Industry & Manufacturing

The speed, precision, and cost benefits of OCT are beginning to attract the interest of industrial end users. For detailed subsurface imaging of small, semiopaque 2D surface areas or 3D structures, OCT is just the thing.  

OCT’s usefulness for nonbiological applications is less well known, though the technology’s noncontact and noninvasive operating method make it attractive for nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT, NDE) of manufactured parts.  In addition, numerous industrial applications are under investigation, including surface and thickness measurements; NDT, NDE and noncontact material characterization for ceramics, glass and optical components, polymers, fiber composites and paper; and quality evaluation of data storage devices.

Additional general information:

  1. Looking inside materials with optical coherence tomography
  2. Optical coherence tomography aims for industrial application

Lines on a photograph (upper left) of a car battery casing
where OCT scans were taken. The red dotted line
indicates the location 
of the 2D cross-sectional surface-height
measurement depicted in the graph 
and shows a defect
that could cause battery failure. The green dotted 
outlines the surface area shown in the 3D OCT image.

(Courtesy of Noboru Kawaguchi, K-NET Systems)


Cross-sectional polarization-sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) image
of an injection-moulded polymer part (top) and corresponding strain image (bottom).