XT H 450 Microfocus CT System

June 01, 2014

The XT H 450 from Nikon Metrology 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 equipment is the in-house designed 450kV microfocus source. The 450 kV microfocus source reportedly provides 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.

The standard 450 kV microfocus source features a spot size of 50 to 320µm, depending on the power, 3 to 8 times smaller than corresponding minifocus sources, providing high performance for inspection of small high density parts or aluminum castings. Thanks to its open-tube design with user-replaceable filaments, the source has a virtually unlimited lifetime with a 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 113µm 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.

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.

The newly designed walk-in cabinet features a large pneumatically controlled door and the measurement volume of 400x600x600mm 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.

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 +/-25µm 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 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.

Scientists will always desire to learn about the evolution of species. Destructive tests are simply unthinkable to destroy the precious samples which may be millions of years old. CT offers the perfect solution to uncover secrets from previous eras or older civilizations. To explore larger samples or dense (e.g. bronze) objects, the XT H 450 offers the perfect solution. By looking at the inner architecture of the skull and bones, scientists may gain new insights into the species and its evolution.

Related Glossary Terms

  • flat ( screw flat)

    flat ( screw flat)

    Flat surface machined into the shank of a cutting tool for enhanced holding of the tool.

  • manipulator


    Arm or basic object-transferring device. Hands or gripping devices vary according to application, as do arm design and number of joints (axes or degrees of freedom). See degrees of freedom; effectuating device.

  • metrology


    Science of measurement; the principles on which precision machining, quality control and inspection are based. See precision machining, measurement.

  • nondestructive testing ( NDT)

    nondestructive testing ( NDT)

    Same as nondestructive inspection but implying use of a method in which the part is stimulated and its response measured quantitatively or semiquantitatively.