Industrial Computed Tomography – Beyond Medical Applications
Industrial computed tomography creates cross section images by projecting a thin-beam x-ray through one plane of an object from different angles. A part of the x-rays passing through the object is absorbed, some are scattered, and some are transmitted. In some scanners, an area detector is used that can scan many slices at once.
The radiation transmitted through the object at different angles is measured and is termed as attenuation data. It is the measure of the reduction in x-ray intensity that results from absorption and scattering by the object.
Industrial computed tomography consists of four hardware subsystems: a radiation source‚ a radiation detector system‚ a mechanical manipulator‚ and a computer with display. The radiation detection system consists of detection elements‚ such as scintillating crystals and photodiodes. The radiation data transmitted is measure by the data acquisition system and digitized into a format that can be handled by the scanner's computer system. The mechanical manipulator moves the object according to the x-ray source and detector system. A computer is used to control the scan motion and the timing of data acquisition. The raw scan data is reconstructed by the computer.
Industrial computed tomography scanners are a counterpart of computer-aided tomography, or CAT scanning that uses x-rays to produce a 3D image of the region of interest. However, there is difference in the x-ray energy, machine configuration, and data reconstruction algorithms between CT and CAT scans.
These scanners are used in the medical, electronics, aerospace, and automotive industries for materials evaluation, prototyping, and quality control.