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Noncontact Viscosity Measurement of Molten Glass Using Laser-Generated Ultrasound for Process Control During Melting and Forming Operations

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-96ER82222
Agency Tracking Number: 34645
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1996
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1892 Grandstand
San Antoni, TX 78238
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Jorge Alcoz
 Senior Research Engineer
 (210) 681-9102
Business Contact
 Dr. Satish Nair
Title: Vice President
Phone: (210) 681-9102
Research Institution

40879 November 13, 1996
Karta Technology, Inc.

In almost all glass-manufacturing processes, production yield depends critically on the viscosity of the melt. Because the glass viscosity is a function of temperature, most active control systems monitor the temperature of the molten glass. However, temperature readings are not reliable for measuring viscosity. This project will develop a sensor that can measure the viscosity of molten glass directly, providing better process control. The sensor will use velocity and attenuation measurements of ultrasound pulses, as a function of frequency, to derive the viscosity of the glass. We propose to investigate a completely noncontact sensing approach, laser ultrasonics, which is very suitable for the hostile environment of glass manufacturing and can be used in forming and drawing operations without interfering with the process. Phase I will prove the feasibility of using laser ultrasound to measure the viscosity of molten glass, complemented with an experimental demonstration.

Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee: The potential benefits of laser ultrasonics measurement of viscosity during glass production include better parameter control of the forming process, robust control under changes in glass batch composition, viscosity profiling in three dimensions, and fast scanning of the melt gob. A noncontact viscometer could be used for on-line process control of flat-glass, tubing, hollowware, fiberglass, and fiber-optic manufacturing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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