mm (± 0.75 mm)
Handheld option provides real-time positional feedback
Robot-mounted version requires angular positioning to within ±1° of normal incidence

* typical values; dependent on individual paint type and properties

Environmental

Dimensions (LxWxH) Sensor head: 20 × 15 × 16.8 cm | Core unit: 63.6 x 60 x 160 cm
Approx. weight Sensor head: 1.6 kg | Core unit: 150 kg (for handheld version)
Extension Sensor-core separation of up to 10 m
Communications Ethernet connection to fixed IP address on internal PC
Power requirements 110 / 220 V, 20 A line power, earthed, via standard 3-pin connection
Operating temperature 18 °C (64 °F) - 30 °C (86 °F)
Operating humidity

20 - 80%, non-condensing

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