Rheology is a crucial property of all paints and must be monitored during paint manufacture Currently this is a costly manual operation undertaken in a hazardous environment This proposed research will address all these aspects by satisfying the following technical objectives. . . The Technical Objectives are as follows 1. The development of flameproof vision technology using an optical system to transfer laser illumination into and a reflected signal out of an explosive area 2. The integration of the flameproof vision system with a non-intrusive rnixer. 3. The use of the integrated system for continuous rheology monitoring and automatic agitation control in the manufacture of paints. The Industrial Objective is to use the technology to reduce the costs of batch production of paints. A saving of 1;6% of Sales Price is estimated for Core Group Proposers. These and other SMEs dominate small batch production in the paint industry. The savings will improve their competitiveness and ability to respond to customer demands. Vision technology will be used to measure the shape of the fluid surface in a mixing vessel. This information will be used as the basis for a non-contacting method of monitoring rheology and for automatically controlling the level of agitation within the vessel. A mathematical model using Computational Fluid Dynamics will provide the theoretical basis for these uses. Because the fluid concerned is paint, the atmosphere is explosive and a flameproof vision system needs to be specially developed in the project. Non-intrusive mixing technology will be employed; minimising the emission levels of Volatile Organic Compounds. Working to a specification produced by Core Group Proposers, the flameproof vision system will be developed and used to validate the theoretical CFD model. A working system demonstrating the potential of the technology will enable Core Group Proposers to specify the features required in the first prototype to be built. This will be evaluated by the Core Group Proposers on their own site using their own paints, and the savings for their business quantified.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
MK43 0AJ Cranfield - Bedfordshire
BB11 1RE Burnley
BL3 4BL Bolton - Kent
TW11 8LD Teddington
NN15 5PU Burton Latimer