An optical sensor, consisting of optical fibers to transmit light to and from the mold cavity, was constructed for the purpose of measuring the onset of polymer solidification during injection molding. The sensor was used to detect characteristic fluorescence radiation from a dye which had been doped into the resin at very low concentration. By measuring changes in fluorescence intensity it was possible to detect whether the state of the resin was liquid or solid. We observed that, as the resin cooled in the mold, the onset of solidification was indicated by highly characteristic and distinct changes in the fluorescence intensity/time profile. Application of the method involved the use of a calibration relationship between the fluorescence intensity and temperature of the doped polymer in order to determine the distict features which characterize the onset of solidification. Injection molding of a glass forming polymer (polystyrene) and a crystallizable polymer (polyethylene) was monitored by this technique.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry