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Digital X-Ray CT system to inspect AM parts

Posted on 18 Sep 2019 and read 898 times
Digital X-Ray CT system to inspect AM partsThe Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University (in Alabama) is undertaking the
in-process inspection of additively manufactured parts using a customised “digital radiology vault and specialised additive-manufacturing systems” designed by researchers at the university.

The new system was acquired through a $1.5 million grant (from the National Institute of Standards and Technology — NIST) awarded to Auburn’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME), which was formed in 2015 and now includes extensive collaboration between Auburn, NIST, NASA and the global standards organisation ASTM International.

The customised digital radiology vault (from Pinnacle X-Ray Solutions) accommodates additive manufacturing machines designed and built by Auburn researchers to fit within the X-ray vault.

This allows researchers to conduct 3-D non-destructive testing of “mission-critical metal parts”, as well as real-time process monitoring of the additive-manufacturing process.

They can also confirm the internal dimensions of structures and assess the quality of not only the finished part but also the manufacturing process itself.

Bart Prorok, professor of materials engineering (www.auburn.edu), said: “This system is a real game changer.

“It allows us to take two-dimensional X-ray pictures of a metal structure for real-time process monitoring, or a series of 2-D images in 360deg of rotation, which are then reconstructed into a 3-D representation of the build.”

NASA recently awarded Auburn’s NCAME $5.2 million to develop additive-manufacturing processes and techniques for improving the performance of liquid rocket engines.