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research & Science

Materials science, life science, geology, paleontology... Many fields of research now using X-ray computed tomography

Whether to study, to understand or to develop, research has been a fundamental part of human activity for a long time.

The evolution of research has always been accompanied by improvements in the tools available to researchers. New cutting-edge technologies are taking a first and foremost place in laboratories to enable them to continue to advance knowledges and techniques.

Today the means of analysis and characterization of matter allow complete and detailed research to be carried out in materials science, as well as in biology or geology.

Following this constant need of improvement, and allowing to keep intact the samples to be analyzed, X-ray computed tomography has found its place within expertise and research laboratories. Limited during a long time to medical applications, the meteoric improvement of computer technologies plays a large part in the spread of tomography: faster data transfers, larger memories, higher computing power... Capacity to process more important volumes allow more analysis on more representative samples. Technological and technical progresses also allow to continuously improve both resolution and images quality. Parameters that allow computed tomography to constantly push back its limits.

Versatility and openness: the main needs of researchers

From the digitization of animal skulls, to the characterization of ceramics and the analysis of organic samples, the range of tomographs proposed by RX Solutions offers a wide variety of applications. In addition, RX Solutions' X-ray inspection systems allow you to work at the micrometric and nanometric scales to characterize your samples in the smallest details. The openness and the versatility of the RX Solutions line of instruments not only allow great adaptability to applications, but also let the user easily choose the configuration of his/her instrument and upgrade it when necessary. Multiple X-ray sources and imagers are available. Our objective is to offer solutions adapted to the needs of our users.

The acquisition of radiographic projections and tomographic reconstruction can be performed with our X-Act software, which has a console allowing the user to create his own scripts. The 2D images and the reconstructed sections are available in various formats for post-processing on one or more third-party software.

Whether it is for an overall visualization, or in regions of interest, here are some examples of tomography applications:

  • Geology: segmentation of different minerals, analysis and pore networks modelling, simulation of fluids flows
  • Life science: studies of animal and plant morphologies, biomedical studies
  • Materials science: segmentation of composite samples, fibers analysis, porosities and/or inclusions analysis, powder characterization, 3D printing, numerical simulation from the scanned sample, etc.
  • Natural History: study of ancient pieces, digitization of collections for Museums, digitization and study of fossils.

In-situ tomography: increasingly widespread

Characterizing in 3D the evolution of a sample in real time is now possible.

The X-ray tomography cabinets designed by RX Solutions allow easy integration of an environmental device for in-situ scans. Whether to characterize the evolution of geological elements under particular conditions (fluids flows, pressure or temperature solicitations), or to monitor the temperature of a sample (changes of state, modification of physical properties), the possible applications are many and varied. Another application of in-situ tomography, which is highly valued by mechanical laboratories, concerns mechanicals tests in order to characterize materials.

The interest of the implementation of the test cell in the cabin lies in a follow-up of the evolution of the sample without modification of its environment during the scan. The results obtained are therefore representative of the experiment in progress, and can just as easily be supplemented by other analysis methods once the test and the scan have been carried out.

Numerous laboratories design their own devices, we are at their side to help them to optimize their solutions. In addition, RX Solutions has teamed up with Deben, which markets some in-situ testing equipment, adapted to microtomography to offer a solution that is easy to use. In compression, in tension, or even in torsion, with or without temperature management, these devices allow to follow in real time the mechanical behavior of the sample. Carrying out the tomography, under mechanical stress, allows a visual follow-up of the sample, and thus a better understanding of the failure mechanisms.

Another interest of in situ tomography is the comparison with numerical simulation models, with the possibility of identifying and therefore taking into account in the mechanical behavior the appearance of real defects when the sample is put under stress.

Whatever the field of research application, the nature, or the size of the samples, RX Solutions offers a range of versatile instruments, opened to the user and perfectly adapted to his needs.