Reichhold Installs Surface Analyzer for SMC / BMC Applications

11 June 2004

Reichhold are to invest for the future in closed moulding applications with the purchase and installation of the Ondulo system from Techlab.

Reichhold are the first company in North America to install the Ondulo system, and regard themselves to be at a significant advantage in its ability to objectively measure and quantify the surface quality of moulded composite surfaces, produced with its resins through processes such as SMC (sheet moulding compound), BMC (bulk moulding compound), RTM (resin transfer moulding) and others.

Reichhold personnel are able to visualize and characterize surface defects of composite parts with this system. Measurements are taken quickly, without contacting the part surface, and can be set to variable size fields. Detection of a single micron defect on a square meter of surface is possible with Reichhold’s Ondulo system. The equipment is capable of analyzing a wide array of composite surfaces including automotive fenders, hoods, flat panels and even architectural door skins.

Based on the “fringe pattern deflectometry principle,” the Ondulo system Reichhold employs uses a geometrical pattern which is projected onto a screen where light rays are reflected onto the sample surface which acts as a deforming mirror. A high-resolution camera then observes the sample and acquires the distortion of the regular lines.

Reichhold’s system measures surface appearance using the curvature, which is a secondary derivative value of surface profile. This secondary derivative value of the surface is comparable to what the human eye actually sees.

“We are committed to advancing the SMC / BMC market,” said Reichhold Senior Vice President, Commercial, Bruce Fawcett. “This is a major step forward for Reichhold in an effort to provide solutions to markets such as transportation where surface quality is critical.”

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