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Swansea University developing 3D X-ray technology to replace physical testing

March 11, 2018
Source: ASM Interantional

Swansea University, Wales, announces that is has received $1.4 million funding for a five-year project to develop 3D X-ray imaging technology that could replace the current requirement for mechanical testing of critical parts. The award is from the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which considers virtual qualification to be strategically vital to the U.K. manufacturing sector.

Increasingly, 3D X-ray imaging is being used to create image-based simulations. This has the potential to replace physical experiments, a development known as “virtual qualification.” The goal is micro-accurate digital replicas that would include any manufacturing flaws.  

However, analysis of digital replicas is very time-consuming, as images must be processed manually, which can take weeks for each component.

This is where the new research project comes in. Led by Dr. Llion Evans of Swansea University’s College of Engineering, the project will look at automating the virtual qualification workflow, using new software tools.

This would speed up the testing process considerably – what currently takes weeks could potentially be done in a matter of hours. As a result, it would become more viable for the industrial sector to use the technique. An additional benefit is that automated processing reduces the risk of human error.

In addition, automatic processing can give better data on how each individual part is functioning, not just a simple pass or fail.

The Swansea-led project will run for five years, involving experts from other organizations, including the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Airbus Defense and Space, Nikon Metrology, TWI, Synopsys, and Diamond Light Source. As a case study, the team will be testing out their work on a batch of heat exchanger components at the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Subject Classifications

Industries and Applications | Aerospace and Defense

Industries and Applications | Boilers, Pressure Vessels, and Heat Exchangers

Industries and Applications | Medical Devices

Industries and Applications | Nuclear Power

Materials Testing and Evaluation | Failure Analysis

Materials Testing and Evaluation | Materials Characterization

Materials Testing and Evaluation | Nondestructive Testing

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