Over the years, X-Ray microtomography has become an essential tool for non-invasive & non-destructive
characterization of materials in three-dimensions. Industrial computed
tomography, also known as CT scanning, is able to simply and easily characterize
material structure of a composite components. CT precisely defines each
specimen, in its entirety, down to individual fibers composing the mass. Every
structural and dimensional aspect of composite parts can be assessed through a
single CT dataset.
In the field of polymers, CT technology is
particularly valuable defining material constituents and linking microstructure
with resulting physical properties.
Recent developments facilitate sub-micron
resolution in laboratory instruments: RX Solutions CT systems can work at resolutions
as small as 0.3 µm/voxel (resolution measured on JIMA resolution target) with an
image quality resembling that of Synchrotron acquisitions.
The quality of a high-resolution acquisition
will depend on several parameters including an understanding of polymer
sensitivity to X-radiation, to sufficiently contrast phases, and to acquire appropriate
resolution which is defined by requirements of the analysis.
High resolution CT acquisitions require high stability of the X-Ray
source focal spot but also a high stability of the sample. Lightweight
materials can be sensitive to X-radiation thus a deformation can occur over the
course of a scan. RX Solutions software X-Act, for the acquisition and
reconstruction of tomographic data, can program timing sequences to control
these adverse effects.
High resolution inspection of composite materials is a powerful tool to
reveal, in a non-destructive manner, fiber orientation and distribution. After
a specimen has been acquired and reconstructed, materials can be segmented by interpreting
grayscale differential.This is related
to density change within the composite sample.It’s important to ensure that contrast is sufficient, to separate
material constituents, with available 16bits (65,535 values) of information.
In tomography, two things need to be kept under consideration:
sample size and field of view. Both are linked. Sample size plays a role in the
quantity of signal transmitted which, in turn, affects image quality. The
larger the sample, the longer the scan time to maintain signal/noise ratio. Field
of view is dependent on geometric resolution (or voxel size) and therefore,
when a sample is larger than the field of view (at high-resolution), the
acquisition could be performed on a region of interest (ROI) instead of the
RX Solutions CT systems are designed
to investigate a variety of parts and materials thanks to multiple acquisition
modes such as “helical” or “stack”. Through innovative design and flexible
source/detector positioning, it is possible for RX Solutions systems to
increase the field of view, either horizontally or vertically, by moving the
detector. Both micro and submicron scale acquisitions can be performed within
the same system using automated sample alignment.
RX Solutions CT systems are
tomographic solutions that can be used for a variety of 3D applications ranging
from research and material sciences to industrial applications in R&D and
production. Scalable CT hardware
integrated with full featured “X-Act” software, a proprietary offering, streamlines
acquisition, reconstruction, and is enhanced by advanced corrective algorithms;capable of automated workflow: scanning,
reconstruction, and inspection.