Scientific Visual unveils inspection technology for Verneuil-grown sapphire used in the watch industry

Scientific Visual unveils the technology for automated quality control in sapphire carrots grown by the Verneuil method.

This fully automated process allows the scanning of carrot-shaped sapphire crystals 22-62 mm in diameter, and accurately map its defects, regardless of type, size, and location, before costly processing into watch covers.

Just like a medical CAT or MRI scan, the process can see inside the unpolished sapphire and locate the defects using tomography techniques.

Defect pattern in raw Verneuil-grown carrot ⌀34mm, length 220mm. The movie shows the transformation from “skin visualization” to inside view of the same carrot. Colour stands for defect density: from deep blue (non-defective material) to deep red (highest defectiveness).

The patented process developed by Scientific Visual is performed quickly and automatically without the need for pre-processing the carrots. Each carrot section is then classified according to predefined quality thresholds, thereby eliminating the parts with too many defects according to the requirements of each watch brand. This device increases yield and reduces production costs of watch cover production.

The objective statistical data accumulated from scanning enables producers to get early warning of process drift in the Verneuil furnace. For the first time, Verneuil sapphire growers can get their process under control, deliver consistent products and reduce costs.

See more at the product page:

Verneuil growth process, also called flame fusion, is the method of manufacturing synthetic gemstones. It involves melting finely powdered ingredients using an oxygen-hydrogen flame and crystallising the melted droplets into a carrot-like crystal. The process is in wide use for producing initial material for sapphire watch covers.