Characterisation of the surface of aluminium alloys for thermal radiation control

Impression Technologies Ltd

National Physical Laboratory
Round 3

Non-contact temperature monitoring of aluminium is challenging because aluminium is too reflective for traditional pyrometer-based temperature measurement.

However, improved process monitoring can deliver better product control, resulting in achieving tighter tolerances, producing less scrap and reducing production cost.

Hence, developing accurate non-contact temperature monitoring solutions is of great commercial value.

The project builds on, and will enable the deployment of, initial learning undertaken by ITL to effect a fully characterised and practical means to remotely measure the temperature of aluminium sheet.

Within the project, the design, development and installation of innovative equipment will be undertaken to characterise a key surface property of aluminium alloys.

The equipment, which in a standard form is called a gonio spectrophotometer, will measure the specularity of the surface of sheet aluminium alloys — uniquely, at elevated temperatures.

This innovative equipment provides a breakthrough in the characterisation of aluminium alloys and it will be core to tuning and demonstrating the capability of a new IR pyrometer developed by ITL to accurately measure the temperature of aluminium.

ITL’s temperature monitoring system will be validated and calibrated with thorough testing at the state-of-the-art NPL-developed facilities and then, it will be implemented in the HFQ(r) production line.

The project delivers the deployment of the tuned, calibrated and tested ITL pyrometer on ITL’s high-temperature aluminium forming HFQ(r) production line, made possible thanks the novel gonio spectrophotometer characterisation equipment.

The installation of the pyrometer at ITL is a step forward in the quality assurance of the leading edge, UK invented, HFQ(r) technology.

It will provide the competitive edge needed to maintain the leader in the market.

The implementation of the pyrometer will enable ITL to move from 100% manual inspection towards batch inspection with 100% automated process temperature monitoring.

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