Etek Aero, Prestwick Aerospace Centre

CT Applications in the Cultural, Material, Geological and Biological World

X-ray inspection in the broad areas of Science & Research must cover a range of object size and material type. To address this a YXLON CT system can be selected, which is either very specialized or very versatile.

Example #1 – An old Roman Jupiter Pillar
In preparation for restoration work on the Great Mayence Jupiter pillar, an inscription block and one of the five pillar drums were brought to YXLON labs to be evaluated. Based on CT scans, the material and methodology of a 1905 restoration was closely examined.

The CT scans were done with a linear accelerator at our location in Hattingen, Germany. This LINAC unit provides energies up to several mega-electron-volts. High energy is necessary to penetrate heavy dense objects (e.g. stone).

Visible at a glance in the tomograms are the various materials the pillar is composed of:

  • Original sandstone (bright)
  • Hollow areas and cracks (black)
  • The older addition of gypsum (dark grey)
  • Younger addition of gypsum (light grey), and
  • Armor made of iron (white spot)

Example #2 – Bronze Age Gold Treasure
During the construction of a pipeline in lower Saxony, Germany in 2011, a massive metal presence was found in a concentrated area in the ground. For security reasons a block of 50 x 50 x 25 cm was excavated for immediate analysis.

First X-ray inspection with 200 kV resulted in very diffuse images. With more kV at an automotive lab (450kV) a first CT showed an enormous treasure find. But higher energy was needed. With 6 MeV at YXLON in Hattingen the archeologists could determine very precisely what they found. Dozens of rings, amulets, and more.

The 3D CT model was printed in plastic to support the experts in uncovering the treasure. After month of work the objects of the treasure were exhibited.

Material science covers an extremely wide field of applications and imaging is highly dependent on material type. YXLON computer tomography (CT) systems can be used for many types of X-ray inspection.

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) 
CFRP parts are lightweight and stiff, but not easy to produce in perfect quality. With CFRP, viewing the direction of fibers is of most interest for quality control. While CFRP carbon fibers are very thin (~ 5µm to 10 µm), the resolution of single fibers is not required to determine fiber orientation. A gradient of gray-value is sufficient to provide confidence in analysis.

Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) 
GFRP is easy to visualize because glass fibers are five to ten times thicker than carbon fibers, so fiber orientation is more clearly defined.

CT evaluation of concrete offers information about the material mix and its distribution. Inspecting concrete probes also helps determine inclusions of lighter or denser materials and provides good insights as to the concrete’s stability quality. A CT scan of a zinc probe with porosity analysis helps to optimize the flow and cooling process.

Using YXLON computer tomography (CT) systems, the oil and gas industry expands its knowledge of the structure of the ground area it is studying.

Porous Material (Soil)
CT imaging of bore core samples gives geologists an idea about crystal inclusions and other more dense inclusions. With sophisticated tools such as the new YXLON flow analysis, experts can quantify and analyze properties of different porous and multi-component materials.

Calculation of complex phenomena such as permeability and diffusivity is possible using the Capillary Pressure Module. This provides measurements used in geosciences to characterize soil and rock samples. The Capillary Pressure Module computes the pore size distribution and the capillary pressure drainage curve for a scanned porous material. It also performs virtual MICP (mercury injection capillary pressure) experiments.

Stone and Rock Analysis
CT imaging of stone, (i.e. volcanic stone), easily shows the amount of inclusions such as glass and crystals. This gives experts an idea of the type of compounds found in the volcano’s magma chamber.

Common at natural history museums is the use of YXLON computed tomography (CT) systems for the analysis of dead animals or animal skeletons – often animals that are rare. Biologists and paleontologists share detailed data derived from X-ray inspection worldwide, particularity with regard to animals whose export is restricted due to custom regulations.

Sharing of this data speeds the classification process of unknown species. Students are able to perform detailed analysis without having access to the original animal remains.

CT imaging enables digital archiving – an important process for many museums. They find that animals such as armored lizards can be analyzed without damaging their armor. In fact CT imaging offers the ability for sophisticated physiological studies of very small structures, like the nasal cavity. This helps scientists determine how specific animals smell and breathe and why some have an extraordinarily fine sense of smell.

Chassis parts such as integral subframes, suspension arms, steering knuckles, swivel bearings, steering gear housings, and damper brackets all bear a relevance to safety and must be 100% inspected.

X-ray inspection offers the opportunity for:

  • Blowhole and pore verification
  • Geometric measurement of inner structures
  • Wall thickness analysis
  • Comparison of actual vs. target situation
  • High throughput – integration into the production process

Independent of the manufacturing process involved, inspecting quality using YXLON industrial X-ray inspection systems is a fast and proven method to detect flaws like blowholes, porosities or deviations in form during production.

The chassis is subjected to stresses that are highly dynamic and occur abruptly. This is why the assemblies must exhibit a high degree of long-life fatigue strength. Demand also exists for chassis parts to weigh as little as possible at minimized manufacturing costs. Weight is reduced through a modified forming or deployment of materials, while strict quality controls make certain stringent specifications issued by automobile manufacturers are adhered to.

Modular, modern vehicle platforms require high production volumes. Therefore, X-ray inspection systems must be integrated into the production process so they can readily inspect these volumes. YXLON offers different X-ray inspection systems to accomplish this and are coordinated to meet respective production requirements.

YXLON computed tomography (CT) inspection systems are used for the production of prototypes as well as for spot check sample inspection as inner structures can only be measured precisely using CT. YXLON X-ray inspection systems either with our CT-option or YXLON inspection technology are deployed in the subsequent production process.


Inspection Systems

Our world class Imaging Division offers a range of innovative and cost effective equipment for industrial X-ray and CT for non-destructive parts inspection.


Service & Maintenance

We have a team of equipment and process specialists capable of providing 24/7 rapid-response, ‘frontline’ support and training to compliment your own technical personnel.

Etek Aero, Prestwick Aerospace Centre

Featured Products

We offer a broad range of cutting-edge X-ray and CT products designed to support all your industrial inspection needs. Whether your component is measured in micrometers or meters, we have a system that fits.

YXLON FF85 CT | High Resolution Industrial CT System for a Wide Sample Spectrum


High Resolution Industrial CT System for a Wide Sample Spectrum

YXLON CT Precision x-ray inspection system for the aerospace industry

YXLON CT Precision

High-Resolution Cone-Beam Industrial CT System for Small/Medium Parts Inspection

FF20CT aerospace X-Ray inspection System


High Resolution Industrial CT System for Fine Parts Inspection

YXLON CT Compact x-ray inspection system for the aerospace industry


High Resolution Industrial CT System for Small/Medium-Sized Parts Inspection

Why choose Etek Aero

With our team of experienced and factory trained service engineers, Etek Aero provide a world class service that focuses on quick response times and putting customers first.

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