Computed Tomography Scanning Facility


FLC Region

Security Lab




FUNCTION:Advances research in the areas of marine geosciences, geotechnical, civil, and chemical engineering, physics, and ocean acoustics by using high-resolution, volumetric, X-ray imaging.

DESCRIPTION: The Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning Facility has the capability to produce high-quality fine-scale images of Navy relevant materials. This capability is equivalent to that of the synchrotron laboratories (~10 μm resolution for 1-cm-diameter earth materials). Additionally, this facility can accommodate small to large samples (5 mm to 9 cm diameter with the HD-500). This facilitates the evaluation of similar systems at many scales, in a relatively short period of time. Furthermore, this facility promotes experiments that require weeks to months, so that processes that occur in dynamic systems over extended time periods can be evaluated (e.g., growth and migration of gas bubbles in mud, drainage/imbibition of water from/into beach sand, and evolution of stratigraphy in response to bioturbation). In these cases, the samples are perturbed (physical conditions are altered), allowed to equilibrate, and then CT-scanned.

INSTRUMENTATION: The CT facility operates an HD-500 Micro-CT System equipped with a microfocus X-ray tube that operates from 10 to 225 kV and 0 to 3 mA. This state-of-the-art industrial CT enables the production of images with 10 μm resolution for appropriately sized materials. The housing for this system is open, so that large systems (e.g., acoustic impedance tubes, permeameters, compression testers) can be used in conjunction with the CT system. In addition to the high-resolution CT system, the facility is equipped with a Picker Medical CT scanner, which operates at energies to 150 kV, can accommodate large diameter samples (up to ~0.75 m in diameter), and is housed in a portable trailer, making the system useful for field experiments. In each case, the energy spectrum is polychromatic.


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