Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Real-time measurement system for tracking birefringence, weight, thickness, and surface temperature during drying of solution cast coatings and films

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This paper describes the design and performance of a new instrument to track temporal changes in physical parameters during the drying behavior of solutions, as well as curing of monomers. This real-time instrument follows in-plane and out-of-plane birefringence, weight, thickness, and surface temperature during the course of solidification of coatings and films through solvent evaporation and thermal or photocuring in a controlled atmosphere. It is specifically designed to simulate behavior of polymer solutions inside an industrial size, continuous roll-to-roll solution casting line and other coating operations where resins are subjected to ultraviolet (UV) curing from monomer precursors. Controlled processing parameters include air speed, temperature, initial cast thickness, and solute concentration, while measured parameters are thickness, weight, film temperature, in-plane and out-of-plane birefringence. In this paper, we illustrate the utility of this instrument with solution cast and dried poly (amide-imide)∕DMAc (Dimethylacetamide) solution, water based black paint, and organo-modified clay∕NMP (N-Methylpyrrolidone) solution. In addition, the physical changes that take place during UV photo polymerization of a monomer are tracked. This instrument is designed to be generic and it can be used for tracking any drying∕swelling∕solidification systems including paper, foodstuffs such as; grains, milk as well as pharmaceutical thin paste and slurries.

Publication Title

Review of Scientific Instruments