Infrared thermography is a non-destructive technique that can be exploited in many fields including polymer composite investigation. Based on emissivity and thermal diffusivity variation; components, defects, and curing state of the composite can be identified. However, manual processing of thermal images that may contain significant artifacts, is prone to erroneous component and property determination. In this study, thermal images of different graphite/graphene-based polymer composites fabricated by hand, planetary, and batch mixing techniques were analyzed through an automatic machine learning model. Filler size, shape, and location can be identified in polymer composites and thus, the dispersion of different samples was quantified with a resolution of ~ 20 µm despite having artifacts in the thermal image. Thermal diffusivity comparison of three mixing techniques was performed for 40% graphite in the elastomer. Batch mixing demonstrated superior dispersion than planetary and hand mixing as the dispersion index (DI) for batch mixing was 0.07 while planetary and hand mixing showed 0.0865 and 0.163 respectively. Curing was investigated for a polymer with different fillers (PDMS took 500 s while PDMS-Graphene and PDMS Graphite Powder took 800 s to cure), and a thermal characteristic curve was generated to compare the composite quality. Therefore, the above-mentioned methods with machine learning algorithms can be a great tool to analyze composite both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Rahman, M.A., Rahman, M.M. & Ashraf, A. Automatic dispersion, defect, curing, and thermal characteristics determination of polymer composites using micro-scale infrared thermography and machine learning algorithm. Sci Rep 13, 2787 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-29270-z
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.