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Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge Tutorial

Precision Ultrasonic Gaging - Plastics

Plastic, Fiberglass, and Composites

As the use of nonmetallic engineering materials in manufacturing has increased, so has the need to measure their wall thickness for quality control. All common plastics, fiberglass, and composites can be measured ultrasonically, with access to only one side of a material required. Precision ultrasonic thickness gauges can help manufacturers ensure industry standards for quality and safety.

What Plastics Can Be Measured Using Ultrasonic Gauges?

Some common examples include:

Bottles and containers: Manufacturers of blow-molded and roto-molded bottles and containers need to check wall thickness, which is usually inaccessible to micrometers. Ultrasonic gauging can measure without needing to cut the bottles or containers.

Plastic pipe: Both in-line and off-line measurement of plastic pipe wall thickness can be performed to ensure concentricity.

Plastic tubing: Small tubing with diameters as small as 2 mm or 0.080 in., including catheters and other including medical tubing, can be measured with focused transducers.

Cable jacket and wire insulation: Thickness of plastic insulation on both large and small electrical and fiber optic cable can be measured to ensure concentricity and compliance with minimum thickness specifications.

Plastic preforms: Both structural plastic and barrier layers can be measured in the preform stage to help ensure proper thickness in the final product.

Multilayer containers and tanks: Ultrasonic gauges can measure gas barrier and other layer thicknesses in multilayer bottles, food containers, fuel tanks, and similar products.

Fiberglass pipes and tanks: These products can be measured both in manufacturing and following installation to verify wall thickness and detect delaminations.

Fiberglass boats: Boat manufacturers and marine surveyors can measure hull thickness using high-penetration gauges if necessary for larger boats. Gelcoat thickness can also be measured with a second setup.

Composite structures: Aerospace composites in the form of wing and body panels, radomes, and similar fabrications can be measured for thickness and tested for delaminations with simple ultrasonic gauges.

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