Decisive quality characteristics of elastomer parts are derived from the homogeneity of the produced rubber compounds. The mixing quality is influenced by the dispersion efficiency, primarily on the fillers (eg. Carbon black, silica) and by the homogeneous distributive mixing efficiency of all the compound ingredients.
To evaluate distributive mixing efficiency of particulate rubber compound ingredients (eg. zinc oxide) the analytical method of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is used.
By using a high-energy laser pulse under atmospheric conditions, a discrete amount of material on the sample surface is first heated, and then vaporized and atomized. Due to thermal excitation (eg. ionization reactions) free electrons are the consequence, so that the resulting plasma can be evaluated by emission spectroscopy. This element-specific analysis allows to detect the differences in concentration of particulate rubber compound ingredients in dependency of the local measuring spot.
The LIBS-system used at DIK has a Nd:YAG-solid-state laser with a wavelength of 1064 nm gathering a spectral range between 314 - 977 nm. The laser operates at a maximum pulse energy of 100 mJ, a maximum pulse frequency of 20 Hz at a pulse rate of 7 ns.
Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Klie
Phone: +49 511 84201-24