NIAR adds industrial-scale x-ray CT capabilities


The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University, Kansas, has expanded its capabilities with the addition of several nondestructive inspection (NDI) systems, including an industrial-scale digital x-ray and 3D computed tomography (CT) system, or x-ray CT.

The x-ray CT is a multi-source (225/450 kV) and multi-detector comprehensive system used to inspect small and large objects up to 5ft long without sectioning. This inspection system is used to visualize interior features of solid objects, improving processes such as failure analysis, quality control, and troubleshooting manufacturing issues, and the inspection of a variety of articles including additive-manufactured thick metallic structures to fiber fractures in composite laminates.

Computed tomography is a high-fidelity NDI technique that reconstructs 3D images of an object, including the internal surfaces and interior details, from numerous micron-level 2D digital radiographic projections using smart computer algorithms and high-performance computing power.

Digital radiographic images are generated by 360° rotation of the object on a motorized stage, which is in between a micro-focus x-ray source and a detector. The real-time evaluation capability of CT with digital radiography increases productivity and eliminates the cost of consumables that are required during traditional x-ray. High-performance multi-threaded computing and novel reconstruction techniques enable production of dynamic volumetric 3D models that include time and motion (4D), which allows real-time inspections of a moving part.

This new capability was made possible through a grant from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) of the US Office of Naval Research (ONR).

July 19, 2017

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