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JEC Europe 2012 - Optimold is an innovative monitoring system for composites production.
A special electronic system allows the in-situ, real-time monitoring of resin cure providing, among other process milestones, a glass transition temperature (Tg) estimation (verified in industrial conditions). Optimold is better suited to industrial conditions than dielectric systems, cheaper and industrially-proven in the automotive, aerospace, wind energy, marine and other sectors.
Several sensor types are available to monitor the degree of cure, viscosity or faulty conditions such as incorrect mixing ratios or resin ageing in the mould cavity, in the die, at the feeding lines or in the resin pot/bath. For example, Optimold can clearly distinguish when the mixing ratio deviates as low as 3%, so that corrective actions can be taken to maintain quality and speed. It can also monitor the resin bath to check for any viscosity rise. Optimold has been successfully used in RTM, Light RTM, vacuum infusion and pultrusion processes and can be readily used in other processes such as autoclave, filament winding and SMC. The first-ever industrial use in high-speed RTM resulted in up to 40% cure cycle time reduction.