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Process Monitoring Technology

Magnetic Resonance: Effective
Process Monitoring Technology

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  Image: Magnetic resonance methods are used to detect the amount of a selected element (e.g., hydrogen, fluorine, aluminum, phosphorus, sodium) present within the sensorís sensitive volume.
 

Magnetic resonance methods are used to detect the amount of a selected element (e.g., hydrogen, fluorine, aluminum, phosphorus, sodium) present within the sensorís sensitive volume.

Magnetic resonance (MRĖalso called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance or NMR) is a safe, nonradioactive, noncontacting, nondestructive, and selective measurement technique based on the interaction of matter with static and radio-frequency (RF) magnetic fields. The technique is performed by placing the material to be measured in a static magnetic field, applying a pulsed RF field, and analyzing RF signals from the material.

 

Use of Magnetic Resonance Measurements

Magnetic resonance methods are used to detect the amount of a selected element (e.g., hydrogen, fluorine, aluminum, phosphorus, sodium) present within the sensorís sensitive volume. MR signals also contain information related to the viscosity of the materialís constituents and bonding of the selected nuclei to the lattice and other similar nuclei. Quantitative measurements can be made of:

 

Weight/Density

In uniform materials

Pressure  In gases
Flow  In simple and multiphase materials

 

The addition of the viscosity-related information in the signals enables determination of:

 

Composition

Solid/liquid/gas ratios, moisture content, oil and fat content, solids content

State Freezing/melting points, liquid/gaseous phases, state of cure of thermoplastics and resins, polymer cross-linking, oxidation

 

Examples of industrial applications (on- and off-line) addressed by SwRI include:

 

Moisture Determination

Chemical products, food and agricultural products, wood and wood products, coal,
soil, concrete, composites, slurries

Composition Chemical products, fuels, composites, food and agricultural products, wood and wood products, mineral slurries, drilling muds
Energy Content Fuels, natural gas, coal
Changes of State Deterioration of lubricating oils, curing of resins, adhesives, polymers, aging of
asphalt, food products
Detection Contraband, explosives, contaminants

 

Advantages of MR Technique

Applicability

MR sensors are applicable to almost any area of industry

Configurations Flowing product, sampled stream or one-sided access
Product Distribution Measures properties throughout the bulk material
Volumetric Distribution Ratio of the various components without weighing product or filled volume
Industrial Compatibility Simple, rugged, reliable and nonhazardous
Noncontacting Sensors No physical contact between the product and the sensor required
Product Quality Quantitative information on the
binding states

 

Industrial MR System Development

MR has been used successfully to monitor industrial processes on-line and at-line. Typically, it has been explored when other, more common off-the-shelf technologies failed to provide the required results. Some of the MR applications have demonstrated remarkable repeatability and stability. The instrumentation has proven to be rugged, dependable, accurate, and useable to control a process. Savings due to reductions in out-of-specification product, which is either recycled or disposed of, has justified the cost of the on-line instrumentation.

 

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has the facilities, staff, and expertise necessary to complete all aspects of the development of customized MR systems from the initial technical concept through the installation and servicing of instruments in limited quantities. SwRI has multiple specialized MR systems in its laboratories to perform measurements on samples over a wide range of temperatures, magnetic field strengths, RF frequencies, and other operating conditions. These initial measurements are made to determine the applicability of MR to solve a process monitoring problem. SwRI has had continuous activity in MR for industrial applications for almost 50 years and will continue to develop effective solutions for the food industry.

 

For more information about our magnetic resonance and effective process monitoring technology capabilities, or how you can contract with SwRI, please contact Clinton J. Thwing, at cthwing@swri.org or (210) 522-3989.

 

processmonitoring.swri.org

  

Contact Information

Clinton J. Thwing

Process Monitoring Technology

(210) 522-3989

cthwing@swri.org

processmonitoring.swri.org

Related Terminology

magnetic resonance

multiphase flow

contaminant detection

industrial process monitoring

product quality measurement

nuclear magnetic resonance

Sensor Systems and Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Technology Department

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.

10/06/16