Proven quality of composite webs ensures safety and resource efficiency

Composite materials play an increasingly important role in many industries. The material is often used in various safety-related products such as aviation or in the construction of windmills. The inspection of fiber-reinforced plastics is therefore of great significance. ISRA VISION’s highly-developed optical surface inspection systems offer a reliable solution for the inline control of composite materials. The latest methods allow for 3D height measurement of material defects, monitoring epoxy resin coatings, the integration of metal detectors as well as strand measurement and control. The applications consequently improve production monitoring and provide a new level of quality assurance and resource efficiency.

Due to the high cost and safety relevance of composite components, manufacturers from the aviation, automobile, and energy sector request certifications of all materials from their suppliers. Product quality has to be recorded and verified on basis of logs. High quality requirements of end customers and increasing competitive pressure in markets worldwide make the use of automated inspection systems and quality controls indispensable in all types of production. Inspection systems significantly contribute to safety in transportation as well in the utilization of sustainable energy sources.

Reliable application in practice

ISRA VISION, the worldwide leader in surface inspection, committed their long-term experience and technological capabilities acquired in a variety of application industries to optical all-in-one inspection solutions for composite materials. The systems have already widely been used in aircraft construction, in the automobile industry and in the field of renewable energies, and have proven their flexibility in a wide variety of markets including highly-specialized manufacturing processes.

Efficient monitoring of all relevant production stages

The inspection systems may be used and integrated specifically in compliance with customers’ requirements. As a consequence, all relevant production stages in the manufacturing of composite materials are monitored, from single strands to the fabric up to impregnation. Defects such as holes, fiber gaps, weaving and texture flaws or contamination are detected, classified and indicated in real-time down to hundredths of a millimeter. This allows for taking correcting action and defect remedy at an early stage. The result is a significant increase in yield. In addition, statistical evaluation enables conclusions to be made in regards to optimizing the production process in order to further enhance efficiency.

Exclusive features

The innovative applications include 3D height measurement. It is unprecedented in the market and a unique selling point of ISRA. It is used to detect and record loose fibers, so-called fuzz balls (fiber bundles), as well as defects and foreign matter in material webs. In this regard, the defect height is a key criterion for the precise classification of material defects.

Another highlight is the inspection of synthetic resin on pre-preg materials. In the synthetic resin inspection, the cameras precisely inspect the uniform and complete coating of the material with epoxy resin, thus also reviewing functional material properties.

Undesirable metal particles finding their way to the material in the loom area, e.g. when a needle breaks, may be identified by means of additional metal detectors. The results of metal detectors also serve for classification.

All system components are failsafe, easily replaceable and protected against contamination. In installation, high electrical conductivity of the material to be inspected is frequently an additional challenge for the components which are used and must be protected against destruction. As an additional benefit, each system may be designed in accordance with these requirements if needed.

Due to the concept applied, the inspection systems are future-proof and expandable. Technological innovations may be integrated easily. Due to their new features, the inspection systems have become an indispensable tool for achieving highest production efficiency and quality transparency for the end customer.

Optimizing quality, enhancing resource efficiency 

The inspection systems guarantee significant quality improvements according to defined standards in early process stages already. Defects may frequently be repaired or cut out and sorted out directly in the production process. As a result, scrap is reduced or even completely avoided as early as possible in the production process – this is a decisive contribution to the efficient utilization of resources. Since processes in carbon fiber production need high energy input, the inspection systems in addition provide for considerable energy savings. Extensive benefits such as higher customer satisfaction, material and energy savings by scrap avoidance, as well as significant increases in yield result in rapid amortization of the inspection systems.
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