In-Process Cure Monitoring of Specialty Material Coatings

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-08-C-5006
Agency Tracking Number: F071-117-2201
Amount: $2,750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF071-117
Solicitation Number: 2007.1
Small Business Information
2925 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI, -
DUNS: 788133387
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Zimdars
 Mgr - Terahertz Developme
 (734) 864-5639
Business Contact
 Robin Risser
Title: President and General Man
Phone: (734) 864-5605
Research Institution
We propose to develop and test a prototype TD-THz system and method for the non-contact, rapid, in-process cure monitoring of specialty material coatings. The instrumentation will determine the thickness and cure state both “dry” and “wet” coatings and predict final thickness from “wet” measurements. The system will consist of a rack mounted TD-THz control unit which is connected to a miniature TD-THz reflection sensor via a flexible umbilical mounted onto a robot arm within a paint booth. The fiber optic coupled TD-THz technology is highly suitable, as the sensors are small, light weight, and freely positionable. In-process monitoring is desirable when tight thickness tolerances are required, but difficult, because the coating is uncured. By measuring in-process, the application can be adjusted, and waiting to cure and sanding can be avoided. The TD-THz thickness and cure state measurement offers several advantages: stand-off distances of >30 cm possible; coating thickness from <1 mil to > 1000 mils; 100 Hz or greater measurement rate; measurement from conducting and non-conductive surfaces; non-ionizing radiation; no requirement for a reference surface; measurement on wet or dry coating; measurement of thickness of multiple layers; measurement of cure through spectroscopy; and high precision and accuracy.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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