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Micro CT Scanning

July 12, 2017

Micro CT scanning — alternately known as micro-focus and nanosat imaging — is a form of non-destructive testing used to create a high-resolution 3D map of an object. The technology is similar to CAT scanning used in medical imaging, though on a smaller scale which produces more detailed results.

NTS provides micro CT scanning from our Chesapeake laboratory. We offer this service to clients in a variety of industries and sectors, ranging from electronics manufacturing to defense and aerospace. Combined with other imaging and processing tools, micro CT scanning plays a major role in failure analysis and other problem-solving investigations.

Our Capabilities

NTS’ Chesapeake lab features a walk-in 450kV microfocus CT system — one of the most advanced available today. With it, we can scan objects up to 37” in diameter, obtaining detailed 3D images of their internal surfaces and components. These images contain information not only about the object’s dimensional characteristics but also about the density and void content of its materials. As a result, CT scanning is highly useful for performing materials testing of metal or plastic components.

Micro-focus X-ray scanning is a cost- and time-effective alternative to destructive testing. It allows our engineers to visually and analytically evaluate all aspects of the device under test, including areas that would be otherwise inaccessible. Micro CT scanning can be used to pinpoint the cause of a device failure or perform other testing necessary for quality control or certification.

How It Works

Micro CT scanning involves collecting a series of projection images using an X-ray camera that rotates either fully or partially around the object under test. Then, these images are reconstructed as a volumetric set, producing a 3D image of exceptional clarity that contains data from all areas of the object.

The main difference between micro CT imaging and conventional CAT scanning is that, because the item under test is not alive, it is possible to use higher doses of radiation. In doing do, micro CT scanning tools are able to penetrate deeper below the object’s surface and obtain higher-quality images.

Benefits of Micro CT Imaging

Micro CT imaging produces results that are up to 100 times more detailed than conventional medical imaging. Aside from superior results, however, the process has several additional benefits.

Preparing samples is easy — there’s no need for staining or preparation — and the scanning itself produces no destructive effects. This allows for further testing and analyses as necessary and eliminates the need to have multiple samples available for testing.

Working With NTS

We are continually expanding our imaging capabilities to provide better service and better results for our clients. Our micro CT imaging capabilities are complemented by additional tools for performing fiber orientation characterization, FEA mesh integration and other computational material analyses. Our Chesapeake micro-focus testing lab is certified to ISO 17025 and A2LA standards for root failure testing, among other services.

To learn more about our micro and nano X-ray imaging capabilities, submit a quote request online. One of our engineers will be happy to go over your requirements and suggest a customized testing program.

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