New tech examines and measures silicone to ensure quality

Injection moulding specialist starlim//sterner has selected a computed
tomography measuring machine from Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology to develop technical
moulded parts from silicone.

Silicone’s very special elasticity has made it a material of choice in
medicine and industry. However, the behaviour of silicone parts under stress can
be unpredictable. The ability to look inside the workpieces will quickly reveal
how the single moulded parts have to be optimised to do their jobs reliably
over the long haul.

Johannes Pichler, R&D Manager at starlim//sterner explains that computed
tomography technology enables manufacturers to gain insight into the interior of
a product, allowing them to actually see how the material behaves under
real-life conditions, and providing them with information for re-computation
and subsequent adaptation.

starlim//sterner was previously using elaborate and occasionally
destructive methods for quality inspection, which considerably prolonged the
development process.

starlim//sterner has been using computer tomography for non-contact,
non-destructive measurements during product development for two years. Pichler chose
the Carl Zeiss Metrotom computed tomography measuring machine since they were
impressed by the system’s overall coherent and reliable approach and ergonomic
correctness as well as the expertise of the product management team. The Carl
Zeiss brand name also made the decision even easier, according to Pichler.

starlim//sterner has had a Metrotom 800 in its measuring lab since March
2010. Pichler explains that the computed tomography measuring machine enables
them to measure every detail with absolute certainty and reproducibility. The real
benefit, in his opinion, is not so much the speed of the non-destructive
measurement, but in the quality, given that defects would have been devastating
with production volumes in the hundreds of millions annually at
starlim//sterner.

Pichler adds that the CT measurement allows them to substantially
increase the service life of their products. The long-term stability of the
parts enhances the total quality of the product and strengthens the brand of their
customers.

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