What is an Instrumented Micro-Pilot®?
Instrumented micro-pilots constitute an original approach based on behavioral instrumental techniques.
Behavioral techniques make it possible to quantify the responses of matter to various physical constraints. In some cases, it is useful to reproduce qualitatively and/or quantitatively on a laboratory scale the particular constraints of the conditions of implementation. Indeed, the type of material, the nature, the geometry and the intensity of the constraints, the environmental conditions are likely to have a drastic influence on the behavior of the material.
The Instrumented Micro-Pilots thus aim to reproduce or approach in a satisfactory manner the conditions of implementation at the laboratory scale in order toanticipate from R&D the couplings between material and process, but also to simulate conditions ofapplication.
From the lab to the field: extension of the domain of the rheometer
We initially developed the Instrumented Micro-Pilot approach on rheometers, for their quality of scientific robustness and their parameterizability. Indeed, the instrument allows fine control of shear stresses, normal force and thermal conditions.
This type of instrumentation allows the addition of special modules to reproduce the stress conditions of specific processes or applications while continuing to exploit the robustness of the principles and measurement data of the instrumental platforms.
Instrumentation manufacturers offer many special modules in their catalog (from the “mobile” to the measurement “cell”). It is also possible and sometimes essential to design, develop or machine specific modules depending on the issues.
Thanks to the open configuration of the instruments, additional sensors (camera, conductivity meter, pH meter, etc.) can be installed, facilitating the simultaneous measurement of other study parameters, enriching the interpretations of the couplings.
The coupling of sensors and associated signals enriches the interpretation of phenomena, while special modules make the "downscaling" of constraints more reliable.
From the field to the lab: instrumented reduction of the industrial pilot
The rheometer can thus be transformed into an R&D (micro-)pilot, for example into a lamination and peeling test (micro-)pilot, or a compact cosmetic. Depending on the needs, it becomes a micro-agitator, micro-granulator, micro-colaminator, etc.
The Instrumented Micro-Pilot can also dispense with the support of the instrumental base, to constitute a behavioral R&D test bench.
Valuable assets for the industry
Such approaches fill the gap between industrial pilots and laboratory instrumentation:
- make it possible to anticipate certain process operations and/or specific application conditions right from R&D
- the quantities of material are out of all proportion to any test on an industrial scale
- the controlled conditions allow both access to a real understanding and to multiply the test conditions (in equivalent time for an industrial test)
- be implementable on commercial instrumentation with rapid and substantial gains
Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Vincent Billot