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Nikon Metrology: Unique high voltage 450kV microfocus CT system for inspection of dense or large parts
BRIGHTON, MI - The XT H 450 sets a new reference for turbine blade measurement and non-destructive testing and inspection of steel or aluminum cast parts. At the core of this powerful equipment is the in-house designed 450kV microfocus source. It is the only 450 kV microfocus source on the market providing superior resolution and accuracy compared to traditional minifocus sources. The system is available with a flat panel or unique Curved Linear Diode Array detector (CLDA). The CLDA optimizes the collection of X-rays by eliminating scatter phenomena that typically corrupt 2D radiographs of blades and other metal parts.
XT H 450
 
In-house X-ray sources at the core of high energy CT
The standard 450 kV microfocus source features a spot size of 50 to 320 µm depending on the power, 3 to 8 times smaller than corresponding minifocus 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 minifocus 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.

Visualizing the X-rays
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 stunning image sharpness and contrast.

New cabinet design for better ergonomics
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 with weights up to 100kg. 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.

High voltage CT applications
Turbine blade inspection
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 450kV microfocus 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 cast part inspection
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 minifocus system is capable to detect larger voids in cast engine parts, these tinier voids can only be detected by a microfocus X-ray system. Also other automotive cast parts such as impellers, turbine housings etc. require a high voltage microfocus 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.
 
Further information is available on www.nikon,metrology.com.

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