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Introduction 1 L iquid
Dye penetrant inspection 3
1 3 7
8 18 22 23
2 Radiographic testing
x ray (roentgen ray) radiographic. Neutron radiographic Neutron radiographic tutorial computed tomography
3 E lectromagnetic testing
Magnetic flux leakage Remote field testing Eddy – current testing Magnetic microscopy 37 41 42 42
4 U ltra sonic testing
Phased array ultra sonic Time of flight diffraction ultra sonic Internal rotary inspection system By line – focus ultrasonic probe 50 51 52 53
Nondestructive testing (NDT), also called nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and nondestructive inspection (NDI), is testing that does not destroy the test object. NDE is vital for constructing and maintaining all types of components and structures. To detect different defects such as cracking and corrosion, there are different methods of testing available, such as Xray (where cracks show up on the film) and ultrasound (where cracks show up as an echo blip on the screen). This article is aimed mainly at industrial NDT, but many of the methods described here can be used to test the human body. In fact methods from the medical field, where there tends to be more development funding available, have often been adapted for industrial use, as was the case with Phased array ultrasonics and Computed radiography. While destructive testing usually provides a more reliable assessment of the state of the test object, destruction of the test object usually makes this type of test more costly to the test object's owner than nondestructive testing. Destructive testing is also inappropriate in many circumstances, such as forensic investigation. That there is a tradeoff between the cost of the test and its reliability favors a strategy in which most test objects are inspected nondestructively; destructive testing is performed on a sampling of test objects that is drawn randomly for the purpose of characterizing the testing reliability of the nondestructive test.
The need for NDT
It is very difficult to weld or mold a solid object that has no risk of breaking in service, so testing at manufacture and during use is often essential. During the process of molding a metal object, for example, the metal may shrink as it cools, and crack or introduce voids inside the structure. Even the best welders (and welding machines) do not make 100% perfect welds. Some typical weld defects that need to be found and repaired are lack of fusion of the weld to the metal and porous bubbles inside the weld, both of which could cause a structure to break or a pipeline to rupture. During their service lives, many industrial components need regular nondestructive tests to detect damage that may be difficult or expensive to find by everyday methods. For example: aircraft skins need regular checking to detect cracks; underground pipelines are subject to corrosion and stress corrosion cracking; pipes in industrial plants may be subject to erosion and corrosion from the products they carry; · concrete structures may be weakened if the inner reinforcing steel is corroded; · pressure vessels may develop cracks in welds; · the wire ropes in suspension bridges are subject to weather, vibration, and high loads, so testing for broken wires and other damage is important.
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Over the past centuries, swordsmiths, blacksmiths, and bellmakers would listen to the ring of the objects they were creating to get an indication of the soundness of the material. The wheeltapper would test the wheels of locomotives for the presence of
3 cracks, often caused by fatigue — a function that is now carried out by instrumentation and referred to as the acoustic impact technique. In the cowboy days, it was quite common for a gun to kill the shooter rather than the person they were aiming at. From the 1992 Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven, here's a quote that reflects historical reality:
Little Bill Daggett: "... Bob's as good as dead because ... Corky ... takes careful aim and BAM!, the cylinder explodes in that Walker Colt he was carrying; a failing common to that model. It would have been better if Corky had two guns..., 'cause Bob walks over and shoots him."
Notable events in early industrial NDT
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1854 Hartford, Connecticut: a boiler at the Fales and Gay Gray Car works explodes, killing 21 people and seriously injuring 50. Within a decade, the State of Connecticut passes a law requiring annual inspection (in this case visual) of boilers. 1895 Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovers what are now known as Xrays. In his first paper he discusses the possibility of flaw detection. 1880 1920 The "Oil and Whiting" method of crack detection is used in the railroad industry to find cracks in heavy steel parts. (A part is soaked in thinned oil, then painted with a white coating that dries to a powder. Oil seeping out from cracks turns the white powder brown, allowing the cracks to be detected.) This was the precursor to modern liquid penetrant tests. 1920 Dr. H. H. Lester begins development of industrial radiography for metals. 1924 — Lester uses radiography to examine castings to be installed in a Boston Edison Company steam pressure power plant . 1926 The first electromagnetic eddy current instrument is available to measure material thicknesses. 1927 1928 Magnetic induction system to detect flaws in railroad track developed by Dr. Elmer Sperry and H.C. Drake. 1929 Magnetic particle methods and equipment pioneered (A.V. DeForest and F.B. Doane.) 1930s Robert F. Mehl demonstrates radiographic imaging using gamma radiation from Radium, which can examine thicker components than the low energy Xray machines available at the time. 1935 1940 Liquid penetrant tests developed (Betz, Doane, and DeForest) 1935 1940s Eddy current instruments developed (H.C. Knerr, C. Farrow, Theo Zuschlag, and Fr. F. Foerster). 1940 1944 Ultrasonic test method developed in USA by Dr. Floyd Firestone. 1950 J. Kaiser introduces acoustic emission as an NDT method.
(Source: Hellier, 2001) Note the number of advancements made during the WWII era, a time when industrial quality control was growing in importance.
Methods and techniques
NDT is divided into various methods of nondestructive testing, each based on a particular scientific principle. These methods may be further subdivided into various
4 techniques. The various methods and techniques, due to their particular natures, may lend themselves especially well to certain applications and be of little or no value at all in other applications. Therefore choosing the right method and technique is an important part of the performance of NDT.
Indication The response (blip on a screen) or evidence from an examination Interpretation Determining if an indication is of a type to be investigated (e.g. in electromagnetic testing, metal loss indications should usually be investigated, but indications due to variations in the material properties may be harmless). Flaw A type of discontinuity that must be investigated to see if it is rejectable Evaluation Determining if a flaw is rejectable. Defect A flaw that is rejectable (i.e. does not meet acceptance criteria). Defects are generally removed or repaired.
Reliability and statistics
Oldberg and Christensen (1995 ) and Oldberg (2000  and 2005 ) argue that tests to evaluate defect detection capability are frequently based on misapplications of probability theory. Oldberg and Christensen object to the common method of determining probability of detection, which is to divide the total number of test flaws by the number of flaws detected. This method ignores other possible results that should be included in the set, such as indications from nonexistent flaws.
1Liquid: Dye penetrant inspection
1. Section of material with a surfacebreaking crack that is not visible to the naked eye. 2. Penetrant is applied to the surface. 3. Excess penetrant is removed. 4. Developer is applied, rendering the crack visible. Liquid penetrant inspection is a widely applied and lowcost nondestructive evaluation method used to locate surfacebreaking defects in all nonporous materials (metals, plastics, or ceramics). Penetrant may be applied to all nonferrous materials, but for inspection of ferrous components magnetic particle inspection is preferred for its subsurface detection capability. LPI is used to detect casting and forging defects, cracks, and leaks in new products, and fatigue cracks on inservice components.
LPI is based upon capillary action, where low surface tension fluid penetrates into clean and dry surfacebreaking discontinuities. Penetrant may be applied to the test component by dipping, spraying, or brushing. After adequate penetration time has been allowed, the excess penetrant is removed, and a developer is applied. The developer helps to draw penetrant out of the flaw where a visible indication becomes visible to the inspector. Inspection is performed under ultraviolet or white light, depending upon the type of dye used fluorescent or nonfluorescent (visible).
Penetrants are classified into sensitivity levels. Visible penetrants are typically red in color, and represent the lowest sensitivity. Fluorescent penetrants contain two or more dyes that fluoresce when excited by ultraviolet (UVA) radiation (also known as black light). Since FPI is performed in a darkened environment, and the excited dyes emit brilliant yellowgreen light that contrasts strongly against the dark background, this material is more sensitive to small defects. When selecting a sensitivity level once must consider many factors, including the enviroment under which the test will be performed, the surface finish of the specimen, and the size of defects sought. One must also assure that the test chemicals are compatible with the sample so that the examination will not cause permanent staining, or degradation. This technique can be quite portable, because in its simplest form the inspection requires only 3 aerosol spray cans, some paper towels, and adequate visible light. Stationary systems with dedicated application, wash, and development stations, are more costly and complicated, but result in better sensitivity and higher sample throughput.
Below are the main steps of Liquid Penetrant Inspection: 1. Precleaning: The test surface is cleaned to remove any dirt, pain, oil, grease or any loose scale that could either keep penetrant out of a defect, or cause irrelevant or false indications. Cleaning methods may include solvents, alkaline cleaning steps, vapor degreasing, or media blasting. The end goal of this step is a clean surface where any defects present are open to the surface, dry, and free of contamination. 2. Application of Penetrant: The penetrant is then applied to the surface of the item being tested. The penetrant is allowed time to soak into any flaws (generally 10 to 30 minutes). The soak time mainly depends upon the material being testing and the size of flaws sought. As expected, smaller flaws require a longer penetration time. Due to their incompatible nature one must be careful not to apply visible red dye penetrant to a sample that may later be inspected with fluorescent penetrant. 3. Excess Penetrant Removal: The excess penetrant is then removed from the surface. Removal method is controlled by the type of penetrant used. Waterwashable, solventremovable, lipophilic post emulsifiable, or hydrophilic postemulsifiable are the common choices. Emulsifiers represent the highest sensitivity level, and chemically interact with the oily penetrant to make it removable with a water spray. When using solvent remover and lintfree cloth it is important to not spray the solvent on the test surface directly, because this can the remove the penetrant from the flaws. This process must be performed under controlled conditions so that all penetrant on the surface is removed (background noise), but penetrant trapped in real defects remains in place. 4. Application of Developer: After excess penetrant has been removed a white developer is applied to the sample. Several developer types are available, including: nonaqueous wet developer, dry powder, water suspendible, and water soluble. Choice of developer is governed by penetrant compatability (one can't use watersoluble or suspedible developer with waterwashable penetrant), and by inspection conditions. When using nonaqueous wet developer (NAWD) or dry powder the sample must be dried prior to application, while soluble and suspendible developers are applied with the part still wet from the previous step. NAWD is commercially available in aerosol spray cans, and may employ acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or a propellant that is a combination of the two. Developer should form a thin, even coating on the surface. The developer draws penetrant from defects out onto the surface to form an visible indication, a process similar to the action of blotting paper. Any colored stains indicate the positions and types of defects on the surface under inspection.
7 5. Inspection: The inspector will use visible light with adequate intensity (100 footcandles is typical) for visible dye penetrant. Ultraviolet (UVA) radiation of adequate intensity (1,000 microwatts per centimeter squared is common), along with low ambient light levels (less than 2 footcandles) for fluorescent penetrant examinations. Inspection of the test surface should take place after a 10 minute development time. This time delay allows the blotting action to occur. The inspector may observe the sample for indication formation when using visible dye, but this should not be done when using fluorescent penetrant. Also of concern, if one waits too long after development the indications may "bleed out" such that interpretation is hindered. 6. Post Cleaning: The test surface is often cleaned after inspection and recording of defects (if found), especially if postinspection coating processes are scheduled.
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The flaws are more visible, because: o The defect indication has a high visual contrast (e.g. red dye against a white developer background, or a bright fluorescent indication against a dark background). o The developer draws the penetrant out of the flaw over a wider area than the real flaw, so it looks wider. Limited training is required for the operator — although experience is quite valuable. Low testing costs. Proper cleaning is necessary to assure that surface contaminants have been removed and any defects present are clean and dry. Some cleaning methods have been shown to be detrimental to test sensitivity, so acid etching to remove metal smearing and reopen the defect may be necessary. Penetrant dyes stain cloth, skin and other porous surfaces brought into contact. One should verify compatibility on the test material, especially when considering the testing of plastic components. Further information on inspection steps may be found in industry standards (e.g. the American Welding Society, American Society for Testing and Materials, the British Standards Institute, and the Society for Automotive Engineers).
Radiographic Testing (RT), or industrial radiography, is a nondestructive testing (NDT) method of inspecting materials for hidden flaws by using the ability of short wavelength electromagnetic radiation (high energy photons) to penetrate various materials. Either an Xray machine or a radioactive source (Ir192, Co60, or in rare cases Cs 137) can be used as a source of photons. Neutron radiographic testing (NR) is a variant of radiographic testing which uses neutrons instead of photons to penetrate materials. This can see very different things from Xrays, because neutrons can pass with ease through lead and steel but are stopped by plastics, water and oils. Since the amount of radiation emerging from the opposite side of the material can be detected and measured, variations in this amount (or intensity) of radiation are used to determine thickness or composition of material. Penetrating radiations are those restricted to that part of the electromagnetic spectrum of wavelength less than about 10 nanometres.
Inspection of welds
The beam of radiation must be directed to the middle of the section under examination and must be normal to the material surface at that point, except in special techniques where known defects are best revealed by a different alignment of the beam. The length of weld under examination for each exposure shall be such that the thickness of the material at the diagnostic extremities, measured in the direction of the incident beam, does not exceed the actual thickness at that point by more than 6%. The specimen to be inspected is placed between the source of radiation and the detecting device, usually the film in a light tight holder or cassette, and the radiation is allowed to penetrate the part for the required length of time to be adequately recorded. The result is a twodimensional projection of the part onto the film, producing a latent image of varying densities according to the amount of radiation reaching each area. It is known as a radiograph, as distinct from a photograph produced by light. Because film is cumulative in its response (the exposure increasing as it absorbs more radiation), relatively weak radiation can be detected by prolonging the exposure until the film can record an image that will be visible after development. The radiograph is examined as a negative, without printing as a positive as in photography. This is because, in printing, some of the detail is always lost and no useful purpose is served. Before commencing a radiographic examination, it is always advisable to examine the component with one's own eyes, to eliminate any possible external defects. If the surface of a weld is too irregular, it may be desirable to grind it to obtain a smooth finish, but this is likely to be limited to those cases in which the surface irregularities (which will be visible on the radiograph) may make detecting internal defects difficult.
9 After this visual examination, the operator will have a clear idea of the possibilities of access to the two faces of the weld, which is important both for the setting up of the equipment and for the choice of the most appropriate technique. Defects such as delaminations and planar cracks are difficult to detect using radiography, which is why penetrants are often used to enhance the contrast in the detection of such defects. Penetrants used include silver nitrate, zinc iodide, chloroform and diiodomethane. Choice of the penetrant is determined by the ease with which it can penetrate the cracks and also with which it can be removed. Diiodomethane has the advantages of high opacity, ease of penetration, and ease of removal because it evaporates relatively quickly. However, it can cause skin burns.
Industrial radiography appears to have one of the worst safety profiles of the radiation professions, possibly because there are many operators using strong gamma sources (> 2 Ci) in remote sites with little supervision when compared with workers within the nuclear industry or within hospitals.
An Xray picture (radiograph), taken by Wilhelm Röntgen in 1896, of Anna Bertha's hand (His Wife). Xrays (or Röntgen rays) are a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength in the range of 10 to 0.01 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 to 15 30 000 PHz (10 hertz). Xrays are primarily used for diagnostic radiography and crystallography. Xrays are a form of ionizing radiation and as such can be dangerous. In many languages it is called Röntgen radiation after the investigator of the radiation, Wilhelm Röntgen.
Unit of measure and exposure
The unit of measure for an Xray is called a rem, often abbreviated r.. A rem is a relatively large amount, and therefore exposure to Xrays for medical use is often measured in mrems (or millirems). The average person living in the United States is exposed to approximately 360 mrem annually from background sources alone. Reported dosage due to dental Xrays seems to vary significantly. Depending on the   source, a typical dental Xray of a human results in an exposure of perhaps, 3 , 40 ,   300 , or as many as 900 mrems.
10 Xrays are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths of around 10 meters. When medical Xrays are being produced, a thin metallic sheet is placed between the emitter and the target, effectively filtering out the lower energy (soft) X rays. This is often placed close to the window of the Xray tube. The resultant Xray is said to be hard. Soft Xrays overlap the range of extreme ultraviolet. The frequency of hard Xrays is higher than that of soft Xrays, and the wavelength is shorter. Hard Xrays overlap the range of "long"wavelength (lower energy) gamma rays, however the distinction between the two terms depends on the source of the radiation, not its wavelength; Xray photons are generated by energetic electron processes, gamma rays
Xray Kseries spectral line wavelengths (nm) for some common target materials. in David R. Lide: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 75th edition. CRC Press, 10227. ISBN 084930475X. Kβ₁ Kβ₂ Kα₁ Kα₂ Target 0.17566 0.17442 0.193604 0.193998 Fe 0.15001 0.14886 0.165791 0.166175 Ni 0.139222 0.138109 0.154056 0.154439 Cu 0.070173 0.068993 0.078593 0.079015 Zr 0.063229 0.062099 0.070930 0.071359 Me by transitions within atomic nuclei. The basic production of Xrays is by accelerating electrons in order to collide with a metal target. (In medical applications, this is usually tungsten or a more crack resistant alloy of rhenium (5%) and tungsten (95%), but sometimes molybdenum for more specialised applications, such as when soft Xrays are needed as in mammography. In crystallography, a copper target is most common, with cobalt often being used when fluorescence from iron content in the sample might otherwise present a problem.) Here the electrons suddenly decelerate upon colliding with the metal target and if enough energy is contained within the electron it is able to knock out an electron from the inner shell of the metal atom and as a result electrons from higher energy levels then fill up the vacancy and Xray photons are emitted. This process is extremely
11 inefficient (~0.1%) and thus to produce reasonable flux of xrays plenty of energy has to be wasted into heat which has to be removed. The spectral lines generated depends on the target (anode) element used and thus are called characteristic lines. Usually these are transitions from upper shells into K shell (called K lines), into L shell (called L lines) and so on. There is also a continuum Bremsstrahlung radiation given off by the electrons as they are scattered by the strong electric field near the highZ (proton number) nuclei. Xrays can detect cancer, cysts, and tumors. Due to their short wavelength xrays act more like a particle than a wave. Nowadays, for many (non medical) applications, Xray production is achieved by synchrotrons (see synchrotron light). To create a blood or artery Xray, also called digital angiography, iodine is injected into the veins and a digitized image is created. Then, a second image is established of only the parts of the Xrayed section without iodine. The first image is subtracted then a final image is produced containging both the first and second images together. Lastly, the results are printed. The doctor or surgeon then compares the results of the angiography to a perfect angiography structure to see if there are in malfunctions. To take an Xray of the bones, no iodization is required. Short Xray pulses are shot through a body at first. Next, the bones absorb the most waves because they are more dense and contain Ca which absorbs stronger than C,O,N atoms of soft tissue (due to more electrons in Ca atom). The Xray film see the bones through the Xray.
The detection of Xrays is based on various methods. The most commonly known method are a photographic plate, Xray film in a cassette, and rare earth screens. A photographic plate or film is used in hospitals to produce images of the internal organs and bones of a patient. Since photographic plates are not generally sensitive to xrays, phosphorescent screens are usually placed in contact with the emulsion of the plate or film. The xrays strike the phosphor screen, which emits visible light, which exposes the film. The emulsion still needs to be heavily doped with silver compounds and can be coated on both sides of the film or plate. The part of the patient to be X rayed is placed between the Xray source and the photographic receptor to produce what is a shadow of all the internal structure of that particular part of the body being Xrayed. The Xrays are blocked by dense tissues such as bone and pass through soft tissues. Those areas where the Xrays strike the photographic receptor turn black when it is developed. So where the Xrays pass through "soft" parts of the body such as organs, muscle, and skin, the plate or film turns black. Contrast compounds containing barium or iodine, which are radiopaque, can be injected in the artery of a particular organ, or given intravenously. The contrast compounds essentially block the Xrays and hence the circulation of the organ can be more readily seen. Many years
12 ago thorium was used as a contrast medium (Thorotrast) this caused many people to be injured or even die from the effects of the radiation from the thorium.
Photostimulable Phosphors (PSPs)
An increasingly common method of detecting Xrays is the use of Photostimulable Luminescence (PSL), pioneered by Fuji in the 1980's. In modern hospitals a PSP plate is used in place of the photographic plate. After the plate is Xrayed, excited electrons in the phosphor material remain 'trapped' in 'colour centres' in the crystal lattice until stimulated by a laser beam passed over the plate surface. The light given off during laser stimulation is collected by a photomultiplier tube and the resulting signal is converted into a digital image by computer technology, which gives this process its common name, computed radiography. The PSP plate can be used over and over again.
Initially, most common detection methods were based on the ionization of gases, as in the GeigerMüller counter: a sealed volume, usually a cylinder, with a polymer or thin metal window contains a gas, and a wire, and a high voltage is applied between the cylinder (cathode) and the wire (anode). When an Xray photon enters the cylinder, it ionises the gas. These ions accelerate toward the anode, in the process causing further ionization along their trajectory. This process, known as an avalanche, is detected as a sudden flow of current, called a "count" or "event". Ultimately, the electrons form a virtual cathode around the anode wire drastically reducing the electric field in the outer portions of the tube. This halts the collisional ionizations and limits further growth of avalanches. As a result, all "counts" on a Geiger counter are the same size and it can give no indication as to the particle energy of the radiation, unlike the proportional counter. The intensity of the radiation is measurable by the Geiger counter as the countingrate of the system. In order to gain energy spectrum information a diffracting crystal may be used to first separate the different photons, the method is called wavelength dispersive Xray spectroscopy (WDX or WDS). Positionsensitive detectors are often used in conjunction with dispersive elements. Other detection equipment may be used which are inherently energyresolving, such as the aforementioned proportional counters. In either case, use of suitable pulseprocessing (MCA) equipment allows digital spectra to be created for later analysis. For many applications, counters are not sealed but are constantly fed with purified gas (thus reducing problems of contamination or gas aging). These are called "flow counter".
Some materials such as sodium iodide (NaI) can "convert" an Xray photon to a visible photon; an electronic detector can be built by adding a photomultiplier. These detectors are called "scintillators", filmscreens or "scintillation counters". The main
13 advantage of using these is that an adequate image can be obtained while subjecting the patient to a much lower dose of Xrays.
Xray during Cholecystectomy Xrays are also used in "realtime" procedures such as angiography or contrast studies of the hollow organs (e.g. barium enema of the small or large intestine) using fluoroscopy acquired using an Xray image intensifier. Angioplasty, medical interventions of the arterial system, rely heavily on Xraysensitive contrast to identify potentially treatable lesions.
Direct Semiconductor Detectors
Since the 1970s, new semiconductor detectors have been developed (silicon or germanium doped with lithium, Si(Li) or Ge(Li)). Xray photons are converted to electronhole pairs in the semiconductor and are collected to detect the Xrays. When the temperature is low enough (the detector is cooled by Peltier effect or best by liquid nitrogen), it is possible to directly determine the Xray energy spectrum; this method is called energy dispersive Xray spectroscopy (EDX or EDS); it is often used in small Xray fluorescence spectrometers. These detectors are sometimes called "solid detectors". Cadmium telluride (CdTe) and its alloy with zinc, cadmium zinc telluride detectors have an increased sensitivity, which allows lower doses of Xrays to be used. Practical application in Medical Imaging didn't start taking place until the 1990's. Currently amorphous selenium is used in commercial large area flat panel xray detectors for chest radiography and mammography. Note: A standard semiconductor diode, such as a 1N4007, will produce a small amount of current when placed in an Xray beam. A test device once used by Medical Imaging Service personnel was a small project box that contained several diodes of this type in series, which could be connected to an oscilloscope as a quick diagnostic. Silicon drift detectors (SDDs), produced by conventional semiconductor fabrication, now provide a costeffective and high resolving radiation measurement. They replace
14 conventional Xray detectors, such as Si(Li)s, as they do not need to be cooled with liquid nitrogen.
Scintillator + semiconductor detectors (indirect detection)
With the advent of large semiconductor array detectors it has become possible to design detector systems using a scintillator screen to convert from Xrays to visible light which is then converted to electrical signals in an array detector. Indirect Flat Panel Detectors (FPDs) are in widespread use today in medical, dental, veterinary and industrial applications. A common form of these detectors is based on amorphous silicon TFT/photodiode arrays. The array technology is a variant on the amorphous silicon TFT arrays used in many flat panel displays, like the ones in computer laptops. The array consists of a sheet of glass covered with a thin layer of silicon that is in an amorphous or disordered state. At a microscopic scale, the silicon has been imprinted with millions of transistors arranged in a highly ordered array, like the grid on a sheet of graph paper. Each of these thin film transistors (TFTs) are attached to a lightabsorbing photodiode making up an individual pixel (picture element). Photons striking the photodiode are converted into two carriers of electrical charge, called electronhole pairs. Since the number of charge carriers produced will vary with the intensity of incoming light photons, an electrical pattern is created that can be swiftly converted to a voltage and then a digital signal, which is interpreted by a computer to produce a digital image. Although silicon has outstanding electronic properties, it is not a particularly good absorber of Xray photons. For this reason, Xrays first impinge upon scintillators made from eg. gadolinium oxysulfide or cesium iodide. The scintillator absorbs the Xrays and converts them into visible light photons that then pass onto the photodiode array.
Visibility to the human eye
While generally considered invisible to the human eye, in special circumstances X rays can be visible. Brandes, in an experiment a short time after Röntgen's landmark 1895 paper, reported after dark adaptation and placing his eye close to an Xray tube, seeing a faint "bluegray" glow which seemed to originate within the eye itself. Upon hearing this, Röntgen reviewed his record books and found he too had seen the effect. When placing an Xray tube on the opposite side of a wooden door Röntgen had noted the same blue glow, seeming to emanate from the eye itself, but thought his observations to be spurious because he only saw the effect when he used one type of tube. Later he realized that the tube which had created the effect was the only one powerful enough to make the glow plainly visible and the experiment was thereafter readily repeatable. The knowledge that Xrays are actually faintly visible to the dark adapted naked eye has largely been forgotten today; this is probably due to the desire not to repeat what would now be seen as a recklessly dangerous and harmful experiment with ionizing radiation. It is not known what exact mechanism in the eye produces the visibility: it could be due to conventional detection (excitation of rhodopsin molecules in the retina), direct excitation of retinal nerve cells, or secondary detection via, for instance, Xray induction of phosphorescence in the eyeball with conventional retinal detection of the secondarily produced visible light.
XRay Image of a male skull Since Röntgen's discovery that Xrays can identify bony structures, Xrays have been developed for their use in medical imaging. Radiology is a specialized field of medicine. Radiographers employ radiography and other techniques for diagnostic imaging. Indeed, this is probably the most common use of Xray technology. Xrays are especially useful in the detection of pathology of the skeletal system, but are also useful for detecting some disease processes in soft tissue. Some notable examples are the very common chest Xray, which can be used to identify lung diseases such as pneumonia, lung cancer or pulmonary edema, and the abdominal X ray, which can detect ileus (blockage of the intestine), free air (from visceral perforations) and free fluid (in ascites). In some cases, the use of Xrays is debatable, such as gallstones (which are rarely radiopaque) or kidney stones (which are often visible, but not always). Also, traditional plain Xrays pose very little use in the imaging of soft tissues such as the brain or muscle. Imaging alternatives for soft tissues are computed axial tomography (CAT or CT scanning), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound. Since 2005, Xrays are listed as a carcinogen by the U.S. government. Radiotherapy, a curative medical intervention, now used almost exclusively for cancer, employs higher energies of radiation. The efficiency of Xray tubes is less than 2%. Most of the energy is used to heat up the anode.
Other notable uses of Xrays include:
Xray crystallography in which the pattern produced by the diffraction of X rays through the closely spaced lattice of atoms in a crystal is recorded and then analyzed to reveal the nature of that lattice.
16 Xray astronomy, which is an observational branch of astronomy, which deals with the study of Xray emission from celestial objects. · Xray microscopic analysis, which uses electromagnetic radiation in the soft Xray band to produce images of very small objects. · Xray fluorescence, a technique in which xrays are generated within a specimen and detected. The outgoing energy of the xray can be used to identify the composition of the sample. · Paintings are often Xrayed to reveal the underdrawing and pentimenti or alterations in the course of painting, or by later restorers. Many pigments such as lead white show well in Xray photographs.
Among the important early researchers in Xrays were Professor Ivan Pului, Sir William Crookes, Johann Wilhelm Hittorf, Eugen Goldstein, Heinrich Hertz, Philipp Lenard, Hermann von Helmholtz, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Charles Glover Barkla, Max von Laue, and Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.
Diagram of a water cooled Xray tube. (simplified/outdated) Physicist Johann Hittorf (1824 1914) observed tubes with energy rays extending from a negative electrode. These rays produced a fluorescence when they hit the glass walls of the tubes. In 1876 the effect was named "cathode rays" by Eugen Goldstein, and today are known to be streams of electrons. Later, English physicist William Crookes investigated the effects of electric currents in gases at low pressure, and constructed what is called the Crookes tube. It is a glass vacuum cylinder, containing electrodes for discharges of a high voltage electric current. He found, when he placed unexposed photographic plates near the tube, that some of them were flawed by shadows, though he did not investigate this effect.
In April 1887, Nikola Tesla began to investigate Xrays using high voltages and vacuum tubes of his own design, as well as Crookes tubes. From his technical publications, it is indicated that he invented and developed a special singleelectrode Xray tube   , which differed from other Xray tubes in having no target electrode. The principle behind Tesla's device is nowadays called the Bremsstrahlung process, in which a highenergy secondary Xray emission is produced when charged particles (such as electrons) pass through matter. By 1892, Tesla performed several such experiments, but he did not categorize the emissions as what were later called Xrays.  Tesla generalized the phenomenon as radiant energy of "invisible" kinds.  Tesla
17 stated the facts of his methods concerning various experiments in his 1897 Xray lecture  before the New York Academy of Sciences. Also in this lecture, Tesla stated the method of construction and safe operation of Xray equipment. His Xray experimentation by vacuum high field emissions also led him to alert the scientific  community to the biological hazards associated with Xray exposure.
Xrays were first generated and detected by Fernando Sanford (18541948), the foundation Professor of Physics at Stanford University, in 1891. From 1886 to 1888 he had studied in the Hermann Helmholtz laboratory in Berlin, where he became familiar with the cathode rays generated in vacuum tubes when a voltage was applied across separate electrodes, as previously studied by Heinrich Hertz and Philipp Lenard. His letter of January 6, 1893 (describing his discovery as "electric photography") to The Physical Review was duly published and an article entitled Without Lens or Light, Photographs Taken With Plate and Object in Darkness appeared in the San Francisco Examiner. 
In 1892, Heinrich Hertz began experimenting and demonstrated that cathode rays could penetrate very thin metal foil (such as aluminium). Philipp Lenard, a student of Heinrich Hertz, further researched this effect. He developed a version of the cathode tube and studied the penetration by Xrays of various materials. Philipp Lenard, though, did not realize that he was producing Xrays. Hermann von Helmholtz formulated mathematical equations for Xrays. He postulated a dispersion theory before Röntgen made his discovery and announcement. It was formed on the basis of the electromagnetic theory of light (Wiedmann's Annalen, Vol. XLVIII). However, he did not work with actual Xrays.
On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, a German physics professor, began observing and further documenting Xrays while experimenting with vacuum tubes. Röntgen, on December 28, 1895, wrote a preliminary report "On a new kind of ray: A preliminary communication". He submitted it to the Würzburg's PhysicalMedical Society journal. This was the first formal and public recognition of the categorization of Xrays. Röntgen referred to the radiation as "X", to indicate that it was an unknown type of radiation. The name stuck, although (over Röntgen's great objections), many of his colleagues suggested calling them Röntgen rays. They are still referred to as such in many languages. Röntgen received the first Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery. Röntgen was working on a primitive cathode ray generator that was projected through a glass vacuum tube. Suddenly he noticed a faint green light against the wall. The odd thing he had noticed, was that the light from the cathode ray generator was traveling through a bunch of the materials in its way (paper, wood, and books). He then started to put various objects in front of the generator, and as he was doing this, he noticed that the outline of the bones from his hand were displayed on the wall. Röntgen said he did not know what to think and kept experimenting. Two months after his initial
18 discovery, he published his paper translated "On a New Kind of Radiation" and gave a demonstration in 1896. Rontgen discovered its medical use when he saw picture of his wife's hand on a photographic plate formed due to XRays. His wife's hand's photograph was the first ever photograph of human body part using the XRays.
In 1895, Thomas Edison investigated materials' ability to fluoresce when exposed to Xrays, and found that calcium tungstate was the most effective substance. Around March 1896, the fluoroscope he developed became the standard for medical Xray examinations. Nevertheless, Edison dropped Xray research around 1903 after the death of Clarence Madison Dally, one of his glassblowers. Dally had a habit of testing Xray tubes on his hands, and acquired a cancer in them so tenacious that both arms were amputated in a futile attempt to save his life.
The 20th century and beyond
In 1906, physicist Charles Barkla discovered that Xrays could be scattered by gases, and that each element had a characteristic Xray. He won the 1917 Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery. In 1912, Max von Laue, Paul Knipping and Walter Friedrich observed for the first time the diffraction of Xrays by crystals. This discovery, along with the early works of Paul Peter Ewald, William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg gave birth to the field of Xray crystallography. The use of Xrays for medical purposes (to develop into the field of radiation therapy) was pioneered by Major John HallEdwards in Birmingham, England. In 1908, he had to have his left arm amputated owing to the spread of Xray dermatitis. In the 1950s Xrays were used to produce an Xray microscope.
ROSAT image of Xray fluorescence of, and occultation of the Xray background by, the Moon. In the 1980s an Xray laser device was proposed as part of the Reagan administration's Strategic Defense Initiative, but the first and only test of the device (a sort of laser "blaster", or death ray, powered by a thermonuclear explosion) gave
19 inconclusive results. For technical and political reasons, the overall project (including the Xray laser) was defunded (though was later revived by the second Bush administration as National Missile Defense using different technologies). In the 1990s the Chandra Xray Observatory was launched, allowing the exploration of the very violent processes in the universe which produce Xrays. Unlike visible light, which is a relatively stable view of the universe, the Xray universe is unstable, it features stars being torn apart by black holes, galactic collisions, and novas, neutron stars that build up layers of plasma that then explode into space.
Read this first: US NRC regulations require that buyers have a Type A Broadscope specific license authorizing possession of tritium in the applicable quantities before purchase of tritium neutron generators or you must apply for an engineering safety sealed source and device (SS&D) review and have a specific license authorizing the possession of these devices. Visit U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) website for details. Several NonPower Reactors provide Neutron Radiography services. Del Mar Ventures develop and supply customized fast neutron radiography systems based on neutron generators. Ask us about opportunity to use one of them for your applications.
The ING07 is a generator with a Penning type ion source and the ING103 with a plasma focus tube. Specifications of the generators are presented in Table 1. Fast (14MeV) neutrons are emitted in 4p steradian. Maximum 9 10 neutron yield amounts to about 3x10 n/s for the ING07 and 3x10 n/pulse for the ING103. It is important to notice that the generators emit fast neutrons out of a small area. Its size is about 35 mm and 1 mm for ING07 and ING 103, respectively. Thus, in most practical cases these sources can be considered as point like ones. A short duration of the ING103 pulse (20 ns) and rather high neutron yield per pulse are especially of interest for imaging quick processes. Besides fast neutrons the generators radiate also Xrays with an average energy of about 80 keV. A low power consumption and dimensions of the generators are very attractive from the point of view of their use in industry for on site inspection.
20 Table 1. Performance data ING07 Neutron Yield, n/s (n/pulse) Max. Pulse Rate, Hz (kHz) Pulse Width, ms Operating Life Time, h (pulses) Power consumption, kW Weight, kg
Generator model ING103
10 (3x10 )
(20) 10200 500 0,15 10
0,005 0,02 (1000) 0,1 200
PositionSensitive (Imaging) Detector of Neutron
Radiographic images obtained by detection of luminescence generated by neutrons passing Gddoped screen with a CCD detector. The entrance of the detector has diam 150 mm field of view. The fast neutron screen made of a composite material consisting of an organic resin and a powder luminophore (Gd2O2S: Tb). A thickness of the screen is 3 mm. Due to presence of a powder luminophore in the screen the detector is sensitive also to Xrays. The measurement of intensities of the signals produced by fast neutrons and accompanying Xrays in the CCDdetector placed at a distance of 15 cm from a generator showed that these signals are in a 1:5 and 1:1 ratio for ING07 and ING103, respectively. A ratio of signals produced by fast neutrons and by Xray is changeable by shielding the source with a lead screen of an appropriate thickness. More details about Gdscreen detectors and imaging systems can be found here.
Scheme of neutron CCDdetector design 1 CCDmatrix, 2 lens system, 3 mirror, 4 luminescent screen 5 sample, 6 image intensifier
Fast Neutron Radiography System Specifications
2 Irradiation area: up to 30x30 cm L/D value: 10 100 exposure time: 1 10 min
Fast Neutron Radiography Facility Requirements
US NRC regulations require that buyers have a Type A Broadscope specific license authorizing possession of tritium in the applicable quantities before purchase of tritium neutron generators or you must apply for an engineering safety sealed source and device (SS&D) review and have a specific license authorizing the possession of these devices. Visit U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) website for details.
Fast Neutron Radiography Images
Image 1. BNCconnector
Image 2. Rele
23 Image 3. AlSi alloy
Image 4. Asphalt particle
Del Mar Ventures will consider your proposal for installation of neutron radiography system based on pulsed neutron generators at your facilities for joint research and commercial applications.
Neutron Radiography Tutorial
Neutron radiography is a nondestructive testing technique that is widely used in the Nuclear and aerospace industries. It is similar to Xradiography insofar as both techniques use beams of penetrating radiation to interrogate an object, and generate an image that allows visualization of areas that attenuate the beam differently than neighboring areas. However, neutrons are attenuated very differently than are Xrays, and therein lie the differences.
In simplified terms, neutrons are attenuated by matter either by scattering from the nucleus of a target atom or through absorption by that nucleus. Unlike Xrays, which interact predominantly with the outer shell electrons, there is no uniform increase in attenuation coefficient with atomic number. A plot of attenuation coefficient versus atomic number shows a nearly random structure. While clearer images are generated from samples where most of the attenuation is through absorption, meaningful neutron radiographs can be generated from scatterers as well.
Creation of images from the attenuated neutron beam can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Probably the most frequently used method today is the direct method using Xray film and a suitable conversion screen. The conversion screen selected depends upon the application.
Indirect or Transfer Method
When radioactive materials are being inspected, thin foils of either Dy or In are generally Used. These become radioactive in the neutron beam. After being exposed sufficiently, The foils are removed from the beam and placed in close contact with an Xray film. The radioactive decay of the foil causes darkening of the Xray film. Subsequent development of the film yields a radiograph. Since the film is never exposed to the beam itself, this method yields pure neutron radiographs and can be
24 used when the beam contains contaminating radiations such as gamma rays or when the samples are themselves Radioactive.
The direct method differs from the indirect method principally in that the film is placed in the beam with the conversion screen. Therefore, decay of the conversion screen must be either very fast or prompt. Since the film is exposed to the beam and to the sample, this Method is not suitable for radioactive materials and cannot be used effectively when there are large amounts of contaminating radiations within the neutron beam. A commonly used conversion screen is a thin foil of Gd metal.
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CT apparatus in a hospital Computed tomography (CT), originally known as computed axial tomography (CAT or CT scan) and body section roentgenography, is a medical imaging method employing tomography where digital geometry processing is used to generate a three dimensional image of the internals of an object from a large series of twodimensional Xray images taken around a single axis of rotation. The word "tomography" is derived from the Greek tomos (slice) and graphein (to write). CT produces a volume of data which can be manipulated, through a process known as windowing, in order to demonstrate various structures based on their ability to block the Xray beam. Although historically (see below) the images generated were in the axial or transverse plane (orthogonal to the long axis of the body), modern scanners allow this volume of data to be reformatted in various planes or even as volumetric (3D) representations of structures.
25 Although most common in healthcare, CT is also used in other fields, for example nondestructive materials testing.
The first commercially viable CT system was invented by Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield in Hayes, England at THORN EMI Central Research Laboratories using Xrays. Hounsfield conceived his idea in 1967, and it was publicly announced in 1972 . It is claimed that the CT scanner was "the greatest legacy" of the Beatles; the  massive profits from their record sales enabled EMI to fund scientific research. Allan McLeod Cormack of Tufts University independently invented a similar process and they shared a Nobel Prize in medicine in 1979.
The prototype CT scanner The original 1971 prototype took 160 parallel readings through 180 angles, each 1° apart, with each scan taking a little over five minutes. The images from these scans took 2.5 hours to be processed by algebraic reconstruction techniques on a large computer. The first production Xray CT machine (called the EMIScanner) was limited to making tomographic sections of the brain, but acquired the image data in about 4 minutes (scanning two adjacent slices) and the computation time (using a Data General Nova minicomputer) was about 7 minutes per picture. This scanner required the use of a waterfilled Perspex tank with a preshaped rubber "headcap" at the front, which enclosed the patient's head. The watertank was used to reduce the dynamic range of the radiation reaching the detectors (between scanning outside the head compared with scanning through the bone of the skull). The images were relatively low resolution, being composed of a matrix of only 80 x 80 pixels. The first EMIScanner was installed in Atkinson Morley's Hospital in Wimbledon, England, and the first patient brainscan was made with it in 1972.
an historic EMOScanner In the U.S., the first installation was at the Mayo Clinic. The first CT system that could make images of any part of the body, and did not require the "water tank" was the ACTA scanner designed by Robert S. Ledley, DDS at Georgetown University.
Simple motion of a tube and Detector was used before CT to create images at a given depth. All anatomy not at the target level was blurred. This gave a somewhat crude image and was quickly replaced by CT. With the advent of digital detectors and the ability to post process this imaging method is making a comeback.
Since the introduction of the first clinical system by Hounsfield, several generations of scanners have been produced, with distinguishing tubedetector configuration and scanning motion (Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists CT Imaging 1Theory textbook).
min scan time
electron beam 1284 detectors wide fan electron beam 50 ms
Although numbered sequentially, the 3rd and 4th generation designs developed at approximately the same time. The concept of [Electron beam CT]], which some authors have called 5th generation, followed later. Some authors have described up to 7 generations of CT design. However, it is only generations one to four that are widely, and consistently, recognised. In the first and second generation designs, the Xray beam was not wide enough to cover the entire width of the 'slice' of interest. A mechanical arrangement was required to move the Xray source and detector horizontally across the field of view. After a sweep, the source/detector assembly would be rotated a few degrees, and another sweep performed. This process would be repeated until 360 degrees (or 180 degrees) had been covered. The complex motion placed a limit on the minimum scan time at approximately 20 seconds per image. In the 3rd and 4th generation designs, the Xray beam is able to cover the entire field of view of the scanner. This avoids the need for any horizontal motion; an entire 'line' can be captured in an instant. This allowed simplification of the motion to rotation of the Xray source. Third and fourth generation designs differ in the arrangement of the detectors. In 3rd generation, the detector array is as wide as the beam, and must therefore rotate as the source rotates. In 4th generation, an entire ring of stationary detectors are used. The third generation design suffers because it is highly sensitive to detector performance. Because of the fixed relationship of a detector to a specific part of the beam, any miscalibration or malfunction of an individual detector will appear as a ring in the final reconstructed image. As the detectors moved and were exposed to physical stress, loss of calibration and subsequent 'ring artifacts' were commonplace. The fourth generation, with its fixed detectors benefited not just from improved reliability of the detectors, but because the detectors could be automatically calibrated as the Xray beam approached, and because the different reconstruction geometry meant that a malfunction would lead only to subtle loss of image contrast (fogging) rather than a visible ring. Solving the issue of detector stability has led 3rd generation designs to the dominant position in contemporary designs. 4th generation designs suffered very high cost (due to the large number of detectors) and had very high susceptibility to 'streak artifacts' (due to Compton_Scatter radiation which could not be rejected). All current CT scanners are of the 3rd generation design.
Helical or Spiral CT Multislice CT
Since its introduction in the 1970s, CT has become an important tool in medical imaging to supplement Xrays and medical ultrasonography. Although it is still quite expensive, it is the gold standard in the diagnosis of a large number of different disease entities. It has more recently begun to also be used for preventive medicine or screening for disease, for example CT colonography for patients with a high risk of colon cancer. Although a number of institutions offer fullbody scans for the general population, this practice remains controversial due to its lack of proven benefit, cost, radiation exposure, and the risk of finding 'incidental' abnormalities that may trigger additional investigations.
Normal CT scan of the head; this slice shows the cerebellum, a small portion of each temporal lobe, the orbits, and the ethmoid sinuses. Diagnosis of cerebrovascular accidents and intracranial hemorrhage is the most frequent reason for a "head CT" or "CT brain". Scanning is done with or without intravenous contrast agents. CT generally does not exclude infarct in the acute stage of a stroke, but is useful to exclude a bleed (so anticoagulant medication can be commenced safely). For detection of tumors, CT scanning with IV contrast is occasionally used but is less sensitive than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). CT can also be used to detect increases in intracranial pressure, e.g. before lumbar puncture or to evaluate the functioning of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. CT is also useful in the setting of trauma for evaluating facial and skull fractures. In the head/neck/mouth area, CT scanning is used for surgical planning for craniofacial and dentofacial deformities, evaluation of cysts and some tumors of the jaws/paranasal sinuses/nasal cavity/orbits, diagnosis of the causes of chronic sinusitis, and for planning of dental implant reconstruction.
Chest CT horizontal section CT is excellent for detecting both acute and chronic changes in the lung parenchyma. For detection of airspace disease (such as pneumonia) or cancer, ordinary non contrast scans are adequate. For evaluation of chronic interstitial processes (emphysema, fibrosis, and so forth), thin sections with high spatial frequency reconstructions are used. For evaluation of the mediastinum and hilar regions for lymphadenopathy, IV contrast is administered. CT angiography of the chest (CTPA) is also becoming the primary method for detecting pulmonary embolism (PE) and aortic dissection, and requires accurately timed rapid injections of contrast and highspeed helical scanners. CT is the standard method of evaluating abnormalities seen on chest Xray and of following findings of uncertain acute significance.
With the advent of subsecond rotation combined with multislice CT (up to 64slice), high resolution and high speed can be obtained at the same time, allowing excellent imaging of the coronary arteries. Images with a high temporal resolution are formed by updating a proportion of the data set used for image reconstruction as it is scanned. In this way individual frames in a cardiac CT investigation are significantly shorter than the shortest tube rotation time. It is uncertain whether this modality will replace the invasive coronary catheterization. Cardiac MSCT carries very real risks since it exposes the subject to the equivalent of 400 chest Xrays in terms of radiation. The relationship of radiation exposure to increased risk in breast cancer has yet to be definitively explored. The positive predictive value is approximately 82% while the negative predictive value is in the range of 93%. Sensitivity is about 81% and the specificity is about 94%. The real benefit in the test is the high negative predictive value. Thus, when the coronary arteries are free of disease by CT, patients can then be worked up for other causes of chest symptoms. Much of the software is based on data findings from Caucasian study groups and as such the assumptions made may also not be totally true for all other populations.
30 Dual Source CT scanners, introduced in 2005, allow higher temporal resolution so reduce motion blurring at high heart rates, and potentially require a shorter breath hold time. This is particularly useful for ill patients who have difficult holding their breath, or who are unable to take heartrate lowering medication. The speed advantages of 64slice MSCT have rapidly established it as the minimum standard for newly installed CT scanners intended for cardiac scanning. Manufacturers are now actively developing 256slice, true 'volumetric' scanners, primarily for their improved cardiac scanning performance.
Abdominal and pelvic
CT is a sensitive method for diagnosis of abdominal diseases. It is used frequently to determine stage of cancer and to follow progress. It is also a useful test to investigate acute abdominal pain. Renal/urinary stones, appendicitis, pancreatitis, diverticulitis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and bowel obstruction are conditions that are readily diagnosed and assessed with CT. CT is also the first line for detecting solid organ injury after trauma. Oral and/or rectal contrast may be used depending on the indications for the scan. A dilute (2% w/v) suspension of barium sulfate is most commonly used. The concentrated barium sulfate preparations used for fluoroscopy e.g. barium enema are too dense and cause severe artifacts on CT. Iodinated contrast agents may be used if barium is contraindicated (e.g. suspicion of bowel injury). Other agents may be required to optimize the imaging of specific organs: e.g. rectally administered gas (air or carbon dioxide) for a colon study, or oral water for a stomach study. CT has limited application in the evaluation of the pelvis. For the female pelvis in particular, ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice. Nevertheless, it may be part of abdominal scanning (e.g. for tumors), and has uses in assessing fractures. CT is also used in osteoporosis studies and research along side DXA scanning. Both CT and DXA can be used to assess bone mineral density (BMD) which is used to indicate bone strength, however CT results do not correlate exactly with DXA (the gold standard of BMD measurement). CT is far more expensive, and subjects patients to much higher levels of ionizing radiation, so it is used infrequently.
CT is often used to image complex fractures, especially ones around joints, because of its ability to reconstruct the area of interest in multiple planes.
Advantages and hazards
Advantages over projection radiography
First, CT completely eliminates the superimposition of images of structures outside the area of interest. Second, because of the inherent highcontrast resolution of CT, differences between tissues that differ in physical density by less than 1% can be
31 distinguished. Third, data from a single CT imaging procedure consisting of either multiple contiguous or one helical scan can be viewed as images in the axial, coronal, or sagittal planes, depending on the diagnostic task. This is referred to as multiplanar reformatted imaging.
CT is regarded as a moderate to high radiation diagnostic technique. While technical advances have improved radiation efficiency, there has been simultaneous pressure to obtain higherresolution imaging and use more complex scan techniques, both of which require higher doses of radiation. The improved resolution of CT has permitted the development of new investigations, which may have advantages; e.g. Compared to conventional angiography, CT angiography avoids the invasive insertion of an arterial catheter and guidewire; CT colonography may be as good as barium enema for detection of tumors, but may use a lower radiation dose. The greatly increased availability of CT, together with its value for an increasing number of conditions, has been responsible for a large rise in popularity. So large has been this rise that, in the most recent comprehensive survey in the UK, CT scans constituted 7% of all radiologic examinations, but contributed 47% of the total  collective dose from medical Xray examinations in 2000/2001. Increased CT usage has led to an overall rise in the total amount of medical radiation used, despite reductions in other areas. The radiation dose for a particular study depends on multiple factors: volume scanned, patient build, number and type of scan sequences, and desired resolution and image quality. Additionally, two helical CT scanning parameters that can be adjusted easily  and that have a profound effect on radiation dose are tube current and pitch. CT scans of children have been estimated to produce nonnegligible increases in the probability of lifetime cancer mortality leading to calls for the use of reduced current  settings for CT scans of children. Typical scan doses
Typical effective dose (mSv)
Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis CT
Cardiac CT angiogram
CT colongraphy (virtual colonoscopy) 3.6 8.8
Adverse reactions to contrast agents
Because CT scans rely on intravenously administered contrast agents in order to provide superior image quality, there is a low but nonnegligible level of risk associated with the contrast agents themselves. Certain patients may experience severe and potentially lifethreatening allergic reactions to the contrast dye. The contrast agent may also induce kidney damage. The risk of this is increased with patients who have preexisting renal insufficiency, preexisting diabetes, or reduced intravascular volume. In general, if a patient has normal kidney function, then the risks of contrast nephropathy are negligible. Patients with mild kidney impairment are usually advised to ensure full hydration for several hours before and after the injection. For moderate kidney failure, the use of iodinated contrast should be avoided; this may mean using an alternative technique instead of CT e.g. MRI. Perhaps paradoxically, patients with severe renal failure requiring dialysis do not require special precautions, as their kidneys have so little function remaining that any further damage would not be noticeable and the dialysis will remove the contrast agent.
Spiral CT illustration Xray slice data is generated using an Xray source that rotates around the object; X ray sensors are positioned on the opposite side of the circle from the Xray source. Many data scans are progressively taken as the object is gradually passed through the gantry. They are combined together by the mathematical procedure known as tomographic reconstruction.
33 Newer machines with faster computer systems and newer software strategies can process not only individual cross sections but continuously changing cross sections as the gantry, with the object to be imaged, is slowly and smoothly slid through the X ray circle. These are called helical or spiral CT machines. Their computer systems integrate the data of the moving individual slices to generate three dimensional volumetric information (3DCT scan), in turn viewable from multiple different perspectives on attached CT workstation monitors.
CT scanner with cover removed to show the principle of operation In conventional CT machines, an Xray tube and detector are physically rotated behind a circular shroud (see the image above right); in the electron beam tomography (EBT) the tube is far larger and higher power to support the high temporal resolution. The electron beam is deflected in a hollow funnel shaped vacuum chamber. Xrays are generated when the beam hits the stationary target. The detector is also stationary. The data stream representing the varying radiographic intensity sensed reaching the detectors on the opposite side of the circle during each sweep is then computer processed to calculate crosssectional estimations of the radiographic density, expressed in Hounsfield units. Sweeps cover 360 or just over 180 degrees in conventional machines, 220 degrees in EBT. CT is used in medicine as a diagnostic tool and as a guide for interventional procedures. Sometimes contrast materials such as intravenous iodinated contrast are used. This is useful to highlight structures such as blood vessels that otherwise would be difficult to delineate from their surroundings. Using contrast material can also help to obtain functional information about tissues. Pixels in an image obtained by CT scanning are displayed in terms of relative radiodensity. The pixel itself is displayed according to the mean attenuation of the tissue(s) that it corresponds to on a scale from 1024 to +3071 on the Hounsfield scale . Pixel is a two dimensional unit based on the matrix size and the field of view. When the CT slice thickness is also factored in, the unit is known as a Voxel, which is a three dimensional unit. The phenomenon that one part of the detector cannot differ between different tissues is called the Partial Volume Effect. That means that a big amount of cartilage and a thin layer of compact bone can cause the same attenuation
34 in a voxel as hyperdense cartilage alone. Water has an attenuation of 0 Hounsfield units (HU) while air is 1000 HU, cancellous bone is typically +400 HU, cranial bone can reach 2000 HU or more (os temporale) and can cause artifacts. The attenuation of metallic implants depends on atomic number of the element used: Titanium usually has an amount of +1000 HU, iron steel can completely extinguish the Xray and is therefore responsible for wellknown lineartifacts in computed tomograms.
Windowing is the process of using the calculated Hounsfield units to make an image. The various radiodensity amplitudes are mapped to 256 shades of gray. These shades of gray can be distributed over a wide range of HU values to get an overview of structures that attenuate the beam to widely varying degrees. Alternatively, these shades of gray can be distributed over a narrow range of HU values (called a narrow window) centered over the average HU value of a particular structure to be evaluated. In this way, subtle variations in the internal makeup of the structure can be discerned. This is a commonly used image processing technique known as contrast compression. For example, to evaluate the abdomen in order to find subtle masses in the liver, one might use liver windows. Choosing 70 HU as an average HU value for liver, the shades of gray can be distributed over a narrow window or range. One could use 170 HU as the narrow window, with 85 HU above the 70 HU average value; 85 HU below it. Therefore the liver window would extend from 15 HU to +155 HU. All the shades of gray for the image would be distributed in this range of Hounsfield values. Any HU value below 15 would be pure black, and any HU value above 155 HU would be pure white in this example. Using this same logic, bone windows would use a wide window (to evaluate everything from fatcontaining medullary bone that contains the marrow, to the dense cortical bone), and the center or level would be a value in the hundreds of Hounsfield units. Process will most likely take between five minutes and one hour.
Because contemporary CT scanners offer isotropic, or near isotropic, resolution, display of images does not need to be restricted to the conventional axial images. Instead, it is possible for a software program to build a volume by 'stacking' the individual slices one on top of the other. The program may then display the volume in an alternative manner.
Typical screen layout for diagnostic software, showing 1 3D and 3 MPR views Multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) is the simplest method of reconstruction. A volume is built by stacking the axial slices. The software then cuts slices through the volume in a different plane (usually orthogonal). Optionally, a special projection method, such as maximumintensity projection (MIP) or minimumintensity projection (mIP), can be used to build the reconstructed slices. MPR is frequently used for examining the spine. Axial images through the spine will only show one vertebral body at a time and cannot reliably show the intervertebral discs. By reformatting the volume, it becomes much easier to visualise the position of one vertebral body in relation to the others. Modern software allows reconstruction in nonorthogonal (oblique) planes so that the optimal plane can be chosen to display an anatomical structure. This may be particularly useful for visualising the structure of the bronchi as these do not lie orthogonal to the direction of the scan. For vascular imaging, curvedplane reconstruction can be performed. This allows bends in a vessel to be 'straightened' so that the entire length can be visualised on one image, or a short series of images. Once a vessel has been 'straightened' in this way, quantitative measurements of length and cross sectional area can be made, so that surgery or interventional treatment can be planned. MIP reconstructions enhance areas of high radiodensity, and so are useful for angiographic studies. mIP reconstructions tend to enhance air spaces so are useful for assessing lung structure.
3D rendering techniques
Surface rendering A threshold value of radiodensity is chosen by the operator (e.g. a level that corresponds to bone). A threshold level is set, using edge detection image processing algorithms. From this, a 3dimensional model can be constructed and displayed on screen. Multiple models can be constructed from various different thresholds, allowing different colors to represent each anatomical component such as bone, muscle, and cartilage. However, the interior structure of each element is not visible in this mode of operation. Volume rendering Surface rendering is limited in that it will only display surfaces which meet a threshold density, and will only display the surface that is closest to the imaginary viewer. In volume rendering, transparency and colors are used to allow a better representation of the volume to be shown in a single image e.g. the bones of the pelvis could be displayed as semitransparent, so that even at an oblique angle, one part of the image does not conceal another. Where different structures have similar radiodensity, it can become impossible to separate them simply by adjusting volume rendering parameters. The solution is
36 called segmentation, a manual or automatic procedure that can remove the unwanted structures from the image.
Some slices of a cranial CT scan are shown below. The bones are whiter than the surrounding area. (Whiter means higher radiodensity.) Note the blood vessels (arrowed) showing brightly due to the injection of an iodinebased contrast agent..
Cranial slices A volume rendering of this volume clearly shows the high density bones.
Bone reconstructed in 3D After using a segmentation tool to remove the bone, the previously concealed vessels can now be demonstrated.
Brain vessels reconstructed in 3D after bone has been removed by segmentation
3 Electromagnetic testing
Electromagnetic Testing (ET), as a form of nondestructive testing, is the process of inducing electric currents or magnetic fields or both inside a test object and observing the electromagnetic response. If the test is set up properly, a defect inside the test object creates a measurable response. The term "Electromagnetic Testing" is often intended to mean simply EddyCurrent Testing (ECT). However with an expanding number of electromagnetic and magnetic test methods, "Electromagnetic Testing" is more often used to mean the whole class of electromagnetic test methods, of which EddyCurrent Testing is just one.
Common Methods of Electromagnetic Testing
EddyCurrent Testing (ECT) is used to detect nearsurface cracks and corrosion in metallic objects such as tubes and aircraft fuselage and structures. ECT is more commonly applied to nonferromagnetic materials, since in ferromagnetic materials the depth of penetration is relatively small. Remote field testing (RFT) is used for nondestructive testing (NDT) of steel tubes and pipes. Magnetic flux leakage testing (MFL) is also used for nondestructive testing (NDT) of steel tubes and pipes. At present RFT is more commonly used in small diameter tubes and MFL in larger diameter pipes over long travel distances. Wire rope testing is MFL applied to steel cables, to detect broken strands of wire.
Magnetic particle inspection (MT or MPI) is a form of MFL where small magnetic particles in the form of a powder or liquid are sprayed on the magnetized steel test object and gather at surfacebreaking cracks. Alternating Current Field Measurement (ACFM) is similar to eddy current applied to steel. Its most common application is to detect and size cracks in welds. Description from the company that developed it. Pulsed eddy current enables the detection of largevolume metal loss in steel objects from a considerable standoff, allowing steel pipes to be tested without removing insulation.
Magnetic flux leakage
Magnetic flux leakage (MFL) is a magnetic method of nondestructive testing that is used by smart pigs to detect corrosion and pitting in steel structures, most commonly pipelines and storage tanks. The basic principle is that a powerful magnet is used to magnetize the steel. At areas where there is corrosion or missing metal, the magnetic field "leaks" from the steel. In an MFL tool, a magnetic detector is placed between the poles of the magnet to detect the leakage field. Analysts interpret the chart recording of the leakage field to identify damaged areas and hopefully to estimate the depth of metal loss. This article currently focuses mainly on the pipeline application of MFL, but links to tank floor examination are provided at the end.
Introduction to pipeline examination
There are many methods of assessing the integrity of a pipeline. InlineInspection (ILI) tools are built to travel inside a pipeline and collect data as they go. The type of ILI we are interested in here, and the one that has been in use the longest for pipeline inspection, is the magnetic flux leakage inline inspection tool (MFLILI). MFLILIs detect and assess areas where the pipe wall may be damaged by corrosion. The more advanced versions are referred to as "highresolution" because they have a large number of sensors. The highresolution MFLILIs allow more reliable and accurate identification of anomalies in a pipeline, thus, minimizing the need for expensive verification excavations (i.e. digging up the pipe to verify what the problem is). Accurate assessment of pipeline anomalies can improve the decision making process within an Integrity Management Program and excavation programs can then focus on required repairs instead of calibration or exploratory digs. Utilizing the information from an MFL ILI inspection is not only cost effective but, as well, can also prove to be an extremely valuable building block of a Pipeline Integrity Management Program. The reliable supply and transportation of product in a safe and costeffective manner is a primary goal of most pipeline operating companies and managing the integrity of the pipeline is paramount in maintaining this objective. Inlineinspection programs are one of the most effective means of obtaining data that can be used as a fundamental base for an Integrity Management Program. There are many types of ILI
39 tools that detect various pipeline defects, but highresolution MFL tools are becoming more prevalent as its applications are surpassing those to which it was originally designed. Originally designed for detecting areas of metal loss, the modern High Resolution MFL tool is proving to be able to accurately assess the severity of corrosion features, define dents, wrinkles, buckles, and, in some cases, cracks. Having a device that can perform simultaneous tasks reliably is more efficient and ultimately provides cost saving benefits.
MFL pipeline inspection tools
MORNING, in the field, a device that travels inside a pipeline to clean or inspect it is typically known as a "PIG". While there is no history to back up this term as an acronym as it was first derived from the squealing piglike sound made as the tool passed by, it could be referred to in this case as a Pipeline Inspection Gauge. In some countries a pig is known as a " Diablo," literally translated to mean "the Devil" relating to the shuttering sound the tool would make as it passed beneath people’s feet. The pigs are built to match the diameter of a pipeline and use the very product being carried to end users to transport them. Pigs have been used in pipelines for many years and have many uses. Some separate one product from another, some clean and some inspect. An MFL tool is known as an "intelligent" or "smart" inspection pig because it contains electronics and collects data realtime while travelling through the pipeline. Sophisticated electronics on board allow this tool to accurately detect features as small as 1 cm by 1 cm. Typically, an MFL tool consists of two or more bodies. One body is the magnetizer with the magnets and sensors and the other bodies contain the electronics and batteries . The magnetizer body houses the sensors that are located between powerful "rare earth" magnets. The magnets are mounted between the brushes and tool body to create a magnetic circuit along with the pipe wall. As the tool travels along the pipe, the sensors detect interruptions in the magnetic circuit. Interruptions are typically caused by metal loss and which in most cases is corrosion. Mechanical damage such as shovel gouges can also be detected. The metal loss in a magnetic circuit is analogous to a rock in a stream. Magnetism needs metal to flow and in the absence of it, the flow of magnetism will go around, over or under to maintain its relative path from one magnet to another, similar to the flow of water around a rock in a stream. The sensors detect the changes in the magnetic field in the three directions (axial or circumferential) to characterize the anomaly. An MFL tool can take sensor readings based on either the distance the tool travels or on increments of time. The choice depends on many factors such as the length of the run, the speed that the tool intends to travel, and the number of stops or outages that the tool may experience. The second body is called an Electronics Can. This section can be split into a number of bodies depending on the size of the tool. This can, as the name suggests, contains the electronics or "brains" of the smart pig. The Electronics Can also contains the batteries and is some cases an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to tie location information to GPS coordinates. On the very rear of the tool are odometer wheels that travel along the inside of the pipeline to measure the distance and speed of the tool.
As an MFL tool navigates the pipeline a magnetic circuit is created between the pipewall and the tool. Brushes typically act as a transmitter of magnetic flux from the tool into the pipewall, and as the magnets are oriented in opposing directions, a flow of flux is created in an elliptical pattern. High Field MFL tools saturate the pipewall with magnetic flux until the pipewall can no longer hold any more flux. The remaining flux leaks out of the pipewall and strategically placed triaxial Hall effect sensor heads can accurately measure the three dimensional vector of the leakage field. Given the fact that magnetic flux leakage is a vector quantity and that a hall sensor can only measure in one direction, three sensors must be oriented within a sensor head to accurately measure the axial, radial and circumferential components of an MFL signal. The axial component of the vector signal is measured by a sensor mounted orthogonal to the axis of the pipe, and the radial sensor is mounted to measure the strength of the flux that leaks out of the pipe. The circumferential component of the vector signal can be measured by mounting a sensor perpendicular to this field. Earlier MFL tools recorded only the axial component but highresolution tools typically measure all three components. To determine if metal loss is occurring on the internal or external surface of a pipe, a separate eddy current sensor is utilized to indicate wall surface location of the anomaly. The unit of measure when sensing an MFL signal is the gauss or the tesla and generally speaking, the larger the change in the detected magnetic flux density level, the larger the anomaly.
The primary purpose of an MFL tool is to detect corrosion in a pipeline. To more accurately predict the dimensions (length, width and depth) of a corrosion feature, extensive testing is performed before the tool enters an operational pipeline. Using a known collection of measured defects, tools can be trained and tested to accurately interpret MFL signals. Defects can be simulated using a variety of methods. Creating and therefore knowing the actual dimensions of a feature makes it relatively easy to make simple correlations of signals to actual anomalies found in a pipeline. When signals in an actual pipeline inspection have similar characteristics to the signals found during testing it is logical to assume that the features would be similar. The algorithms and neural nets designed for calculating the dimensions of a corrosion feature are complicated and often they are closely guarded trade secrets. An anomaly is often reported in a simplified fashion as a cubic feature with an estimated length, width and depth. In this way, the effective area of metal loss can be calculated and used in acknowledged formulas to predict the estimated burst pressure of the pipe due to the detected anomaly. Another important factor in the ongoing improvement of sizing algorithms is customer feedback to the ILI vendors. Every anomaly in a pipeline is unique and it is impossible to replicate in the shop what exists in all cases in the field. Open lines of communication usually exist between the inspection companies and the pipeline operators as to what was reported and what was actually visually observed in an excavation.
41 After an inspection, the collected data is downloaded and compiled so that an analyst is able to accurately interpret the collected signals. Most pipeline inspection companies have proprietary software designed to view their own tool’s collected data. The three components of the MFL vector field are viewed independently and collectively to identify and classify corrosion features. Metal loss features have unique signals that analysts are trained to identify.
Estimation of corrosion growth rate
Highresolution MFL tools collect data approximately every 2 mm along the axis of a pipe and this superior resolution allows for a comprehensive analysis of collected signals. Pipeline Integrity Management programs have specific intervals for inspecting pipeline segments and by employing highresolution MFL tools an exceptional corrosion growth analysis can be conducted. This type of analysis proves extremely useful in forecasting the inspection intervals.
Other features that an MFL tool can identify
Although primarily used to detect corrosion, MFL tools can also be used to detect features that they were not originally designed to identify. When an MFL tool encounters a geometric deformity such as a dent, wrinkle or buckle, a very distinct signal is created due to the plastic deformation of the pipe wall.
There are cases where large nonaxial oriented cracks have been found in a pipeline that was inspected by a magnetic flux leakage tool. To an experienced MFL data analyst, a dent is easily recognizable by trademark "horseshoe" signal in the radial component of the vector field. What is not easily identifiable to an MFL tool is the signature that a crack leaves.
MFL For Tank Inspection
Magnetic Flux Leakage Inspection techniques have been widely used in the Oil field Inspection Industry for over a quarter of a century for the examination of pipe, tubing and casing both new and used. It is only in the last 15 years that this inspection technique has been applied to Above Ground Storage Tank Floors in an attempt to provide a reliable indication of the overall floor condition within an economical time frame. In most cases these inspections are being carried out by Industrial Inspection NDT Companies who do not have the depth of experience in the technique that most of the Oil field Tubular Inspection Companies have. At the same time this relatively new application of Magnetic Flux Leakage brings with it some additional problems not evident in the inspection of tubulars where certain parameters can be quite closely controlled. Probably the greatest of these is that tank floors are never flat, whereas tubulars are generally always round. The ability to obtain any reasonably consistent quantitative information is seriously impacted by this general unevenness of most tank floors. The application of rigid accept/reject criteria based on signal amplitude thresholds has proved to be absolutely unreliable as regards truly quantitative information. A more realistic approach is required in the application of this inspection
42 technique and in the design of the inspection equipment to ensure that there are fewer incidences of significant defects being missed. Magnetic Flux Leakage is a qualitative not quantitative inspection tool and is a reliable detector of corrosion on tank floors. Due to the environmental and physical restrictions encountered during real inspections no reliable quantification of indications is possible. Amplitude alone is an unreliable indication of remaining wall thickness as it is more dependent on actual volume loss. Defects exhibiting various combinations of volume loss and through wall dimension can give the same amplitude signal. Couple to this the continually changing spatial relationship of magnets, sensor and inspection surface and it is absolutely clear that an accurate assessment of remaining wall thickness is virtually impossible. Truly quantitative results can only be obtained using a combination of Ultrasonics and Flux Leakage.
MFL technology has evolved to a state that now makes it an integral part of any cost effective pipeline integrity program. Although highresolution MFL tools are designed to successfully detect, locate and characterize corrosion, a pipeline operator should not dismiss the ability of an MFL tool to identify and characterize dents, wrinkles, corrosion growth, mechanical damage and even some cracks.
Remote field testing
Remote field testing (RFT) is an electromagnetic method of nondestructive testing whose main application is finding defects in steel pipes and tubes. RFT may also referred to as RFEC (remote field eddy current) or RFET (remote field electromagnetic technique). An RFT probe is moved down the inside of a pipe and is able to detect inside and outside defects with approximately equal sensitivity (although it can not discriminate between the two). Although RFT works in nonferromagnetic materials such as copper and brass, its sister technology eddy current is more effective in these materials. The basic RFT probe consists of an exciter coil (also known as a transmit or send coil) which sends a signal to the detector (or receive coil). The exciter coil is pumped with an AC current and emits a magnetic field. The field travels outwards from the exciter coil, through the pipe wall, and along the pipe. The detector is placed inside the pipe two to three pipe diameters away from the exciter and detects the magnetic field that has travelled back in from the outside of the pipe wall (for a total of two throughwall transits). In areas of metal loss, the field arrives at the detector with a faster travel time (greater phase) and greater signal strength (amplitude) due to the reduced path through the steel. Hence the dominant mechanism of RFT is throughtransmission.
Main features of RFT
commonly applied to examination of boilers, heat exchangers, cast iron pipes, and pipelines. · no need for direct contact with the pipe wall
43 probe travel speed around 30 cm/s (1 foot per second), usually slower in pipes greater than 3 inch diameter. · less sensitive to probe wobble than conventional eddy current testing (its sister technology for nonferromagnetic materials) · because the field travels on the outside of the pipe, RFT shows reduced accuracy and sensitivity at conductive and magnetic objects on or near the outside of the pipe, such as attachments or tube support plates. · two coils generally create two signals from one small defect — a headache for the analyst
The main differences between RFT and conventional eddy current (ECT) is in the coiltocoil spacing. The RFT probe has widely spaced coils to pick up the through transmission field. The typical ECT probe has coils or coil sets that create a field and measure the response within a small area, close to the object being tested.
Eddycurrent testing uses electromagnetic induction to detect flaws in conductive materials. There are several limitations, among them: only conductive materials can be tested, the surface of the material must be accessible, the finish of the material may cause bad readings, the depth of penetration into the material is limited, and flaws that lie parallel to the probe may be undetectable. However, eddycurrent testing can detect very small cracks in or near the surface of the material, the surfaces need minimal preparation, and physically complex geometries can be investigated. It is also useful for making electrical conductivity and coating thickness measurements. The testing devices are portable, provide immediate feedback, and do not need to contact the item in question. Recently tomographic notion of ECT has been explored see for example: M. Soleimani, W. R.B Lionheart, A. J. Peyton, and X. Ma, S. Higson, A 3D inverse finite element method applied to the experimental eddy current imaging data, IEEE Trans Magnetics Vol. 42, No. 5, pp. 15601567, May 2006.
Magnetic Microscopy Studies of Magneto tactic Fossils on Martian Meteorite ALH84001 and Related Earthbound Analog Systems
AbstractMajor objectives of this work are to further develop high frequency techniques for use in nondistractive characterization of magnetite crystals found in Martian meteorites and related earthbound simulant analog systems. These techniques are utilized mainly for the complex permittivity, permeability, and conductivity characterization of both solidstate and biological samples. Researchers at the University of Houston have made further progress in the development of three characterization tools: (a) we extended the frequency range up to mmwavelengths using novel approaches, including an open confocal
44 resonator technique, (b) developed a highspatial resolution nearfield microwave microscopy probe to provide a unique method of characterizing tiny magnetite samples with lateral dimensions of an order of 1 micron, and (c) demonstrated that the ferromagnetic resonance technique (FMR) can provide a rapid, easytouse method for detecting signatures of magnetic components of even very small samples. Tiny super paramagnetic particles used in medicine as magnetic resonance contrast agents were employed for these preliminary studies. Microwave techniques of material characterization have been used in a large number of nondestructive testing (NDT) applications, some of which could potentially be used for astrobiology studies. In particular, microwave microscopy and related techniques could potentially be used to characterize the magnetite crystals found on Martian 1,2 meteorite ALH84001, proposed to be of biological origin because of their unusual structure. Additional, terrestrial applications range from largescale remote sensing to detection of tumors or plaque in the human body. In general, these techniques can be classified as farfield, for welldefined resonance electromagnetic wave modes, or nearfield, where an evanescent electromagnetic field is used. During the last ten years, considerable interest in such techniques has been expressed by the biophysics community. Our group, while working on characterization of magnetic, dielectric, and superconducting materials, has designed and fabricated a variety radio frequency (rf), 36 microwave and mm wave resonators in the frame of several different projects. These include lambda/4 miniature resonators for intravascular plaque characterization; cylindrical TE011 copper cavities for microwave spectroscopy and Josephson junctions characterization; normal metal or superconducting enclosure dielectric cavities for magnetic, dielectric, and superconducting materials characterization; coaxial cavities; split resonators for dielectrics; and uniquely sensitive FabrePerot (confuse) resonators for microwave and mmwave characterization. In all these techniques the sample under investigation was placed at the point of maximum amplitude of the high frequency electric or magnetic fields. In addition, highquality Qfactor, superconducting resonators enable one to measure magnetic susceptibility (for highly insulating samples), dielectric permeability, and complex conductivity, depending on characteristics of the sample, by placing the sample inside the resonator and using the cavity perturbation technique. Confocal or dielectric resonator techniques are considered farfield techniques, which, while allowing quantitative large area sheet resistance imaging, are limited by wavelength to relatively low resolution (not smaller than 1 mm). Nearfield microwave scanning microscopy was originally proposed by Ash and his colleagues in 1972, when the ability to resolve metallic gratings, metallic images, cracks in 7 planar metallic surfaces, and dielectric discontinuities was demonstrated. Spatial resolution as small as l/2000 was shown. In 1987, Gutmann and his colleagues demonstrated the capability of this technique to measure also depth profiles dopants 8 with a resolution of a few microns. Currently, because of recent development in near field microwave microscopy, the resolution better than 1 mm had already been 9 demonstrated, making microwave NTD very attractive for testing not only the surface of metals and superconductors but also other nonmetallic materials as well as biological samples. In recent years, researchers have published results of biological
45 sample characterization using the microwave and mmwave technique. It includes, for 10 example, conductivity of DNA double helix measurements. The objective of this work was to modify our confocal, coaxial line and split resonator techniques to render them specialized for characterization of magnetic and biological samples. (See Fig. 1.) The ultimate goal of this work is to have both hardware and software used in these techniques modified, optimized, and fully tested for measurements related to astrobiology.
Figure 1. Normalized Eplane 78.163 GHz TEM007 theoretical Ex. It is clear that seven standing halfwaves are exited between two confocal mirrors. Red indicates the largest electric field values, and blue indicates the smallest electric field values. Methodology FabryPerot Resonator Technique The FabryPerot or open resonator technique possesses a unique combination of advantages over the more prevalent closedcavity and parallelplate resonator methods 11 for materials testing. The focused energy allows raster scanning of the sample surface for which effective resolution can be improved using Fast Fourier Transform techniques. By mechanical translation of the substrate, a scanning open resonator can map surface morphology. The open resonator has a relatively sparse mode spectrum. No mode degeneracy, however, at least five to ten distinct Wband (75110 GHz) fundamental modes, can be probed at each mirror separation distance. Open resonators have a particularly useful physical size at Wband frequencies where pillbox cavities become inconveniently small and wall conductivity losses begin to dominate Q. A final powerful advantage of an open resonator is that the two mirrors can be thermally independent, enabling each to be constructed of different metals at different temperatures. For example, the planar mirror can be a thinfilm HTS at 4.2 or 77 K in a windowed cryostat, while the curved mirror can be constructed of a normal metal at
46 room temperature. More importantly, a curved mirror constructed of a low temperature superconductor, for instance niobium, at 4.2 K produces a significant Q increase and greatly enhanced resonator sensitivity at Wband frequencies. Because of the predominantly linear field polarization of TEM00q modes, the open 12 resonator is wellsuited to diagnose anisotropic dielectrics and conductors. In general, for any open resonator TEM00qmode electricfield vector aligned with a principal axis in the plane of an anisotropic sample (e|| aligned, for instance), one resonant mode is observed. As the sample is rotated about the resonator longitudinal axis, a second uncoupled mode with the same mode number q appears at a different frequency and grows in intensity as the relative angle increases, while the intensity of the first mode decreases. At an angle of 90° from the initial orientation (e? aligned in this instance), the first mode will have disappeared completely, and the amplitude of the second mode will be at a maximum. To verify this finding, we measured the unloaded Q and frequency of the brass resonator with a 0.51 mm thick NdGaO3 substrate inserted. In Fig. 2, confirmation of such behavior is shown.
Figure 2. An example is shown of measurements of anisotropic properties of the sample using a brass mirror Wband resonator. A single crystal sample, 0.51 mm thick GaAlO3, was selected for measurements of reflection response from the resonator versus electric field and materialaxes relativeorientation angle (changing from 0 degrees to 90 degrees when the Evector is parallel and perpendicular to the caxis, respectively). In addition to the useful anisotropic permittivity measurement technique just discussed, it is expected that an open resonator can be used to measure anisotropic properties of biological samples biased by either electric or magnetic external fields. The sensitivity of this method can be increased even further by replacing a copper
47 enclosure with a superconducting enclosure, while keeping the sample at room temperature. Microwave Microscopy A probe for a scanning tip microwave microscope (STMM) has been developed which achieves micronlevel resolution combined with high sensitivity. This device will allow the nondestructive testing and analysis of any surface that needs high spatial resolution impedance characterization. It is already known that STMM has potential applications in noncontact, nondestructive imaging of surface resistance/dielectric constant profiles; screening of material for desired characteristics including conductivity, superconductivity, dielectric properties, and ferroelectricity; ionimplanted wafers and other critical surfaces; and the measurement of protein in microbiology research. The STMM built in our lab probe consists of a high Qfactor transmission line (with single crystal sapphire dielectric) lambda/2 resonator in which a sharp point tip extends over the inner conductor end. Resistivity or permittivity mapping can be made by measuring the reflection or transmission microwave signal from the probe (Fig. 3b). Areas under development that will use this design include feedback control of tip and sample distance and the integration of STMM with an antivibration table. The STMM may also be coupled with external electric and magnetic fields.
Figure 3. (a) Experimental setup for nearfield microwave microscopy. (b) The photo shows a prototype of a coaxial transmission line probe that UH researchers designed. For this project, a computer controlled XY scanning station was built with 1 micron step motors. The test of both mechanical parts and software was accomplished by imaging a small metal particle xy scanned inside of a splitdielectric resonator. As a result of measuring shifts of the resonator frequency versus xy station position, an image of the microwave field distribution was extracted (Fig. 3).
Figure 4. An example of the electromagnetic response of a single dielectricsplit resonator to xy scanning over the whole resonator area with a 0.3 cubic mm of metallic particle. Shown are (a) the shift of the resonant frequency vs. xy position of the scanning station and (b) a contour map of the frequency shift. Ferromagnetic Resonance Technique Ferromagnetic resonance, on the other hand, measures the absorption by spin waves of microwaves incident on a magnetic material. Ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) is a microwave spectroscopy technique for probing the magnetization of ferromagnetic materials. Basics of the FMR methods are very similar to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) except that FMR probes the magnetic moment of electrons whereas in NMR the magnetic moment of protons is probed. The basic setup for an FMR experiment is a microwave resonant cavity placed inside an electromagnet. The resonant cavity is designed to work at a fixed frequency. A detector is placed at the end of the cavity to detect microwaves. The magnetic sample is placed between the poles of the electromagnet, and the dc magnetic field is swept while the absorption of the microwaves is measured. Typically, it is done as a function of angle, temperature, and applied dc magnetic field. When the precession frequency and the resonant cavity frequency are the same, absorption increases, as indicated by a decrease in intensity in the detector. We have tested this method for sensitivity and its ability to probe magnetocrystalline anisotropy. FMR can identify an anisotropy of the crystallites, which makes it a very powerful method. In experiments which will follow up our current system modifications and testing, we plan to study not only Martian soil simulants provided by our JSC collaborators, including David S. McKay, but we will also check the usability of our techniques for measurements of dielectric and magnetic properties of biological samples.
Figure 5. (a) Plots of FMR spectra of superparamagnetic iron oxide nano particles. Anisotropy as well as the evidence of existence of two different phases are seen. (b) Picture of TE102, 10 GHz microwave cavity, which was used for the FMR measurements in order to test the sensitivity of the method. The cavity shown here between the poles of the 1 Tesla electromagnet is a part of a Bruker 300 ES spectrometer. The sample is placed inside the cavity in the maximum of the rf field (center of the cavity). This photo shows the end of the quartz rod holding superparamagnetic nanoparticles used for MRI contrast in medical applications.
4 Ultrasonic testing
In ultrasonic testing, ultrasonic very short pulsewaves of frequencies ranging from 0.515 MHz and occasionally up to 50 MHz are used to detect flaws or characterize materials. It is also commonly used to determine the thickness of the test object monitoring pipework corrosion being a good example. Ultrasonic Inspection is often performed on steel and other metals, though it can be used on concrete and other materials. It is a form of nondestructive testing used in many industries including aerospace, automotive and other transportation sectors.
How it works
In ultrasonic testing, a handheld transducer connected to a diagnostic machine is passed over the object being tested. The transducer sends pulsewaves into the surface of the object, returning the "sound" back to the device whenever an imperfection is detected. The screen on the diagnostic machine will show these results in the form of amplitude, and pulse readings, as well as the time it takes for the waves to return to the transducer.
1. Superior penetrating power, which allows the detection of flaws deep in the part. 2. High sensitivity, permitting the detection of extremely small flaws. 3. Only one surface need to be accessible. 4. Greater accuracy than other nondestructive methods in determining the depth of internal flaws and the thickness of parts with parallel surfaces. 5. Some capability of estimating the size, orientation, shape and nature of defects. 6. Nonhazardous to operations or to nearby personnel and has no effect on equipment and materials in the vicinity. 7. Capable of portable or highly automated operation.
1. Manual operation requires careful attention by experienced technicians 2. Extensive technical knowledge is required for the development of inspection procedures. 3. Parts that are rough, irregular in shape, very small or thin, or not homogeneous are difficult to inspect. 4. Couplants are needed to provide effective transfer of ultrasonic wave energy between transducers and parts being inspected. 5. Inspected items must be water resistant, when using water based couplants that do not contain rust inhibitors. 6. Ultrasonic testing cannot be used as an exploritory technique as the shape of the test specimen must be known to properly interpret the output data.
Phased array ultrasonics
View of a fetus in the womb, created by a phased array instrument
Principle of operation of phased array (PA). The PA probe consists of many small elements, each of which can be pulsed separately. In the figure the element on the right is pulsed first, and emits a pressure wave that spreads out like a ripple on a pond (largest semicircle). The second to right element is pulsed next, and emits a ripple that is slightly smaller than the first because it was started later. The process continues down the line until all the elements have been pulsed. The multiple waves add up to one single wave front travelling at a set angle. In other words, the beam angle can be set just by programming the pulse timings.
Weld examination by phased array. TOP: The phased array probe emits a series of beams to flood the weld with sound. BOTTOM: The flaw in the weld appears as a red indication on the instrument screen. Phased Array (PA) ultrasonics is an advanced method of testing that has applications in medical imaging and industrial nondestructive testing, originally pioneered by  Albert Macovski of Stanford University. The application of PA most familiar to the public is the image of the fetus in the womb. Similarly, when applied to steel, the PA image shows a slice that may reveal defects hidden inside a structure or weld.
Principle of operation
The PA probe is comprised of many small ultrasonic elements, each of which can be pulsed individually. By varying the timing, for instance by pulsing the elements one by one in sequence along a row, a pattern of interference is set up that results in a beam at a set angle. In other words, the beam can be steered electronically. The beam is swept like a searchlight through the tissue or object being examined, and the data from multiple beams are put together to make a visual image showing a slice through the object.
Features of phased array
The method most commonly used for medical ultrasonography. Multiple probe elements produce a steerable, tightly focused, highresolution beam. · Produces an image that shows a slice through the object. · Compared to conventional, singleelement ultrasonic inspection systems, PA instruments and probes are more complex and expensive. · In industry, PA technicians require more experience and training than conventional technicians.
Time of flight diffraction ultrasonics
Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) method of Ultrasonic inspection is a very sensitive and accurate method for nondestructive testing of welds for defects. TOFD is a computerised system that was invented in the UK in the 1970s for the nuclear industry by Dr. Maurice Silk. The use of TOFD enabled crack sizes to be measured more accurately, so that expensive components could be kept in operation as long as possible with minimal risk of failure.
Principle of operation
Measuring the amplitude of reflected signal is a relatively unreliable method of sizing defects because the amplitude strongly depends on the orientation of the crack. Instead of amplitude, TOFD uses the time of flight of an ultrasonic pulse to determine the position of a reflector. In a TOFD system, a pair of probes sit on opposite sides of a weld. One of the probes emits an ultrasonic pulse that is picked up by the probe on the other side. In undamaged pipe, the signals picked up by the receiver probe are from two waves: one that travels along the surface and one that reflects off the far wall. When a crack is present, there is a diffraction of the ultrasonic wave from the tip(s) of the crack. Using the measured time of flight of the pulse, the depth of a crack tip can be calculated
53 automatically by simple trigonometry.This method is even more reliable than Radiographic testing of a weld.
Features of TOFD
A computerised and automated system for weld inspection. Probes are mounted on a buggy that travels along a weld, recording data as it moves. · Compared to conventional methods of ultrasonic inspection, TOFD is sensitive to cracks and measures their dimensions accurately. · TOFD has two blind zones where it is not sensitive to defects, hence TOFD ought always to be supplemented by a conventional pulseecho examination of the near and far walls. The pulse echo probes are commonly mounted on the same buggy as the TOFD probes. · Requires ultrasound technicians with advanced training.
Internal rotary inspection system
Internal rotary inspection system (IRIS) is an ultrasonic method for the nondestructive testing of pipes and tubes. The IRIS probe is inserted into a tube that is flooded with water, and the probe is pulled out slowly as the data is displayed and recorded. The ultrasonic beam allows detection of metal loss from the inside and outside of the tube wall.
Principle of operation
The IRIS probe consists of a rotating mirror that directs the ultrasonic beam into the tube wall. The mirror is driven by a small turbine that is rotated by the pressure of water being pumped in. As the probe is pulled the spinning motion of the mirror results in a helical scan path.
· · ·
Fieldproven and commonly used in boilers, heat exchangers, and finfan tubes. Often used as a backup to electromagnetic examination of tubes, to verify calibration and accuracy. Especially useful as a followup to remote field testing due to the full sensitivity near tube support structures provided by IRIS. The IRIS probe must be moved very slowly (approximately 1 inch per second, or 2.5 cm/s), but it produces very accurate results (wall thickness measurements typically accurate to within 0.005 inch, or 0.13 mm). Before the examination, tubes must be cleaned on the inside to bare metal. A supply of clean water is needed, typically at a pressure of 60 psi, or 0.4 MPa. Dirt or debris in the water may cause the turbine to jam. Works for tube diameters of ½ inch (13 mm) and up. Special centralizing devices are needed for larger diameters.
54 Works in metal or plastic tubes Typical smallest detectable defect: throughhole of diameter 1/16inch (1.6 mm). · Operates in temperatures above freezing. · Can pass bends, but will not detect defects in bends. · Not sensitive to cracks aligned with tube radius.
Nondestructive testing by linefocus ultrasonic probe In one of the nondestructive evaluations of the thickness or the elastic constants of a laminate, there is a method of using Lamb waves. Lamb waves have dispersibility and it is difficult to transmit and receive Lamb waves that the frequency band is wide even if the angle of incidence is adjusted. To overcome these difficulties, we develop the novel ultrasonic probe for nondestructive inspection. We investigate the fundamental features of this linefocus ultrasonic probe and apply it to TOFD method to inspect defects inside materials.
Numerical simulation of wave propagation Inspection of defects inside materials by TOFD method
1 Liquid Dye penetrant inspection · · ·  technical reports summarizing fluorescent penetrant inspection research efforts  an article on how to perform a sensitive visible dye penetrant examination Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye_penetrant_inspection"
2 Radiography · · · · Kodak. (http://www.kodak.com/global/en/health/productsByType/index.jhtml?pq path=2/521/2970) Agfa. (http://www.piribo.com/publications/medical_devices/mdc/agfa_medical.html) A review on the subject of medical Xray examinations and metal based contrast agents, by ShiBao Yu and Alan D. Watson, Chemical Reviews, 1999, volume 99, pages 23532378 Composite Materials for Aircraft Structures by Alan Baker, Stuart Dutton (Ed.), AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics & Ast) ISBN 1563475405
Radiation Detection and Measurement 3 rd Edition, Glenn F Knoll : Chapter 1 . , Page 1 John Wiley ^ : & Sons; 3rd Edition edition (26 Jan 2000): ISBN10: 0471073385 3 Electromagnetic testing · · · Hugo L. Libby, Introduction to Electromagnetic Nondestructive Test Methods, New York : WileyInterscience, 1971. The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, NDT Handbook, 3rd ed., Vol. 5, Electromagnetic Testing. William Lord, "Electromagnetic NDT Techniques — A 40 Year Retrospective or Retirement for Cause" in Materials Evaluation, June 2006, p. 547 to 550.
Magnetic flux leakage · · MILLER, Scott, FENYVESI, Louis – Determining Corrosion Growth Accurately and Reliability MORRISON, Tom, MANGAT, Naurang, DESJARDINS, Guy, BHATIA, Arti – Validation of an InLine Inspection Metal Loss Tool, presented at International Pipeline Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2000 NESTLEROTH, J.B, BUBENIK, T.A, Magnetic Flux Leakage ( MFL ) Technology – for The Gas Research Institute – United Stated National Technical Information Center 1999 REMPEL, Raymond Anomaly detection using Magnetic Flux Leakage ( MFL ) Technology Presented at the Rio Pipeline Conference and Exposition, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil 2005 WESTWOOD, Stephen, CHOLOWSKY, Sharon. TriAxial Sensors and 3Dimensional Magnetic Modelling of Combine to Improve Defect Sizing From Magnetic Flux Leakage Signals. presented at NACE International, Northern Area Western Conference, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 2004 WESTWOOD, Stephen, CHOLOWSKY, Sharon. – Independent Experimental Verification of the Sizing Accuracy of Magnetic Flux Leakage Tools, presented at 7th International Pipeline Conference, Puebla Mexico 2003 AMOS, D. M. "Magnetic flux leakage as applied to aboveground storage tank flat bottom tank floor inspection", Materials Evaluation, 54(1996), p.26
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Remote field testing · · · · RFT from Queen's University, Kingston, Canada ASTM E 2096 – 00 Standard Practice for In Situ Examination of Ferromagnetic Heat Exchanger Tubes Using Remote Field Testing Outline of RFT RFT probes for heat exchangers
4 Ultrasonic testing Phased array ultrasonics · · · · · · Inventor of the Week: Albert Macovski, Medical Imaging Systems web.mit.edu/invent (200008). Retrieved on 20070311 Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phased_array_ultrasonics" Time of flight diffraction ultrasonics Silk, M.G., "Sizing crack like defects by ultrasonic means", in Research Techniques in Non destructive Testing, vol. 3, ed. by R.S. Sharpe, Academic Press, London, 1977. Engineering Applications of Ultrasonic TimeofFlight Diffraction, 2nd ed., J. P. Charlesworth and J. A. G. Temple, Research Studies Press, 2002.
Internal rotary inspection system · · · Tubing Inspection using Multiple NDT Techniques. By Fathi E. AlQadeeb. PDF, 118 kB. Condition Monitoring Process Plant Tube Inspection: an Ongoing Commitment by Plant Owners and Operators. By Charles Panos.  NDT and Heat Exchanger Tubes. By Helle H. Rasmussen, Hans Kristensen & Leif Jeppesen. 
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