New Capacitive-Array Sensors for Post-Process Cure Verification and NDE of Polymers and Composites
A new capacitive array sensor has been developed for process verification and NDE of polymers and composites. Unlike existing dielectrometer technology, the new sensor incorporates several innovations to maximize sensitivity to material properties while minimizing the effects of temperature, humidity and electromagnetic interference. Conventional dielectric measurement systems require sensors to be embedded within a material and discarded after a single use. Furthermore, conventional sensors are so sensitive to environmental variables that cure monitoring is based solely on changes in the material ionic conductivity; no absolute measure of cure state is possible. The configuration of these new sensors greatly reduces sensitivity to environmental variables and permits external, rather than embedded, measurement making both post-process cure verification and NDE possible. Since the sensor is not discarded, the cost per measurement is greatly reduced.