Inspection of Trivalent Chromium Conversion Coatings Using Laser Light: The Unexpected Role of Interference on Cold-Rolled Aluminium

Autor(en): Rischmueller, Joerg
Toschke, Yannic
Imlau, Mirco 
Schlag, Mareike
Bruening, Hauke
Brune, Kai
Stichwörter: AA3003; Chemistry; Chemistry, Analytical; cold-rolled aluminium; Engineering; Engineering, Electrical & Electronic; Instruments & Instrumentation; interference; laser-based inspection; layer model; rough surface; SCATTERING; trivalent chromium conversion coating
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: MDPI
Journal: SENSORS
Volumen: 20
Ausgabe: 8
Laser-based inspection of trivalent chromium conversion coatings on rough, cold-rolled aluminium substrates is studied from a basic physics perspective by means of angle and wavelength dependent measurements. As a result, we show that the correlation between the scattered laser light and the coating weight of the conversion layer is dominated by the phenomenon of interference. The combined experimental and numerical approach of our study is based on an appropriate layer model which was developed from a set of reference measurements of confocal microscopy, electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The aluminium alloy AA3003 with a trivalent chromium conversion coating serves as an example. Our derived model is capable to reconstruct the reflectance of a laser beam at grazing incidence even for a pronounced surface roughness of R-q approximate to 300nm, for different coating thicknesses less than 70nm corresponding to coating weights between zero and 0.5 gm(-2) and for laser wavelengths from 405nm to 785nm. In our discussion we outline the possibility to transfer the results to other aluminium alloys and/or other metallic substrates, as well as their potential for industrial applications such as 100% inline-capability, costs, velocity and ruggedness.
DOI: 10.3390/s20082164

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