Measure Volume, Density and Product Dimensions

Using the Volscan Profiler and Ceramscan – safe, accurate, non-contact laser-based methods.

Volscan Profiler with sample and scan

Why measure volume?

There are many specific instances where volume is required as a quality control indicator and therefore is required to be measured. In the baking industry, for example, loaf volume is the most important factor to consider when evaluating bread quality. Higher volume – for the same weight – is generally associated with more aerated crumb and greater texture in bread and other leavened items, hence this is an important part of the consumer's impression of value.

Volume is also an important physical property of agricultural products, meats and packaging. When compared to other industrial commodities, agricultural products have a low value added attribute. As a result, the introduction of cutting-edge technology to the agricultural sector has been slow and several cutting-edge techniques such as laser profiling have only recently reached the stage of practical implementation.

The majority of traditional techniques measure volume using the Archimedes principle of displacement whilst new technologies lend themselves to non-contact methods. Here are a list of reasons for using a laser-based principle:

Fluid displacement techniques are not suitable for porous materials. The Volscan Profiler/Ceramscan is a non-contact laser-based measurement that is not affected by sample porosity.

Mercury displacement techniques represent a toxic risk to the environment and are therefore illegal in many countries. The Volscan Profiler/Ceramscan have been verified as accurate as mercury displacement methods.

Gas displacement techniques usually measure very small samples or otherwise attract a high instrument price. The Volscan Profiler/Ceramscan has the largest measurement envelope in its class.

X-ray techniques are expensive and present a health and safety issue and therefore require fully trained operators. The Volscan Profiler/Ceramscan uses an eye-safe laser and therefore is the safest procedure for density determination.

Why measure density?

Density measurements are required in the production of many modern items. It is a highly important and dependable measurement for characterising the structure and quality of solid materials, such as catalysts, ceramics, foams, minerals, metal powders, soils, cement, pharmaceuticals, and many others, swiftly and routinely. Density measurements influence the overall quality of manufactured products by guiding the formulation process.

It is frequently advantageous to reduce the weight of products while preserving the overall physical size of the product for performance or cost-cutting reasons. In reality, manufacturers often try to create somewhat porous materials that still perform their technological functions. The existence of closed air bubbles in items like house insulation materials is desirable. The open cellular structure of automobile and furnace filters, on the other hand, is required. Other goods, such as ceramics and laminate structures, require the suppression of porosity to maintain structural integrity.

The density of a material, when paired with other data, might reveal plausible causes of changes in product attributes. A change in density can be caused by a fault or by a change in material composition (such as a void in a casting). This can aid quality control; at aluminium foundries, for example, the purity of a melt can be established by comparing the relative densities of a part formed under air pressure and a part formed under low pressure.

The density of porous materials is affected by the quantity and size of pores. The porosity affects other material qualities, so its accurate measurement is very important. For example, the frost resistance of roof tiles or the properties of wall materials such as concrete are affected by porosity, and in turn, density as is the burning potential of charcoal briquettes.

Why measure product dimensions?

Many manufactured parts need to be dimensionally accurate. Vernier callipers are frequently used to measure product dimensions. While this method provides a digital way of measurement, it frequently entails operator dependence, which can lead to an incorrect result.

As a modern example, when you design a product in a CAD programme and then print it, one of your concerns will be whether what was printed matches what you intended. In many circumstances, you'll need your printed object to be dimensionally exact, and iterations of printing your design to modify the printing settings to get a dimensionally accurate outcome are almost inevitable. As a result, accurate digital measurement of physical dimensions becomes a requirement.

The Volscan Profiler and Ceramscan are benchtop laser-based scanners that provides such a solution, measuring the volume, density and dimensional profiles of solid products. The rapid 3‑dimensional digitisation of products enables the automatic calculation of several detailed dimension related parameters, the results of which may be mathematically manipulated for immediate use or future retrieval in a variety of data formats for your printed objects.

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