The x-ray group at CNDE pursues a range of research in three main areas including developing x-ray simulation models, developing material characterization techniques and instruments, and finally, developing data analysis tools and performing application studies for industry inspection problems.

The NDE modeling involves developing quantitative NDE simulation tools, XRSIM and SimCT, radiographic, and computed tomography models, respectively.  These simulations incorporate x-ray sources, CAD geometry description of assemblies, realistic defect morphology, and both analog and digital detectors, and provide a means to optimize procedures, to determine equipment specifications, calculate limits of detectability and volumetric coverage maps.

In the area of material characterization we have a long range goal of developing new material characterization measurements over length scales 0.1m to 100m. We have developed custom instruments, including non-destructive volumetric x-ray diffraction, large sample CT systems with a real-time stereography capability, micro CT with 3 micron volume elements, energy dispersive composition analysis, k-edge densitometry and x-ray refraction measurement capability.  Several of these systems are field deployable prototypes.

To address the need for quantitative NDE we developed a number of image processing tools suitable for use with noisy 2D and 3D data sets.  Image segmentation noisy data, automated feature recognition and 3D visualization tools are being developed.  The large data sets typical of digital radiography and 3D CT lead to implementation of processing routines on highly parallel computation platforms including Linux clusters, and recently, GPU platforms.

Finally, the development of education in NDE ranging from online distance education offerings to on-site short courses and graduate NDE courses are supporting the emergence of NDE engineering training.

X-ray Modeling

  • XRSIM – radiographic projection modeling
    • Tube and isotope sources
    • CAD representation of sample and defect geometries
    • Film, amorphous Si panels, image intensifiers detectors
    • Scattering and finite-spot blurring
    • 3D coverage/detectability maps
  • SimCT – 3D computed tomography simulation tool
    • Tube and isotope sources
    • CAD representation of sample and defect geometries
    • Film, amorphous Si panels, image intensifiers detectors
    • Sinogram output
    • Integrated reconstruction algorithms

Materials Characterization and System Integration

  • High resolution 3D computed tomography
    • 3D visualization and analysis tools
  • 3D reconstruction tools
    • Model assisted volumetric reconstructions – MARVOL
  • High energy volumetric x-ray diffraction
    • Non-destructive strain profiles
  • Multiple energy compositional analysis
    • Composite – fiber matrix ratios with porosity measurements
  • k-edge densitometry
    • Field demonstrations of a prototype device
  • Custom CT systems
    • CT/stereographic system for bubble column
  • Prototype linear array energy dispersive detector

Image processing, data processing, high performance computing

  • Image processing for noisy data
  • 3D visualization tools
    • Data extraction – blob analysis
  • High performance computing
    • Beowulf clusters
    • Multiprocessor/shared-memory workstations
    • GPU parallel computing

NDE Education

  • Graduate NDE courses
    • Fundamentals in NDE (x-ray, ultrasound, eddy current and reliability)
    • Principles of X-ray Inspection Techniques
  • Topical short courses
    • Digital detectors
    • Applications of XRSIM
  • Modular simlets
    • Radiation shielding and safety
    • Principles of x-ray inspections