Our workflows are committed to producing the highest quality images and have the capability to analyse very large data sets. Our integrated workflow is aimed at the characterisation of the microstructure of a sample.
The Workflow of a Micro-CT Analysis:
- Preparing the sample to be mounted on the stage
- Acquiring the X-ray CT image
- Reconstructing the 3D tomographic volume
- Identifying phases (segmentation)
- Image registration
There are two main ways the sample is scanned in tomographs. In medical CT machines, the patient (or sample) is held stationary while the X-ray source and detector rotate around the patient. In the micro-CT, the sample needs to be mounted in the stage that rotates either through a double helix pattern or circular pattern while the source and detector are stationary.
In the acquisition process, the detector captures a series of 2D images while the sample rotates. This ensures that the centre of the X-ray beam passes through all parts of the sample. These images are then processed by a computer into a 3D tomogram - this process is known as reconstruction.
After reconstruction, the different parts of the tomogram are identified. In the case of a rock sample, this involves differentiating between the rock matrix and the void space. This process, known as segmentation, may even be extended to differentiating between different minerals in the rock matrix. The reconstructed and segmented tomogram can then be passed through image processing software to create slices or cutaway images and videos. Tomograms can also be analysed to calculate the physical properties of the sample or simulate how fluids would move through them.
Registration is a process of mathematically identifying the exact same space in the two different images. Registration is also used to provide extra contrast (using dry and wet images) and to understand the structural properties in different size sample, imaged at different scales.
Once images have been segmented and registered, it’s possible to combine these identified and labelled volumes for the purpose of morphological and topological classification, including network modelling as well as physical property calculation. The latter—if using the full volume of the image in particular—requires the usage of supercomputing facilities.
A range of solvers for fluid flow, electrical and elastic properties, as well as NMR responses, is available. It is emphasised that some of the latter require significant expert knowledge and applications should be discussed accordingly and usually would be carried out in some form of research collaboration.
The most important thing we offer our clients is quality control, to ensure they get the imagery and/or data that they need. Therefore, we go through a quality control process and assess images for non-resolved features. This assessment may lead to the requirement of integrating other imaging techniques such as SEM (scanning electron microscope) and FIB/SEM by registration. Recently, the elemental mapping from the Itrax Core Scanner has been integrated into the workflow.
Micro-CT imaging is a powerful tool for lithium-ion batteries failure analysis. Micro-CT allows 3D volumetric observation of the internal parts of the battery to determine the root causes and mechanisms of the failures, such as material degradation, short-circuit (mechanical or electrical), etc
Fibre Cement Cladding Board
3D volumetric evaluation of fibre cement cladding boards damage, detection of flaws such as voids, cracks and particle analysis.
Micro-CT can be used for quality control and product defect analysis of various electronics such as electrical circuit board, charger, and mobile phones. We can also provide 2D scan (radiographic) of any electronics for wiring solder bond evaluation.