We present fundamental studies examining the design of a phase/Doppler laser light-scattering system applicable to on-line measurements of small-diameter (<15 μm) fibers during fiberglass manufacturing. We first discuss off-line diameter measurement techniques currently used in the fiberglass industry and outline the limitations and problems associated with these methods. For the phase/Doppler design study we have developed a theoretical computer model for the response of the measurement system to cylindrical fibers, which is based on electromagnetic scattering theory. The model, valid for arbitrary fiber diameters and hardware configurations, generates simulated detector output as a function of time for a finite absorbing, cylindrical fiber oriented perpendicular to the two incident laser beams. Results of experimental measurements are presented, confirming predictions of the theoretical model. Parametric studies have also been conducted using the computer model to identify experimental arrangements that provide linear phase–diameter relationships for small-diameter fibers, within the measurement constraints imposed by the fiberglass production environment. The effect of variations in optical properties of the glass as well as fiber orientation effects are discussed. Through this research we have identified phase/Doppler arrangements that we expect to have future applications in the fiberglass industry for on-line diameter monitoring and process control.
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