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Proceedings Paper

Inspection of plastic weld joints with terahertz imaging
Author(s): S. Wietzke; N. Krumbholz; C. Jördens; B. Baudrit; M. Bastian; M. Koch
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Paper Abstract

Polymers cover the whole range from commodities to high-tech applications. Plastic products have also gained in importance for construction purposes. This draws the attention to joining techniques like welding. Common evaluation of the weld quality is mostly mechanical and destructive. Existing non-destructive techniques are mostly not entirely reliable or economically inefficient. Here, we demonstrate the potential of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy imaging as a non-destructive testing tool for the inspection of plastic weld joints. High-density polyethylene sheets welded in a lap joint with varying quality serve as samples for terahertz transmission measurements. Imperfections within the weld contact area can clearly be detected by displaying the transmitted intensity in a limited frequency range. Contaminations such as metal or sand are identified since they differ significantly from the polymer in the terahertz image. Furthermore, this new and promising technique is capable of detecting the boundaries of a weld contact area. Aside from revealing a contrast between a proper weld joint and no material connection, the size of an air gap between two plastic sheets can be determined by considering the characteristic frequency-dependent transmission through the structure: The spectral positions of the maxima and minima allow for the calculation of the air layer thickness.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 June 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6616, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection V, 66163N (18 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.724739
Show Author Affiliations
S. Wietzke, Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Joint Optical Metrology Ctr. (Germany)
N. Krumbholz, Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Joint Optical Metrology Ctr. (Germany)
C. Jördens, Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Joint Optical Metrology Ctr. (Germany)
B. Baudrit, Süddeutsches Kunststoff-Zentrum (Germany)
M. Bastian, Süddeutsches Kunststoff-Zentrum (Germany)
M. Koch, Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Joint Optical Metrology Ctr. (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6616:
Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection V
Wolfgang Osten; Christophe Gorecki; Erik L. Novak, Editor(s)

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