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Ultrafast three-dimensional X-ray computed tomography

Bieberle, M.; Hampel, U.; Barthel, F.; Menz, H.-J.; Mayer, H.-G.

X-ray computed tomography (CT) is nowadays a well established 2D and 3D visualization technique in medicine and non-destructive testing. An increasing number of scientific and engineering problems requires three-dimensional imaging capabilities, since structures of growing complexity are seldom seizable by a cross-section only. Because CT scanning requires sampling of radiographic projections from different viewing angles around an object, typically mechanical rotation mechanisms, either for the source-detector compound or the object, are employed by common CT systems. Hence, they are quite slow and their application in the study of fast processes, such as multiphase flows or live animals, was so far impossible.
Here we introduce a new ultrafast three-dimensional X-ray CT method based on electron beam scanning, which achieves imaging rates of 500 volume images per second. It represents an extension of a two-dimensional ultrafast electron beam CT modality presented earlier1. Although this 2D CT system reaches cross-sectional frame rates of up to 10,000 images per second, the new system is superior for the analysis of processes and moving objects, where structural changes occur in three dimensions. With an experimental study that is reported here we could demonstrate the capability of this new method to recover the structure of typical gas-solid and gas-liquid two-phase flows. Thus, ultrafast three-dimensional X-ray CT forms a practical alternative to high-speed videometry and furthermore provides non-superimposed density distributions even from opaque media.

Keywords: ultrafast; X-ray; 3D; computed tomography

Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-14437