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Measuring Material Thickness by interferometry

INESC TEC promotes a Research and Technological Development (R+D+T) project to create a new optical measuring system with practical application in quality control at industrial plastics production factories.

In the search for solutions to optimise production processes and quality, INESC TEC integrated a millionaire consortium (budgeted at around 120 000 euros) with the company EnerMeter, Sistemas de Medição Lda, with the Faculty of Science, University of Porto (FCUP) and the University of Minho, to develop an optical system to measure the thickness of multi-layer embedded materials, without contact and with high spatial precision, particularly relevant for quality control of materials derived from the plastics industry.

On the basis of this project are technologies already developed and tested successfully in projects by INESC TEC and FCUP in the ​​sensors and high spatial resolution optical imaging areas, and they have, in this context, a high application potential.

The product developed as part of the project is particularly relevance to the industry producing thermoplastic preforms, which are the basis of polyethylene containers and related materials (for instance, plastic bottles), so commonly used. The containers produced with these specific these materials are developed using multi-functional layers in order to preserve certain qualities of the liquid stored inside.

The prototype developed within the project MEMiMETRIA aims at monitoring, in real time, the thickness of multi-layers in the final stage of producing the preforms, in an industrial environment, thereby making it possible to optimise and control the production parameters in industrial processes.

From the point of view of developers, this system provides a value added service, occupying its own space in a growing market, in addition to transferring technologies to the market and strengthening an R&D team in microscopic optical metrology, one of INESC TEC’s areas of expertise.

Project Leader: EnerMeter, Sistemas de Medição Lda


  • Faculty of Science, University of Porto
  • University of Minho


Carla Carmelo Rosa



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