Technologies

We research and develop various technologies in the field of non-destructive testing that range from conventional two-dimensional radioscopy and three-dimensional computed tomography and magnet resonance methods, to optical technologies, among others for inspecting surfaces.

 

Computed tomography (CT)

 

The term computed tomography is a combination of the words “computer” and “tomography,” where “tomography” means imaging different regions of the examined object by sections. A modern CT scanner can display sections of or an entire object in just a few minutes. As with conventional X-rays, computed tomography is based on the attenuation of X-rays by different materials in the object. A CT scanner operates by rotating the object between the X-ray tube and the X-ray detector, whereby the part of the object being examined is scanned by a cone-shaped X-ray beam. The attached detector captures the more or less attenuated X-rays from the object and forwards them to a computer for reconstruction and processing. The computer then generates cross-sectional images, or “slices,” from the measured values. Systems with area detectors can record several layers simultaneously, which considerably speeds up the examination process. Whereas in the past only two-dimensional slices were computed, today’s systems usually generate three-dimensional volume datasets, which allow computations that go beyond the layer levels for a vivid three-dimensional representation of the object.

Computed tomography (CT)

 

High energy CT

Together with partners, Fraunhofer EZRT developed an XXL CT system that can be used to scan oversized objects such as an entire vehicle

 

Inline CT

The advanced inline computed tomography technology developed by Fraunhofer EZRT allows cast parts to be inspected even during the manufacturing process. The benefits of this process-integrated inspection solution are many and varied and include fully-automated x-ray inspections and a reduction in the number of rejected parts and components.

 

Portable CT

The portable computed tomography technology was developed for the location-independent inspection of objects made of less-absorbent materials that are no larger than a tennis ball. Despite its compact dimensions and extremely low weight, this x-ray system is in no way inferior to its »bigger brothers«.

 

Micro- and Nano Computed Tomography

Backed by extensive know-how in the field of computed tomography, Fraunhofer EZRT is capable of generating extremely fine, high-resolution radiographic images using appropriate CT systems. That means the internal structures of even the smallest objects can be visualized in microscopic resolution.

 

Phase contrast and darkfield CT

Raster-based phase contrast technology and its incorporated darkfield contrast imaging, provide a unique opportunity to create two- and three-dimensional representations of microscopic structure information in objects as large as 15 cm. This technology is used mainly for analyzing the structure of fiber-reinforced plastics, including any damage, as well as for inspecting microporous bioimplants.

Additional x-ray technologies

 

X-ray scattering

Small-angle x-ray scattering - or SAXS - is used to analyze the shape and size distribution of mesoscopic particles in the length scale of 2 nm - 500 nm. Typical applications include the examination of protein solutions, nanoporous solid bodies, nano fibers and aerogels.

 

Fully Automated Inline X-ray Inspection

In fully automated inline X-ray inspection, test objects are automatically positioned using a manipulation system and image data is automatically generated.

 

Computed laminography

Computed laminography (CL) is an ideal X-ray analysis technique for the inspection of laminar components. Due to their unfavorable aspect ratio they are not easily accessible from all sides and thus a regular CT scan cannot be performed. CL is employing alternative scanning geometries for overcoming these hindrances. Individual sectional planes of an object can be represented sharply (focal plane). An extraction of a multitude of focal planes is conducted by means of reconstruction algorithms like tomosynthesis or iterative methods, each having specific advantages. In addition to the inspection of printed circuit boards, CL is applied in the analysis of modern lightweight materials (e.g. fibre reinforced polymers CFRP and GFRP).

 

Dual energy methods

With dual energy x-ray technology, the material under test is subjected to two different x-ray spectra, which permits the identification of different materials based on the varying chemical atomic numbers.

 

XRM-II nanoCT

The system supports a variable magnification range from 100x to 2000x achieved by geometric magnification, which equals a voxel size between 600nm and 30nm.

Magnetic resonance

MR imaging in biomedicine

We are researching and developing new, faster and highly functional magnetic resonance methods that offer physicians greater support in their diagnosis and shorten medical examinations for patients.

Nondestructive MR on standard materials

We are using relaxometry methods developed in-house on portable tabletop devices to characterize and identify materials that are not usually suitable for magnetic resonance.

Nondestructive MR on biomaterials

Magnetic resonance allows far-reaching insight into the large field of biomaterials, for example into the labeling of individual cells.

MR Safety

We are performing MR compatibility and safety tests on active and passive implants and on MR units and equipment to help protect users’ and patients’ safety.

Optical technologies

 

Inverse deflectometry

Inverse deflectometry is a 3D measuring and inspecting method, which does not require the presence of a diffusely reflecting surface.

 

Optical 3D measurement technology

For rapid three-dimensional scanning of surfaces, we rely primarily on sheet-of-light imaging, an especially advantageous method for inspecting moving objects. We possess extensive experience in this field, particularly in applications such as tire manufacturing and the inspection of finished tires, wheels and brake system sealing gaskets.