Slot Die Coating Gap Measurement
Capacitec has been working closely over the past 20 years with the leading global manufacturers of thin films, tapes and other materials for various commercial and industrial uses. The common thread between users is the utilization of slot dies, extruder dies and rollers to apply very thin coatings to a variety of media for the following applications:
Photo Courtesy of TSE Troller
• Adhesive coatings onto labels (up to 250°C) • Chemical coatings onto films and tapes
• Chemical coatings onto Medical test media • Flexible electronics (e.g. OLEDs)
• Electrolytic battery materials • Manufacture of Organic and flexible PV panels
• Production of composite material • Thin films for PV, Flat Panels and Windows
The new system has made dramatic improvements over traditional gap measurement methods such as feeler gauges achieving coater gap uniformity better than 10 microinches (0.25 microns) across the full length of the coater die that typically span from 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters).
Shop Floor Slot Die Coater System
Capacitec offers a semi-portable slot die coating system for maintaining coater gap uniformity in production. The Gapmaster 3 based unit offers extended measurement ranges up to 0.020 in. (500 microns) and provides improved ease-of-use for auditing coater gap uniformity in production facilities. Operators will still be able to achieve repeatable coater gap uniformity better than 20 micro inches (0.5 microns). The simplicity of the new system results in lower costs allowing firms to dedicate multiple systems for lower accuracy assessment in all their manufacturing locations.
The electronics package of this system will be replaced by the fully portable battery operated new Gapmangen3 in early 2011.
Maintaining 250°C Gap Uniformity on Extruder Dies
Capacitec is introducing the new non-contact capacitive gap measurement GPD sensor wand that measures extruder lips gaps at operation temperatures up to 250°C. It functions the same as standard dual sensor wands except it opens up new possibilities for use in considerably hotter extrusion and coating die processes. This gap tool can operate short term at up to 300°C. Currently there are no electronic gap gauging tools to confirm gap sizes in adjustable extruder dies operating at these elevated temperatures.
This measurement is important because the gap width changes in relationship to the thermal expansion of the extruder die lip between ambient and production temperatures. The new Capacitec high temperature extruder die gap measurement system now allows users to accurately confirm gap sizes before starting production as well as after the adjustable dies have been reset from sized gap settings. It also allows extruder die manufacturers to study the true position and repeatability of their adjustable die setting processes.