3D X-Ray Services

Technician Manipulating 3D CAD Models Generated Through CT
Background on X-Rays and Computed Tomography
Applied Technical Services performs 3D X-Ray services for those clients who need exhaustive analysis of a product or component. X-Ray imaging technology, otherwise known as radiography, has proven to be an invaluable diagnostic tool for the medical industry for over a century; its ability to show the conditions inside of a human body (without cutting anything open) revolutionized medicine. With time, people have devised an industrial use for the technique, allowing experienced technicians to find discontinuities beneath the surface of inorganic materials ranging from concrete slabs to energy piping. The advent of the computer gave rise to a new breed of imaging capabilities — a method for yielding 3D X-Ray images called Computed Tomography. This procedure also saw its first uses in the medical field but has more recently been implemented by testing and inspection services like ATS as a powerful nondestructive testing method.
How CT Scanning Produces 3D X-Rays
Because it is an offshoot based on radiographic technology, computed tomography (often abbreviated as CT) bears several similarities to its predecessor. Our expert technicians begin the process by enclosing the subject sample in the CT chamber. Inside, a powerful source emits a barrage of X-rays at the subject. As in traditional radiography, these X-Rays penetrate the subject and are read by a detector mounted opposite the emitter. The resulting black-and-white image (called a tomogram or a slice in CT and a radiograph in conventional radiography) presents a cross-sectional view of the subject, allowing technicians to look inside the subject as if it had been cut in sections. Because more dense materials absorb more of the rays, they appear as lighter areas in the final image than less dense materials which appear darker. This characteristic contrast represents the differences between the amount of radiation detected after passing through the subject.
The similarities end there.
A fundamental difference between the two methods is that, in a CT scan, the subject revolves in place, allowing the source to take slices of it from every direction. While older methods only yield one 2D radiograph, a single CT scan can produce hundreds of tomograms. A computer uses the raw data to generate an interpretable image in a process called tomographic reconstruction. Technicians can then assemble all the slices into one voxel-based point cloud, a type of 3D image that allows them to assess every surface of a subject — both inside and out — with microscopic clarity.
Applications of Industrial Computed Tomography
One of the greatest benefits of computed tomography is its versatility. ATS’ experienced CT technicians use its ability to generate 3D X-Ray models to perform several services, according to client needs. The precise and comprehensive nature of this testing leads clients to request it for a variety of purposes, including (but not limited to) the following:
  • Metrology
  • Engineering
  • Nondestructive Testing
  • Thickness Measurements
  • Flaw Detection/Identification
  • Metallurgy
  • Forensic Investigation
This is one of its true strengths as a test method: applying CT in this litany of ways does not take several different analyses, as technicians can achieve all the above uses in the course of a single scan.
Equipment and Testing Capabilities
ATS’ computed tomography equipment provides our labs with one of the most detailed testing methods currently available. Our experienced technicians use the following instruments to achieve the most accurate data possible:
  • Zeiss Metrotom 1500, with a 225kV micro-focus
  • Chamber fits specimens up to 11.75 in (300mm) in diameter x 23.6 in (600mm) high. 50 kg (110 lb) weight limit.
  • Northstar Imaging X5000
  • Minifocus 450kV X-ray projector (0.016” Focal spot at 3mA)
  • Dual energy capability with 225kV Microfocus X-ray Machine
  • Can achieve focal size as low as 0.0002” (based on voltage)
  • Multi-Axis Manipulator (x, z, tilt, rotation), capable of supporting max 250 lb
  • Resolution of manipulator angle is 0.001°
  • Capture elongated subjects unable to fit within a single exposure by scanning with a spiral acquisition
Although the method is incisive and our equipment is powerful, ATS’ technicians are the ones that bring the value to this service. These specialists can translate the highly detailed 3D model yielded from a CT scan into a CAD file, allowing them to compare the subject against another reference part or even its own design CAD model. Furthermore, they make the CAD models created during their analysis available to clients upon request.
ATS: Trusted Computed Tomography Experts
Since our founding in 1967, Applied Technical Services has supplied testing, inspection, and consulting engineering capabilities of the highest caliber. In the 50+ intervening years, we have enjoyed vigorous growth: from a three-man engineering team aiding local businesses out of our founder’s basement, ATS has since expanded to become a multi-disciplinary firm that serves clients around the world with a host of technicians, metallurgists, chemists, scientists, inspectors, Professional Engineers, calibrators, and investigators. The industries that most benefit from our CT expertise include the following:
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Aerospace/Aircraft
  • Automotive
  • Conventional Manufacturing
  • Defense/Military
  • Healthcare/Medical
  • Insurance/Legal
  • Nuclear
  • Power Generation
  • Renewable Energy
Our Dedication to Quality
ATS technicians perform all our CT scanning services in accordance with our stringent, ISO 9001-compliant quality assurance program. We think it is important to consistently provide services we can be proud of; for that reason, we uphold several policies designed to help us continually improve the quality of customer experience that clients can expect from us.
Firstly, our testing experts return clear, accurate, and detailed reporting within a quick turnaround window. They do so to ensure our clients have the data they need to make informed, timely decisions about their subject components or materials. Secondly, ATS customer service ambassadors receive clients who reach out regarding the status or results of their testing. These relationship specialists facilitate client contact with relevant testing experts who can handle their inquiries. Thirdly, we ensure that our lab personnel remain accessible to client outreach, responsive to their needs, and engaged while helping them secure solutions to their problems.
If your company needs the 3D X-Ray services of a trusted provider to help you determine a subject’s various characteristics, contact ATS today about our computed tomography capabilities — We take a closer look!

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