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Project name:

Industrial X-ray tomography for non-destructive testing and analysis

Status: Idea
Creation date: 21-10-2021

Project objectives:

Summary

An Italian laboratory offers its industrial tomographic services allowing inspection of objects without altering their integrity. These tests provide precise analysis of internal geometries and offer economic savings. Such acquisition is impossible with any other techniques. The lab is looking for industry partners under commercial agreement with technical assistance and for Academia partners to apply for R&D European programmes under research cooperation agreement.

Description

A North-Italian private laboratory, established in 1990, is a center of excellence, service provider for a wide range of testings (chemical, mechanical, dimensional, functional etc.) that supports manufacturing companies in acquiring the highest standards of quality and safety for products and processes, e.g.: chemical, metallurgical and mechanical testing; non-destructive testing; product validation and test engineering; training, certifications, inspections (the lab also runs an internal training center). Tests focus on:
- failure analysis
- composite materials
- additive manufacturing
- welding
- materials and objects in contact with food (MOCA).

Industrial sectors of expertise: (additive) manufacturing, biomedical, automotive & racing, aerospace & defense, electronics, oil & gas, cultural heritage.

One of the lab’s most advanced services happens in the proprietary industrial computed tomography center: the non-destructive test using industrial computed X-Ray tomography, an imaging technology that investigates the inside of products and components, for which the laboratory provides a unique system - one of the first in Europe with a 6 MeV source and the ability to scan large samples and/or samples made from high-density materials. Computed industrial tomography supports companies in acquiring and interpreting X-Ray scans to perform any kind of investigation, without damaging the components. This is useful in any industrial applications for R&D, measurements, analysis of defects (porosity, inclusions, holes, cracks) and quality control.

Axial tomography was initially developed in the medical sector and quickly established itself as an indispensable instrument for research and diagnosis. Thanks to its huge potential, it immediately aroused interest from the military and defence sectors, which then led the way for applications in the industrial sector. Over the last years, the exponential increase in computational power and the refinement of associated technologies have significantly increased its resolution up to micro-metric scales. Nowadays, the ability to inspect large sizes and the flexibility of tomographic systems - combined with the high definition of the analysis - place tomography at the forefront of non-destructive testing techniques.

Industrial X-ray tomography is an effective instrument for R&D, process optimisation and failure analysis since it supports functional analysis of multi-material assemblies with no need to open, damage, disassemble or even alter the item analysed.

Materials that may be inspected include:
- solid and massive metal components
- polymeric assemblies
- composite materials.

Thanks to industrial X-ray tomography, a virtual model (.stl file) of the scanned object can be obtained, including all internal and external geometries and details, thus exploring the inside of components: this cannot be obtained using any traditional scanning techniques. The 3D image, including all internal details, is navigable in different sections. All internal material defects may be detected, at the same time as assessing the component's dimensions.

Applications range from dimensional testing (internal and external) to defect analysis and failure analysis, from functional analysis of assemblies to reverse engineering. Furthermore, tomographic scanning assures the effective development of additive manufacturing processes, casting, welding, and moulding.

The lab offers testings and is looking for partners that require this service: companies in need of inspecting components or samples to acquire inside and outside geometries and anomalies without altering them, under commercial agreement with technical assistance. Also, Academia partners are sought to apply to joint R&D European programmes under research cooperation agreement.

Advantages & innovations

The lab systems allows to study the inside of assemblies and components (objects difficult to penetrate due to their e.g. high density or thickness) with non-destructive testing, for when it is necessary to test a component without interfering with its integrity. In fact, such acquisition is impossible with any other techniques: optical analysis and lasers are limited to the object's outer surface, whereas mechanical cutting alters the internal geometries to be analysed. These tests provide quantitative defect and failure data, with no need to section or alter the object being analysed. The use of X-rays allows to extend dimensional and reverse engineering analysis to include internal geometries at extreme precision; this is a result that is precluded to any traditional scanning techniques. The Italian laboratory has an internal Tomography centre operating with 3 systems (a microfocus, a mini focus, and a LINAC unique system, one of the first such systems in Europe). These tests can be used in testing the final product or in pre-production, in assembly lines and industrial processes with tangible savings.

Stage of development

Already on the market

 
Contact/ source: Enterprise Europe Network (europa.eu)

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