University of Manchester

Services provided

For more information regarding commercial access to the Mancherster X-ray Imaging Facilities, or to discuss a potential project please contact our Project and Grants Manager James Carr 

The range services available commerically include:

1. Analysis of defects: X-ray tomography can provide an exceptional level of detail, and will also enable faults to be imaged which would not be picked up using 2D radiography, or which might be open to misinterpretation. Understanding the form of a crack in 3D, for example, can be critical in understanding the performance of a component.

2. Analysis of failure mechanisms: Our in situ mechanical testing capability allows test samples to be imaged whilst under load, providing detailed information on crack nucleation and propagation or other failure mechanisms.  Real time 2D radiograph images can be generated, or a series of 3D images can be captured and analysed.

3. Measurement of Porosity: we can provide measurement of porosity for a wide range of materials with pore sizes down to the nanometre scale.  Porosity is measured by analysing the volume of each individual pore, and adding them all up to get total pore volume.  Alternative NDT techniques do not have the resolution for this, and rely on an indirect calculation via variation in density. The high resolution also enables spatial variation of porosity to be calculated, and we can tell you the precise dimensions of pores (with micron resolution) giving valuable feedback for manufacturing processes.

4. Phase/Conglomerate/Composite material Analysis :we can also analyse the distribution of separate phases of a material where the composition variation is much smaller.  The limiting factor is just the requirement for a variation in X-ray absorption between one phase and another.  Similarly we can analyse conglomerates, or composites where volume fraction distribution measurement is a requirement.

5. Internal Metrology: once a 3D image has been generated, we can merge the data with the original CAD drawing that the part was manufactured against, providing a detailed map of deviation from ideal. This can be invaluable when refining a manufacturing process, or optimising a design to use a particular process.

6. 3D visualisation: our image manipulation and data processing experts can help you produce videos and 3D rendering of complex structures, to help your customers understand the details of a structure. For example, whether or not voids in a sample are interconnected or isolated, can have a dramatic effect on the characteristics of the sample, but this information cannot be gained from inspection of 2D cross sections.

7. Quality Inspection: X-ray CT is used in many industries as a routine quality inspection tool, as well as in product development.  For large numbers of identical parts, the cost is surprisingly low, and often a number of parts can be scanned simultaneously.

8. Failure Investigation: if a part has failed in service, it is often important to obtain details of the internal structure without destroying evidence which might be questioned later. X-ray CT is the perfect tool for this.

9. Engineering Concessions: as X-ray CT provides much more detail than other forms of NDT, it is often possible to get an engineering concession for a part which is close to design tolerance. Indeed, many components are over engineered due to the inability to measure the part accurately. X-ray CT inspection offers the opportunity to reduce scrap and also improve designs, further reducing cost and improving performance.