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Coating thickness gauge

Tatsuro Honda and Kenichi Matsui

Sumitomo Metal Industries,Ltd. System engineering division
1-8 Fusocho Amagasaki Japan


In order to control organic coating thickness on steel sheet, two types of
coating thickness gauges using a new method and the Brewster angle method has been
developed for on—line monitoring . The new gauge has an on-line accuracy of +O.2um and
the Brewster angle method gauge has an on-line accuracy of A portable oil
thickness gauge has been also developed to measure the oil thickness easily in various


Some kinds of organic coated steel sheet are widely produced for electrical
appliances and automobiles. The coating thickness is one of the important qualities
which determines the weldability ,corrosion resistance , and so on. In order to
control the coating thickness less than 2um, two types of infrared coating thickness
gauges have been developed for on—line coating thickness monitoring. When the infrared
ray is applied to the coating film, the ray is absorbed within the coating film. The
coating thickness is therefore measured using reflected intensity. However, the
reflected ray is affected by not only the absorption but also the interference effect
and a pass line variation. In this case, the interference effect occurs because of
multiple reflections on air—film and film-steel interfaces. As there are several types
of substrate with different surface roughness and reflectance, the degree of
interference effect is different. The relative distance between the gauge and steel
sheet changes while the steel sheet is moving. The degree of the change in the
distance depends on the coating line where the gauge is installed. In the case of
large pass line variation, a new method, called the four wavelength method, has be
developed and in the case of strong interference effect ,the Brewster angle method1'
was adopted.

Demand for oil film thickness control has risen recently. So a portable oil
thickness gauge using the Brewster angle method has been developed in order to
measure the thickness of oil film easily in various places, for example, to adjust the
oil coating machine.


3.1 .Principle
The intensity of infrared ray which is transmitted through a film and at a
wavelength equal to the absorption band of the film is given as:

aL=log (1)

where It denotes transmitted intensity, Ii denotes incident intensity, L denotes film
thickness, and a denotes absorptivity. A reflected intensity spectrum of a coated

O-8194-0668-6/91/$4.OO SPIE Vol. 1540 Infrared Technology XVII (1991) / 709

Downloaded From: on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use:

spiedigitallibrary. Ir C 0 1 I I steel sheet 3. Two of the others are narrow bandpass filters whose transmission wavelengths are close to the absorption band and are called reference wavelengths. In on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. Then by using (3). apart from the absorption band.0 6.log[l.rfn (4) where n denotes the filter number..eXp(_2. does not fluctuate. because the interference effect is weak. So equation(5) is given with the following: t=-. The absorption band exists at the wavelength equal to 3. 1 Spectrum of coated steel sheet. 14 was used.I '12 I32 (fL).(4).0 wavelength (ini) Fig. steel sample is shown in fig. because the means of the two reference wavelengths corresponds to the absorption band. r denotes reflectance at the film surface. the two reference wavelengths were chosen because the means of them is equal to the absorption band. t is given as: (5) 1)Rr(1-2rf1) In order to compensate for the fluctuation of reflected intensities by pass line variation. 1540 Infrared Technology XVII (1991) Downloaded From: http://proceedings. Reflected intensity through the first wavelength is given as: tri1i1R1eXP(ct)(l-2rf1)+Iiirfi () where c=2a/cosB. the intensity. and B denotes incident angle.t/c0SB)(2rf)i'f (2) where t denotes coating film thickness. In this spectrurn.aspx . the coating thickness is obtained by measuring intensities of reflected rays that are transmitted through four kinds of infrared bandpass filters.Rn. In this case.1.(l2rfn) urn.R.a. On the reference wavelengths. In the four wavelength method. R denotes reflectance at the film—steel interface. Reflected intensities through the other filters are given as: Irnljn. reflected intensity (Ir) from the steel sheet is approximated by: IrIi.0 5. infrared radiation isn't absorbed by the coating film. The last filter is a wide bandpass one whose wavelength range includes absorption band and reference wavelengths.E] (6) 710 / SPIE Vol. One of the filters is a narrow bandpass filter with the transmission band that is equal to the absorption band. Suppose that (rf2+rf3)/2=rf1 and (R2+R3)/2=R1.0 4. /9 20 :i10 •:.

4.0 2.0 4.' I I I 4 I case that the angle of the sample surface inclination is less than 0 1. 3.aspx .spiedigitallibrary. -6 -2 0 2 6 angle of sample inclination (degree) Fig.4.Performance The result of static measurement using the four wavelengths method is shown in fig.0 thickness measurement is um or E +15%. 2 Static accuracy of four wavelength method gauge.0 . 120 2. when Ri and R4 changes from 0.2 . the deviation of E is about 5%. (1 —2r4) +r4] / [Ri (1 r1 )]. For example. E depends on reflectance of steel sheet (Ri.3.R4) as shown in(7). It is necessary for accurate thickness measurement to use some calibration curve which corresponds to the reflectance of steel sheet. 3.0 - is shown in fig. If the difference 4-) in the distance between a sample and 0 1.4-) distance between gauge and steel sheet (mm) -p 0 120 0 1. SPIE Vol.0 100 0000 0009 coating thickness (pm) 0 Fig.0 degrees.0 2.0 4) 0 100 0000000o00o0Q 0 80 E 80 100 120 1.0 3.2. The accuracy of film 4. The accuracy of on—line measurement is um as shown in fig . 1540 Infrared Technology XVII (1991) / 711 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. Fig.0 The error by passline variation 2. 4 Accuracy of four wavelength method gauge in coating 0 80 process. where E=[R4.0 5. the error is less than coating thickness (pm) +10%. 3 Error by pass line on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary.6 to 0. (7) The thickness is obtained by (6).org/ss/TermsOfUse.0 - the gauge is less than error is less than the In the .

5mm. fluctuates because of 0.5. In the case of spectra measured using the Brewster angle method.0 4. This is the Brewster angle method.0 5. 5 Spectra of coating steel sheet with strong interference. So interference between the rays reflected at the air—film interface and at the film—steel interface does not occur.2 Brewster angle method. with the exception . on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. 1540 Infrared Technology XVII (1991) Downloaded From: http://proceedings.0 3. In fig. So the gauge is installed over a 100 tl. But when the incident angle is not the Brewster angle.8pm 80 80• 60.0 wavelength (pm) wavelength (pm) Fig.6 . 0 0.7 intensity of the wavelengths equal to the absorption band decreases as the film 0. of the absorption band.5 the reflected intensity.0 2. I I I I I I I The error by passline variation is less 28 26 24 22 20 distance between gauge than 10%.4 the interference effect. 60 i A 7 Ii 40 20 4- ci) 40)7' 20 I I 2. But in the case of the 0. for example 10 degrees. It is clear that the 0. Thus when the infrared ray is TM-wave polarized and the incident angle is the Brewster angle of coating film . 6 Error of Brewster angle steel sheets thickness specification is more method gauge by pass line than 0. as shown in fig. the incident angle is so large that a small passline variation is 0. with the exception of the absorption bands.0 3.spiedigitallibrary. So the coating thickness can not be measured accurately when . The spectra of coating steel sheet sampled in the coating line is shown in fig. THE BREWSTER ANGLE METHOD FOR ON-LINE MEASUREMENT When the incident ray is TM-wave polarized and the incident angle is the Brewster angle.9um. when the relative distance between gauge and steel sheet is stabilized at less and sample (mm) than though the variation of the Fig.3 the incident angle is anything other than the Brewster angle.6.1 the cause of errors. 0. does not fluctuate so much. roll and the distance between the gauge head 712 / SPIE Vol. we can measure the coating thickness without the error resulting from the interference effect. 4. __ incident angle =10° 100 —.aspx . the ray is not reflected at the air—film interface3.0 5. absorption bands exist at wavelengths equal to 3.5.0 4. The Brewster angle method was applied to on—line measurement in a coating line.4um and 2. the reflected intensity.

angle range is expanded. the incident angle (degree) reflectance increases.0045• C accuracy and sufficient stability.0 coating thickness (pm) Fig.8 . the oil thickness is 0. the SPIE Vol. So the Brewster angle method was suitable for the portable oil thickness gauge. the rays have to be collimated in order to suppress the reflectance of the oil surface and interference effect. U 0.0025 . In the 4- a) experiment. The Brewster —-a. On the other hand.7. The accuracy of on—line measurement is The Brewster angle method is appropriate for on—line measurement in coating lines which may have a small passline variation.035pm n = 44 O. 1 o = O.005 appropriate incident angle range a) in order to realize both high U 0.7pm 0. is 54 degrees. —0— 3.0055 the interference effect was investigated to decide the 0.aspx .lpm the smallest of all. as the Fig.5 4) 0 0. 8 Reflectance of air-oil interface. .004 The reflectance of the oil surface a) is shown in fig . 1540 Infrared TechnologyXVll (1991) / 713 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. 5 S 1 . Therefore 0. So. When the incident angle wavel ength . and steel sheet is controlled while measuring it with a laser distance meter.-— 3.0035 about 10mm. As —1—-- the incident angle moves away from 50 52 54 56 • 58 the Brewster angle on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. 7 Accuracy of Brewster angle method gauge in coating process.5 1 . Interference effect It is requirement that angle range of the incident rays should be expanded as much as possible . in order to detect enough intensities for stable measurement of oil film thickness. PORTABLEOILTHICKNESS GAUGE The portable oil thickness gauge is required to have high accuracy and the gauge head is permitted to be in contact with the steel sheet so that the distance between the gauge head and steel sheet can be kept constant. I I I angle of the oil is 54 degrees. the reflectance is 0.003. The result of on—line measurement is shown in 5 .

at the Brewster angle and at a wavelength equal to 3.wave of the incident ray. the weight of the controller is 11kg..--.aspx . the degree of the calculated error . The calculated 8 frequency corresponds to the measured one.9.11. the error from interference effect a. The estimated ' 0 005 002 003 0 004 error is shown in fig.. using the weight method.and the dimension of the gauge head is about 20cmxl0cmxl0cm. the film thickness is from 0...004 and the required accuracy that the standard deviation is less than 5% is satisfied. The result of measuring oil film on steel sheet is shown in fig. We can estimate .—.1 um thick film to 2. The reflectance of oil—steel interface is about 0.11 . interference effect changes periodically as the film thickness increases. 5 . 10 Error by interference effect.1O.and on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. 20 -30 The reflectance of the oil 0 1 0 5 1 0 1 5 surface was obtained by the ratio oil film thickness (tim) of TM. of oil-substrate interface of the oil film on steel by using this calculation. So the gauge head can be easily carried to various places and easily handled. The calculation 30 result and measured value is shown 20 in fig.spiedigitallibrary.lum. The error depends on both the reflectance of the air-oil and the oil-steel interface.7um.5kg . 714 / SPIE Vol. When the incident angle range is within the range of 54±2 degrees. The error film surface reflectance is the standard deviation that was calculated under the condition that Fig. We can expect that the error from the interference effect in the case of oil film on steel sheets is less than the calculated error because of the surface roughness. shown in fig. thickness ...0 um. The degree of the Fig. 2 . interference effect becomes stronger.9. 1540 Infrared Technology XVII (1991) Downloaded From: http://proceedings.. the reflectance of oil surface is less than 0. The weight of the head is 1. Performance The developed portable oil thickness gauge is shown in fig. But 7 . reflectance is not so smooth. The accuracy is as shown in the fig.. The relation between the error from interference effect and reflectance of the film surface was calculated. whose thickness was less than 0.. is uneven and the surface 05 the measured error because the . In this experiment aluminum foil was applied to the 10 substrate because we wanted to 0 measure the film thickness as accurately as possible.3 is about three times bigger than — 6 0. 9 Errorby interference effect in case of calculated error from the oil film on alnunum foil.—.6 which is the measured value of cold rolled steel sheet with oil film. The error increases as the reflectance of air—oil interface increases or as the reflectance of oil—steel interface decreases. . .

The on—line accuracy is um.spiedigitallibrary.5 oil film thickness (pm) Fig. 12 Accuracy of portable oil thickness gauge. 11 Portable oil thickness gauge.5 1.) 0 0 0 0. 14O Infrared Technology XVII (1991) / 715 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. 6 . I nfra red Ge-lens Ge-lens Fig. The other gauge using the Brewster angle method was also developed for on—line measurement in the coating process. SUMMARY Two types of infrared coating thickness gauges have been developed.4.aspx . The Brewster angle method was also applied to the portable oil thickness on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. SPIE Vol. These thickness gauges have proved to be useful for coating thickness control. One is a gauge using the four wavelength method and it is useful for measuring the coating thickness in the case of large pass line The oil thickness gauge is so light and small that we can easily measure the thickness in various places. 1.5 E 1 .0 1. The on—line accuracy of the Brewster angle method gauge was um in the coating line.

Appi.548.1970.11O-.31. 665."Transmission Spectra without Interference Fringes".Quebec City Canada.127. Kiedron.Wolf. . 1540 Infrared Technology XVII (1991) Downloaded From: http://proceedings. Pergamon on 06/18/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary.spiedigitallibrary.6.l977. vol. Spectrosc.1986. Principles of Optics.J.SPIE.aspx . Paolo G.N.. 716 / SPIE Vol. Cielo.Harrick."Removing interference fringes to improve accuracy of film thickness spectroscopic measurements" .Piotr and E. 2. no. 3. 7 . pp.REFERENCES 1 .Opticalechnigues for Industrial Inspection. pp.