A Noninvasive Method for Measuring the Thickness of a Dynamic Liquid Film

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2017-CHEN-67834
Optimal design of thermal control devices require accurate predictions of the heat transfer coefficient, which primarily relates to the modeling of changing film thickness. There are numerous methods for measuring film thickness, but all have shortcomings, such as, applies to large-scale applications, which limits its use; measurement accuracy; inability to measure dynamic processes; inability to duplicate the actual dynamic condition; and the inability to measure very thin films, especially with a small wavy surface or a large surface curvature. There is a need for a method that measures the thickness distribution of a dynamically evolving liquid film, i.e., very thin films. Evaluating the development of thin liquid films dynamically is essential to a variety of multiphase applications.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a noninvasive method for measuring the thickness of thin dynamic liquid film, Partial Coherent Interferometry. Unlike its predecessors, measurement results are not affected by laser attenuation or reflection and are accurate within a few micrometers. This noninvasive method can measure a variety of dynamic processes. This method provides accurate measurements in multiple applications including atomizers used for propulsion, energy production, and other chemical engineering applications. Characterizing sheet thickness is important for understanding the underlying physics.

Advantages:
-Accurately measures dynamic processes
-Noninvasive
-Less limitations
-Measurement results not affected by laser attenuation and reflection

Potential Applications:
-Aerospace
-Atomizers used in propulsion
-Energy production
-Chemical engineering
May 17, 2017
Provisional-Patent
United States
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Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
1801 Newman Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486
Email: otcip@prf.org