The spectro2profiler features a color touchscreen with an icon-based menu. Credit: BYK-Gardner
BYK-Gardner (Geretsried, Germany), additive and instrument supplier for the automotive, paint and plastic industries, offers finishers a tool to objectively evaluate surface structure. The spectro2profiler measures color and gloss as well as analyzes the 3D topography of the surface texture.
Previously, finishers had to evaluate grain and surface structure visually, but this can lead to imprecise or subjective measurements. Some finishers also used microscopes to judge surface structure, but that can be impractical for day to day use. When key automotive OEMs reached out to BYK-Gardner wanting a more standardized way to measure surface texture, the company spent more than three years developing the spectro2profiler.
The spectro2profiler is designed to measure color, gloss and surface structure — three parameters that are said to influence visual quality perception and correlate with what the human eye actually sees. It also comes with data analysis capabilities that allow finishers to select from three different settings based on the finish application: coarse paint for powder coated, fine paint for plastic parts or fine-textured paints, and leather-like for injection or slush-molded parts. Each setting comes with its own unique algorithm and allows finishers to set pass/fail criteria.
According to Dr. Christopher Groh, R&D project manager, “The spectro2profiler takes multiple images under different illumination directions to estimate surface curvature. As a result, you get objective measures for cell size (mm²) and perceived cell amplitude (P-μm). Different grain types can be easily differentiated — ideal for design and new supplier approval.”
The spectro2profiler uses a circumferential illumination at 45° with 0° viewing. The large measurement spot with homogenous illumination is designed to provide repeatable and representative readings.
It also provides a 2D camera-based reflectivity measurement for structured surfaces. The perceived depth of a leather-like surface is dependent on the reflection behavior on the hills and valleys. The 2D reflectivity measurement is aligned with the 3D image data to separate the reflection of hills and valleys. This measurement parameter, reflectivity contrast Rc, is designed for production quality control of injection or slush-molded parts. To compare historical data, the instrument also measures traditional 60° gloss according to international standards.
The software smart chart analyzes color, gloss and 3D topography data. Credit: BYK-Gardner
The spectro2profiler features a color touchscreen with an icon-based menu. An integrated camera shows a live preview of the measurement spot, which is designed to prevent false readings on imperfections or scratches. The software smart chart analyzes color, gloss and 3D topography data. Pass/fail tolerances for all three parameters can be defined with included standard management. Measurement results are simultaneously displayed in a data table and a variety of graphs that highlight the samples that are out of specification. The 2D/3D analysis is supported with color-coded images to visualize the measurement data.
BYK-Gardner Measurement Instruments | 1-301-483-6500 | byk-instruments.com/