World record: Fastest 3D tomographic images at BESSY II

Granules of aluminium (grey) become a metallic foam when heated.The tompgraphies document the evolution of pores with time.

Granules of aluminium (grey) become a metallic foam when heated.The tompgraphies document the evolution of pores with time. © HZB

Experimental setup is composed of a fast-rotation stage, an IR heating lamp (temperature up to 800 °C), a BN crucible transparent to X-rays, a 200-μm thick LuAG:Ce scintillator, a white-beam optical system, and a PCO Dimax CMOS camera. The incident (red) and transmitted (green) X-ray beams as well as the light path from the scintillator to the camera (blue) are shown.

Experimental setup is composed of a fast-rotation stage, an IR heating lamp (temperature up to 800 °C), a BN crucible transparent to X-rays, a 200-μm thick LuAG:Ce scintillator, a white-beam optical system, and a PCO Dimax CMOS camera. The incident (red) and transmitted (green) X-ray beams as well as the light path from the scintillator to the camera (blue) are shown. © HZB

An HZB team has developed an ingenious precision rotary table at the EDDI beamline at BESSY II and combined it with particularly fast optics. This enabled them to document the formation of pores in grains of metal during foaming processes at 25 tomographic images per second - a world record.

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends on the highest precision: Any tumbling around the rotation axis or even minimal deviations in the rotation speed would prevent the reliable calculation of the 3D tomography. While commercially available solutions costing several hundred thousand euros allow up to 20 tomographic images per second, the Berlin physicists were able to develop a significantly cheaper solution that is even faster. ”My two doctoral students at the Technische Universität Berlin produced the specimen holders themselves on the lathe”, says Garcia-Moreno, who not only enjoys working out solutions to tricky technical problems, but possesses a lot of craftsman skill himself as well. Additional components were produced in the HZB workshop. In addition, Garcia-Moreno and his colleague Dr. Catalina Jimenez had already developed specialized optics for the fast CMOS camera during the preliminary stages of this work that allows even for simultaneous diffraction. This makes it possible to record approximately 2000 projections per second, from which a total of 25 three-dimensional tomographic images can be created.  

As a first example, the team investigated granules of aluminium alloys that become a metallic foam when heated. To do this, they mounted a powerful infrared lamp above the metal granulate to heat the sample to about 650 degrees Celsius. A complete 3D tomographic image with spatial resolution of 2,5 micrometers (pixel size) was generated every 40 milliseconds. The nearly 400 tomographic 3D images now allow detailed, time-resolved analysis of the process as it occurred,.

"We wanted to develop a better understanding of how pores form in the grains – whether they also reach the granule surfaces and to what extent this process varies in different granules”, explains Garcia-Moreno. It is a question of practical relevance that is also of interest to industry. This is because granules of metallic compounds might fill complicated shapes better while foaming than foams manufactured from a block of metal. However, the moulded part will only be able to withstand stress if the grains also bond closely with one another during foaming. With the ultra-fast 3D tomography developed at BESSY II, this can now be observed very precisely – as well as a multitude of other dynamic processes.

Since the EDDI beamline must be dismantled for the upgrade from BESSY II to BESSY-VSR, Garcia-Moreno has contacted other X-ray sources and plans to establish this method at those locations.

 

To the publication in Journal of Synchrotron Radiation (2018): Time-resolved in-situ tomography for the analysis of evolving metal foam granulates; Francisco García-Moreno, Paul H. Kamm, Tillmann R. Neu & John Banhart

DOI: 10.1107/S1600577518008949

 

 

 

 

 

arö


You might also be interested in

  • 14 parameters in one go: New instrument for optoelectronics
    Science Highlight
    21.02.2024
    14 parameters in one go: New instrument for optoelectronics
    An HZB physicist has developed a new method for the comprehensive characterisation of semiconductors in a single measurement. The "Constant Light-Induced Magneto-Transport (CLIMAT)" is based on the Hall effect and allows to record 14 different parameters of transport properties of negative and positive charge carriers. The method was tested now on twelve different semiconductor materials and will save valuable time in assessing new materials for optoelectronic applications such as solar cells.
  • Sodium-ion batteries: How doping works
    Science Highlight
    20.02.2024
    Sodium-ion batteries: How doping works
    Sodium-ion batteries still have a number of weaknesses that could be remedied by optimising the battery materials. One possibility is to dope the cathode material with foreign elements. A team from HZB and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has now investigated the effects of doping with Scandium and Magnesium. The scientists collected data at the X-ray sources BESSY II, PETRA III, and SOLARIS to get a complete picture and uncovered two competing mechanisms that determine the stability of the cathodes.
  • BESSY II: Molecular orbitals determine stability
    Science Highlight
    07.02.2024
    BESSY II: Molecular orbitals determine stability
    Carboxylic acid dianions (fumarate, maleate and succinate) play a role in coordination chemistry and to some extent also in the biochemistry of body cells. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed their electronic structures using RIXS in combination with DFT simulations. The results provide information not only on electronic structures but also on the relative stability of these molecules which can influence an industry's choice of carboxylate dianions, optimizing both the stability and geometry of coordination polymers.