Techniques Developed for Digital Radiography and Computed Tomography Used to Advance and Evaluate the Finished Specimen

Integrity assessment and quality assurance are extremely important in the manufacturing process where any non-homogeneity or flaws in the material and structures is leading to imperfections of the specimens. Digital radiography and three dimensional imaging techniques such as CT have become increasingly important in diagnostic imaging in the materials. The NSI X-View M5000-CT Computed Tomography System at Material Evaluation and Testing Laboratory (METLAB) in South Dakota State University (SDSU) is used to view internal components of the specimens. Techniques are being developed for analyzing specimens of different sizes and densities. Different filter sizes were attached at the source of the X-ray to improve image contrast of the parts and eliminate saturation. Energy from the source and frame rate of the detector was adjusted to improve contrast and scanning times. By doing a CT scan, the specimen was made into a 3D volume file. The volume can be cut, rotated, magnified, and sliced to focus on individual components and by this, the density, dimensions, and defects of the part can be analyzed. The volume can also be exported as a STL file which is supported by many software packages which model and simulate the file. This nondestructive technology assists companies to produce quality assured specimens. Through using the developing techniques, X-ray images and scans can be performed faster and with higher quality.

References
1. Yaffe, M.J. and J.A. Rowlands. “X-ray detectors for digital radiography,” Phys. Med. Biol., UK. 1997. 2. http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/CommunityCollege/Radiography/Physics/filters.htm. 3. http://learn.hamamatsu.com/tutorials/flash/imageprocessing/graylevelresolution/index.html. 4. North Star Imaging Co. Training Manuals. 5. North Star Imaging Co. Technical Reference.
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