Industrial X-ray/CT Inspection Systems

Nondestructive internal inspection with extremely high precision

X-ray/CT inspection systems measure the complex inner structures of products and detect any defects within them, all without disassembling. Nikon’s technology supports manufacturers with high-precision nondestructive inspection.

These systems create 2D images by capturing the projected X-rays that pass through a sample. For 3D CT (computed tomography) images, sequential 2D images acquired by rotating the sample are reconstructed to generate a 3D volumetric representation.

The resulting images from Nikon systems enable nondestructive evaluation of diverse products, ranging from electronic components to plastic molds and cast metals. In addition to supporting the manufacturing and inspection processes, applications extend to academic research, such as at excavations in search of minerals and fossils, as well as archaeological investigations.

Mechanism of X-ray photography

World’s first 450kV microfocus X-ray source

Inspection systems produce X-rays by directing thermal electrons at a metal component, known as the target.

In general, stronger X-rays for penetrating thicker samples can be created by intensifying the voltage in the tube, where thermal electrons are generated. However, this causes a larger “spot size” (the size of the point on the target at which the thermal electrons are concentrated), reducing sharpness in the resulting X-ray image.

Nikon successfully developed a 450kV microfocus X-ray source that delivers high-definition images while maintaining the strong tube voltage. Realizing accurate inspections of high-density samples, that had previously been difficult to achieve, the 450kV microfocus X-ray source is now able to ensure effective evaluation of large-sized cast metals and single-crystal-alloy turbine blades.

Mechanism of an X-ray source
X-ray inspection of a turbine blade
CT volume model of engine casting