Enabling Imaging Upto Sub-Micron Resolution

Non-destructive Evaluation (NDE) X-ray & Neutrons

Current NDE technology has a resolution of ~50 microns, but Refined Imaging technology can image to sub-micron resolution. Refined Imaging has developed high-aspect-ratio microfabricated optics using a combination of deep-reactive ion etching of silicon wafers, infilling with metal nanoparticles, and precision stacking of multiple units. These fabrication methods for gratings and data analysis algorithms will increase the available X-ray energy from less than 100 kVp to 450 kVp (necessary to image titanium and steel components). These smaller period gratings will increase the current technology of 50-micron image resolution to submicron image resolution, necessary for porosity and delamination inspection.

 

The stack of tensile test coupons is imaged with conventional neutron imaging.

The stack of tensile test coupons is imaged with conventional neutron imaging.

The fast and thermal neutron interferometer that Refined Imaging and Adelphi Tech are building in Baton Rouge is arguably the world’s best fast/thermal neutron imaging system. It will have (1) a pulsed neutron generator, (2) a gated detector with time-of-flight imaging of fast and thermal neutrons, and (3) interferometry with large field-of-view optics. The optimal fraction of fast neutron and thermal neutron imaging is a key factor in designing a neutron interferometer optimized for additive manufacturing.

The anticipated benefit is for customers with additively manufactured titanium, steel, or Inconel parts longer than 5-10 cm along the imaging path. The transmission of fast and thermal neutrons through these thicker materials is superior to X-rays. The thermal neutron wavelength is compatible with grating-based interferometry, thus increasing the image contrast for porosity, delaminations, and detection of early crack formation in fatigued components.

image

X-ray interferometry of a single-cell protist, a foraminifera, show detailed internal structures. Software was especially developed by us to rapidly solve the interferometry processing (publication available upon request).

Neutron interferometry raw data showing fringe structure.
Neutron interferometry raw data showing fringe structure.

Non-Destructive Evaluation

The stack of tensile test coupons is imaged with conventional neutron imaging.

The movie looks pretty, but the real information about the early detection of crack formation is in the interferometry images.

Publications available upon request.

X-Ray interferometry of a single cell protist, a foraminifera show detailed internal structures. The software was specially developed by us to rapidly solve the interferometry processing (Publication available upon request).