Efficient recycling with x-ray technology

© Danijel Levich – Fotolia.com

New group investigates dual energy X-ray methods for sorting and recycling.

Sorting and identifying raw and other materials is becoming increasingly important. In particular, the fi eld of recycling presents companies with problems for which the solutions are either inadequate or non-existent. At the Development Center X-ray Technology, we have therefore spent years researching processes that use X-rays to effi ciently sort materials. To strengthen our research activities, the Sorting and Laboratory Systems group was set up in April 2016. In this group, which is led by Alexander Ennen, we mainly deal with dual-energy and multiple-energy X-ray imaging. These methods use different X-ray spectra and enable researchers to identify different materials in a test object without touching or destroying it. The process relies on the fact that different materials have different attenuation coeffi cients and thereby weaken X-rays to different degrees, depending on the energy used. This can yield signifi cantly more knowledge for materials characterization and identifi cation than conventional radioscopic and CT images can. Among other things, the technology has been used to make and run an industrial sorting conveyor.