Machine Design

Real-time composition information via dielectric analyzer

The Proceptor sensor system presents no obstructions to the process flow and includes an easily installed bolt-in housing.

A steel housing contains the dielectric analyzer sensor and facilitates attachment to application equipment and electronics. Standard sensor diameters are 12 and 45 mm (0.5 and 1.77 in.) but up to 300 mm (12 in.) devices are available.

A dielectric analyzer measures solvent, filler, and additive concentrations of polymer resins, compounds, and chemicals. Though aimed at polymer makers, users of lubricants and industrial fluids benefit from the device as well. The Proceptor in-line analyzer also keeps watch over air, water, and contaminant concentrations.

The analyzer measures concentrations of additive and fillers such as alumina, calcium carbonate, silica, clay nanoparticles, and polystyrene microballoons in molten polymers and thermosetting molding compounds. It helps control evaporators by measuring individual concentrations of water and methanol in polymers for flexible printing plates. And it accurately measures air in automotive lubricants.

The Proceptor's sensor is a ceramic ring with electrodes on its inside surface. Electric fields extend into process material which flows through the sensor. The system measures relative permittivity, or dielectric constant, and electrical conductivity over a broad frequency range.

The composition of two component mixtures, with significantly different dielectric constants, can quantitatively be determined using published mixing rules. The system's conductivity measurements are often used to quantify three component mixtures. The system also promptly detects composition changes for materials having more than three independently variable components. The Proceptor in-line analyzer also works with insulating materials having conductivities less than about 0.1 Siemens/m.

The dielectric analyzer measures opaque, abrasive, viscous, and hot materials. It is rugged with no moving parts or flow obstructions, and is drift-free and impervious to vibration.

Chemical ElectroPhysics Co. Inc., 705 Yorklyn Rd., Hockessin, DE 19707, (302) 234-8206.

TAGS: Materials
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