Computer tomography for measurement and inspection applications


Computer tomography (CT) can be used as a technology in quality assurance to obtain a 3D image of an object and analyze its measurement data. This offers major advantages over other 3D sensor techniques. In contrast with optical or tactile sensors, which are only capable of recording the surface of a component or areas that are accessible from the outside, computer tomography is a non-destructive method capable of generating complete 3D images of a component, including all internal geometric features and structures.

The information acquired from the CT scan is utilized for materials testing, such as searching for the presence of cavities, or inspecting a component and analyzing its measurement data. CT technology is used in particular to evaluate initial samples and inspect random samples. An extensive spectrum of parts can be examined by CT, ranging from plastic components through lightweight metal parts right up to composite components. Whether a part can be imaged by CT depends on the radiolucency of the material and the geometry or thicknesses of the walls through which the x-rays have to pass. Software tools are required in order to analyze the CT data. These must be capable of analyzing the measurement data quickly and accurately as well as appropriately visualizing and displaying the measurement results calculated.



Automated surface extraction

When using CT data to assess component quality, in order to obtain the full surface information boundary surfaces have to be calculated from the three-dimensional CT model.


Software for analyzing measurement data

When evaluating CT measurement data, extremely fast and precise automated algorithms are necessary in order to analyze and process the often very large point clouds


3D texture analysis for inspecting composite components

3D texture analysis is used to automatically identify typical defects, such as delamination or cracks, in computer tomography scans of composite plastics.


Porosity analysis

Industrial x-ray tomography is a non-destructive method which generates volumetric models of parts and analyzes them for porosity and the presence of cavities.