X-Ray Computed Tomography for the Aircraft/Aerospace Industry
X-ray computed tomography (CT) offers a new inspection capability for aircraft hardware. With CT, a thin slice of radiation is passed through the object and the transmitted intensity is measured by a detector array. The object is rotated in order to obtain views from all directions about the object. The data is processed by computer to reconstruct the x-ray attenuation coefficients corresponding to volume elements within the object’s interior. The reconstructed data allows imaging of the object’s interior in its true dimensional orientation, as if it were sliced open. This unprecedented imaging capability allows the ready interpretation of complicated geometries and quantitative measurement of dimensional and density information [1–3]. CT is applicable to examinations for volumetric defect detection and/or configuration control. CT can be used for density or constituent variations with excellent sensitivity (0.1 to 1%). Dimensional measurements are a common application of CT and can be quite accurate with precision better than 0.050 mm. If multiple slices are taken over the entire part, a complete three dimensional rendering can be constructed.