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The walk-in cabinet features a large, pneumatically controlled door and measurement volume of 400x600x600 mm — sufficient for measuring larger parts like aluminum engine components. The manipulator can accommodate samples weighing up to 100 kg.

High-Voltage CT System for Dense or Large Parts

June 9, 2014
450-kV micro-focus for measurement, NDT, and inspection of steel or aluminum cast parts Turbine blades, engine blocks Flat or curved panel display Ergonomic cabinet design

NIKON METROLOGY’s XT H 450 system has at its core an in-house designed, 450-kV micro-focus source. The standard 450 kV micro-focus source features a spot size of 50 to 320 µm, depending on the power, three to eight times smaller than corresponding mini-focus sources, providing industry leading performance for inspection of small high density parts or aluminum castings with unrivalled accuracy and resolution. Thanks to its open-tube design with user-replaceable filaments, the source has a virtually unlimited lifetime with a very low maintenance cost.

For most demanding applications, the high-brilliance version delivers 450-W continuous power, without any measurement time restriction, whilst maintaining a smaller spot size of 50 to 113 micron depending on the power, up to 10 times better than a mini-focus source. Compared to the standard source, the high-brilliance version allows data to be collected faster, typically 3-5x, for a given spot size and power.” Alternatively for a given power or measurement time, the available resolution will be higher so the data quality is improved.

The system is available with a flat panel for radiography and 3D cone-beam CT or a proprietary Curved Linear Diode Array (CLDA) for 2D fan-beam CT that optimizes the collection of the X-rays without capturing the undesired scattered X-rays. By avoiding image pollution and associated contrast reduction, the CLDA realizes exceptional image sharpness and contrast.

The newly designed walk-in cabinet features a large, pneumatically controlled door and the measurement volume of 400x600x600 mm is sufficient to measure larger parts, such as aluminum engine parts or large fossils. The manipulator can accommodate samples weighing up to 100 kg. Generators, safety systems, power distribution, and pneumatics are easily accessible through the wide service doors enabling easy maintenance.

Also benefiting ergonomics and ease-of-use are the new designed controls, including joysticks and twin control monitors as well as the cabinet CCTV monitor that are mounted on a swing arm.

A challenge for today’s turbine blade manufacturers is to produce lighter turbine blades to optimize fuel efficiency. The wall thickness of modern blades as well as the correct location of cooling channels is of utmost importance for optimized performance. With an XT H 450 combining a 450-kV micro-focus source and a CLDA, blade wall-thickness measurements with an accuracy of ±25 µm can be achieved. In a production environment, the system runs automatic data acquisition, high-speed CT reconstruction and inspection, generating pass/fail status for each inspected part.

Automotive manufacturers are developing more compact, aluminum engines with thinner walls to reduce engine weight and lower fuel consumption. As consequence, it is critical that smaller voids in the aluminum needs are detected. Where a mini-focus system is capable to detect larger voids in cast engine parts, these tinier voids can only be detected by a micro-focus X-ray system.

Also other automotive cast parts such as impellers, turbine housings, etc., require a high-voltage micro-focus source to run highly accurate inspection. By calibrating the CT system, it is possible to use the system for dimensional inspection of both internal as external surfaces and features. As such, automotive manufacturers benefit from the combination of NDT defect analysis and dimensional inspection using a single system.