03/05/2019

Authentic haptics for modern imitation leather cover in cars

The haptic in cars is also important for you. It is not only the appearance of the matt black imitation leather cover that influences your feeling, you also experience special value through touch.

Slush skins

The automotive industry is constantly developing new materials that look great, are durable and that you like to touch. Most of them are leather-like surfaces, so-called slush skins, exact contour images of leather structures and real-looking decorative seams. In contrast to your natural models, they do not fade and do not become brittle.

The automotive industry wishes

They meet the high quality demands of the automotive industry with regard to colour embossing and gloss. At the same time, they create a variety of design possibilities, as complex geometries with large undercuts, but also small radii, can be produced with high precision.

Example: Imitation of the leather structure

A specific example is the topography measurement of a slush skin for automotive interiors. Here the height and diameter of the grains are measured in large surface areas and the micro roughness of the individual grains is determined with high resolution. In this context, it is important to be able to adjust the measuring range dynamically from the millimeter range to the micrometer range. These measurements are essential for the design of structures, the manufacture of tools, production monitoring and quality control. The aim is to optimize the structures in order to achieve the best possible imitation of the leather structure through the synthetic surfaces. The result must have the desired characteristics when touched, but must also be as resistant as possible to dirt and influences such as heat or humidity.

Slush skin determines the function of the airbag

Since slush skins also cover the areas under which the airbag is located, they must have a certain thickness. On the one hand, the skin should be so thin that the cover of the airbag tears open in an emergency. On the other hand, it must not be so thin that it collapses and the perforation of the underlying material becomes visible.

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Metrology tools from FRT

FRT offers with the surface measuring tools of the MicroProf® series the optimal solution for the measurement of slush skins. The versatile surface measuring tool MicroProf® is available in different versions. Depending on the size of the samples to be measured, you can select the system that provides the appropriate sample holder and travel range. In addition to the compact MicroProf® 100 table-top system, there are two larger models, MicroProf® 200 and MicroProf® 300, which are standalone systems.

The technical solution

Two confocal, chromatic distance sensors are used for the measurement. The sensors are arranged on a stable granite base above and below the sample. The lower sensor remains fixed once aligned and is automatically at the correct working distance due to the sample holder. The second sensor is approached from above. Then the sample is illuminated with white light and measured with a height resolution of up to 3 nm. The sample stage moves in a previously defined travel direction. The system is calibrated before measuring the first sample. Depending on the application, the sensors measure the top and bottom surfaces of the slush skins on this travel path without contact and determine the thickness variation of these samples from the measurement data and the calibration value. The measuring data and measuring values can be stored and printed as a protocol. Due to the fact that the position of the sensors relative to the sample is always known, topography data are also available from the top and bottom.

Fast optical line sensor

For extremely fast measurements, an optical line sensor SLS is available. It also works according to the principle of chromatic distance measurement. Instead of a single measuring spot, this sensor generates 192 measuring spots, which are equidistantly arranged along a line. In this way, a distance value with a resolution in the nm range is generated for each measuring point. Due to the line arrangement of the measuring points, it is possible with this method to immediately generate a 3D measurement when scanning along a measuring direction perpendicular to it. At measurement rates of up to 2 kHz, the scanning of a sample is thus possible in a fraction of the time usual for point sensors.

Our experts

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Our experts will be glad to help you solve your measurement tasks by creating the best possible system configuration for you. In our opinion, a comprehensive solution consists not only of hardware and software development, but also of supplementary services and effective technical customer service. FRT provides on-site support through a worldwide network of subsidiaries and distributors. FRT Remote Support enables our experts to assist customers worldwide with any questions they may have.

Looking for more information? You can find them here!

Do you have any further questions or comments? Then contact us! Our experts will be happy to help you solve your measuring tasks.

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