Non-destructive measurements with terahertz radiation
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Car paintwork has to withstand a wide range of stresses and therefore at least four different coats are generally applied to vehicle bodies. Until now there has been no non-destructive method of measuring the thickness of these multi-layer coatings on metal or plastic, but terahertz technology will soon change that.
Choosing the most suitable coating thickness is always a compromise. The coatings need a minimum thickness in order to properly fulfil their function. However, at the same time no more paint must be used than is absolutely necessary. To achieve the right balance and keep the safety margins low, a reliable measurement system is essential.
In the past, car bodies were coated with simple resin paints, but now several carefully coordinated coatings are applied to provide the best possible protection for the metal body. Plastic components such as bumpers are also painted to give a harmonious overall appearance. The paint is generally applied on fully automated painting lines...