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Most Powerful Industrial Microfocus CT System in North America

September 8, 2010

NIKON METROLOGY TO DELIVER THE MOST POWERFUL INDUSTRIAL MICROFOCUS CT SYSTEM IN NORTH AMERICA TO CHESAPEAKE TESTING

Nikon Metrology announces that Chesapeake Testing has ordered a combined 225-450kV microfocus X-ray and computed tomography (CT) system. Chesapeake Testing selected Nikon Metrology’s powerful inspection system primarily for its highly accurate 450kV source, the only microfocus X-ray source at this energy level. The system’s powerful source, walk-in bay and panel shift capability allow Chesapeake Testing to scan large objects made of dense materials such as metals, ceramics and composites, up to 39” wide. The X-ray system perfectly aligns with Chesapeake Testing’s strategy to further extend the ballistic experimentation and testing services it provides to defense, aviation and automotive customers.


Chesapeake Testing in Belcamp, Maryland, provides ballistic experimentation and testing services in support of protection systems research, certification and compliance testing. Chesapeake Testing plans to use the new X-ray and CT system for one of its key applications: performing inspection on ballistic-resistant personal body armor. “To meet our clients’ testing requirements, we needed a CT system capable of having X-rays penetrate through thick armor specimens,” states Jim Foulk, Chesapeake Testing’s President and CEO. “This is only possible using a walk-in system that incorporates a 450kV X-ray source.”

Although there are a number of high-power sources on the market, Chesapeake Testing opted for Nikon Metrology’s proprietary 450kV microfocus source. The spot size of Nikon Metrology’s x-ray source is orders of magnitude finer than competitive mini-focus sources, offering users superior resolution and accuracy as well as the ability to measure a wider array of parts, which is essential for Chesapeake Testing’s CT imaging facility. The facility is available to partners and third parties, and is expected to attract an increasing number of customers, in particular companies active in the automotive and aviation industries.

“Armed with the new industrial X-ray and CT system, we are able to offer our customers unmatched capabilities in non-destructive testing, 3D inspection and reverse engineering applications” says Foulk. “Applications are diverse, ranging from the inspection of small precision machine components to large ceramic and composite structures. We have already partnered with the SURVICE Metrology Center on an important Air Force research grant, where we’ll use this new facility for the inspection of gas turbine engine blades.”

To support the inspection of turbine blades, the system is equipped with a proprietary curved detector that minimizes X-ray scatter. The winning combination of a powerful microfocus source and a curved detector produces unmatched accuracy, a benchmark in North America.

The new system to be installed at Chesapeake Testing captures detailed X-ray images using a premium 16” x 16” imaging panel. Subsequently, a 3D CT volume is reconstructed that can be navigated as if you were walking through the specimen. “Following this intuitive approach, companies using our CT facility can instantly trace otherwise invisible assembly errors or structural material imperfections,” explains Foulk. “The detailed insight they acquire helps them optimize their products and realize higher quality standards in less time.”

Chesapeake Testing customers are not restricted to run CT on parts smaller than 12” wide, as is the case with a standard system. “Thanks to the system’s walk-in bay and panel shifting capability, our customers are able to take CT scans of parts up to 39 inches wide, providing over 30 times the default scan volume. In fact, it is the first commercial CT system in the US that deals with specimens of this size.”

Nikon Metrology offers a wide range of options for specialized X-ray and CT systems. Click here for more information.

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