BubbleGuardian Improves Slip Quality

A new instrument has been developed for the detection and quantification of air bubble contamination in slip, enabling pinhole faults in slipcast ware to be reduced. The BubbleGuardian system is designed so that air bubbles can be detected in slip streams flowing through pipes without any requirement to extract samples from the slip system.

Using a novel ultrasonic bubble detection technique, the system is said to be well suited to industrial application, with several key benefits offered:

•        Non-invasive in character.

•        Easily mounted on the outside of a slip pipe.

•        Easily understood through warning light indication of bubble concentration.

•        Sensitive to very low levels of contamination.

•        Capable of continuous monitoring of slip supply or temporary diagnostic use.

•        Suitable for remote monitoring.

The BubbleGuardian was developed in a recently completed CRAFT project. The prime project proposer was Pulsar Process Measurement (UK), the fundamental research was carried out by

the Institute of Sound & Vibration Research at Southampton University and the laboratory evaluation and field trials were coordinated by Ceram Research. SME partners were Sphinx (Holland), Quality Ceramics (Ireland), Porcelanas Bidasoa (Spain) and Bridgewater Pottery (UK).

The instrument detects the interaction of bubbles with ultrasonic signals transmitted through the pipe. Novel signal processing developed for the instrument converts the returning signal into a voltage output, which is directly related to the quantity of air in the slip. The relay output can either operate warning indicators at the unit or be used as an input to a remote monitoring system.

Source: Global Ceramic Review, No 4/00, p. 14, Winter 2000/2001

Posted January 2001

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