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Main CT applications for the foundry industry

by Morgane on 31 Mar 2022 at 10h20

Foundry components require many controls and inspections during the overall production process. Computed Tomography (CT) is a powerful non-destructive technology to inspect every sample in an easy way and the only one giving the ability to see inside the matter.

X-ray CT optimizes the casting process for foundries  

Foundry components are diverse and widely used in various industrial fields such as the automotive and naval industries. These components have materials behavior displaying a range of failure modes. Industrial X-ray Computed Tomography is the only inspection technique able to characterize in an easy way the overall material structure of a foundry component. A single CT scan can provide precise measurements of the overall sample, from the whole structure down to individual porosity level. Every structural and dimensional aspect of casting parts can be assessed through one CT dataset.
Besides, in the field of industrial research, nano technology is widely used, to observe and characterize foundry components. Understanding the microstructure role helps to prevent cracks that can propagate through the intermetallic phases.

Key X-ray CT applications for casting products

Many different CT analyses can be performed in order to optimize the casting process. Welding analyses, defects and inner structure inspection, CAD vs CT comparison, porosity, inclusion & cracks analyses… all these applications have different goals and answer various problems for the foundry industry. 
A single Computed Tomography dataset can contain the entire sample geometric information and can be used to perform different kinds of analyses: voids analysis, actual parts to CAD comparison, part to part comparison, wall thickness analysis or reverse engineering.
A large number of casting components consists of a lot of welds and these connections must be perfect. Many times, a lack of fusion (LOF) along the weld leads to an interruption of material cohesion. X-ray Computed Tomography, in particular the laminographic mode, is the best technique to easily and quickly inspect welds and avoid such failures. 
Furthermore, a comparison between a CT data set and a CAD nominal file is carried out easily, to quickly and accurately compare the part to a CAD model, by showing the internal fibers deviations.
In addition, with industrial CT, the identification of cracks, porosities or inclusions of foundry components is a simple operation. The volume fraction of pores and their distribution in the sample can be calculated and highlighted with different colors using post-processing software.

Benefits of inspecting foundry components with X-ray CT  

-   Understanding and analyzing complex material behaviour and failure modes
-   Non-destructive technique help to avoid losing precious information
-   Characterizing and inspecting the overall part down to the material itself 
-   Analyzing the microstructure role to prevent cracks
-   One CT dataset – multiple structural and dimensional analyses