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Components & Specifications
DiAMon Plus™ dielectric cure monitoring system is a synthesis of high - reliability hardware, user - friendly software and durable dielectric sensors .                                                                                                      
 

i. Hardware

The hardware units of DiAMon Plus™ comprise a modular architecture system of high level flexibility and reliability. The main features of the monitoring hardware are:
  • 4 dielectric sensor channels interrogated independently with separate configuration settings
  • Conductivity range of measurements: 10-4 to 10-12 S/m
  • Frequency range for sensor scanning: 10-2 Hz to 20 kHz
  • 3 DC sensor channels (expandable to further sets of 3) for detection of resin arrival and flow front movement interrogated by the optional flow monitoring module
  • 14 thermocouple channels of various types (J,K,T,S) or RTDs
  • Compact controller with high speed CPU with fast multiplexing
  • Rugged industrial enclosure offering protection from carbon dust and industrial debris
  • Complementary control module offering connectivity to external equipment (PLC, Fieldpoint) and networking capability

 

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DiAMon Plus™ system installed in an instrumented autoclave for real-time monitoring of  pre-preg cure or RTI process in composites manufacturing
 
 

 

 

 

ii. Software

The software design philosophy within the DiAMon Plus™ is in absolute accordance with the modular approach of the employed hardware, thus creating an open integrated environment for controlling, monitoring and post processing dielectric data. The monitoring system acts on its own as a ‘black box’ module in the overall process environment providing real-time information of the material properties during the process. As the system allows connectivity to the process equipment through TCP/IP or Modbus communication protocol, the monitoring data are supplied to any process server for integration and recording. The monitoring system results are stored in user-specified files. A separate data post-processing (analysis) tool can be supplied for reviewing of the monitoring data, creating graphs and performing statistical process control. Custom graphs and analysis can be included to this tool following user requirements and data treatment specifications.
The main software features are:
  • Full, modular-based control of the measurement hardware
  • Simple sensor and circuit configuration and fast connection of sensor channels
  • Real-time plotting of dielectric signal parameters (conductivity, permittivity, resistance) and temperature
  • Real-time plotting of material state parameters (viscosity, degree of cure, Tg) and temperature based on the intelligent integration of material properties translators for
  • Material-state monitoring (degree of cure, Tg)
  • Resin flow in moulds (viscosity, resin arrival time, flow speed and direction)
  • Real-time identification of process milestones (maximum flow, onset of reaction, gelation, end-of-cure point)
  • Sensor-based alarms on user-specific conditions on material properties and process conformance
  • Data storage and automated data psot-processing for custom report generation
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Intelligent monitoring software customised for the various composites processing applications
 
iii. Durable dielectric sensors
The DiAMon Plus™ system is configured to operate in optimum performance with the use of durable tool-mounted dielectric sensors. They are produced by INASCO to determine the electrical response of composite material at predefined depth over the sensor surface, while temperature is measured at the surface of the sensor housing. The sensor housing is designed to allow safe and robust sensor adaptation to the fabrication process. A more detailed presentation of INASCO dielectric sensors can be found in directory Products and Services / Dielectric Sensors. Research efforts in the development of new dielectric sensors can be found in R&D / Dielectric Sensors.
 
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Several design schemes of flat interdigital sensor elements have been developed.
Durable re-usable dielectric sensors have been adapted to process tooling, such as moulds or dies
 
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