Universal Cure State Monitor
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-127
Topic Title: Universal Cure State Monitor
Proposal No.: N082-127-0681
Firm: Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, Massachusetts 01810-1077
Contact: David Cook
Phone: (925) 743-1110
Web Site: http://www.psicorp.com
Abstract: Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop and demonstrate a sensor non-contact measurement of the degree of cure of recently applied coatings. The sensor will use recent advances in ultrashort pulsed laser technology to provide an effective and accurate standoff thickness measurement. It will operate at Far-IR wavelengths (THz frequencies) where transmission through commonly used coating materials and adhesives is anticipated. This sensor will have two modes of operation. For materials greater than a few mils thick, time-domain ranging methodology will be combined with the measured Far-IR optical properties of these coatings to determine the overall state of cure of the bulk material. For thinner coatings, the Far-IR optical properties of the surface will be monitored. The Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of the approach using an existing laboratory apparatus with some application specific modifications. The Phase II program will develop and demonstrate a prototype sensor.
Benefits: This technology will find immediate use for DoD aircraft maintenance and repair facilities. The proposed sensor will reduce the cost and time for aircraft maintenance and repair, and increase the reliability of these operations. This technology will provide the same benefits to civilian aviation. Furthermore, the proposed sensor will find applications in a variety of industrial manufacturing areas involving processes that require material cures. These industries include aerospace manufacturing, automobile parts manufacturing. Our technology can also be applied to the inspection of coatings used in pharmaceutical manufacturing.