Marine propellers are geometrically complex elements, formed by multiple blades and one central hub. Their measurement during manufacturing process will determine their future performance. The state-of-the-art measurement methods used in the majority of the propeller manufacturers require physical contact between the measuring tool and the surface.
In front of these excessively rigid and inflexible mechanical system, Laser scanning offers a vast number of advantages for marine propeller measurement like high precision and small size of the equipment required, and this paper describes several practical tests carried out on real propellers.
Besides these multiple advantages, this paper identifies a remarkable list of constraints found during measuring tests, caused in principal by the high sensitivity of laser scanners to vibrations, noise, roughness, reflections and metallic particles floating in the air.
This paper concludes offering detailed recommendations for the application of laser techniques in propellers verification, as well as suggestions for further research.