Abstract

X-ray microfocus radioscopy and computed tomography (CT) offer detailed information on the internal assembly and material condition of objects under failure analysis investigation. Using advanced systems for the acquisition of radioscopic and CT images, failure analysis investigations are improved in technical accuracy at a reduced schedule and cost over alternative approaches. A versatile microfocus radioscopic system with CT capability has been successfully implemented as a standard tool in the Boeing Defense & Space Group Failure Analysis Laboratory. Using this tool, studies of electronic, electromechanical and composite material items have been performed. Such a system can pay for itself within two years through higher productivity of the laboratory, increased laboratory value to the company and resolution of critical problems whose worth far exceeds the value of the equipment. The microfocus X-ray source provides projection magnification images that exceed the sensitivity to fine detail that can be obtained with conventional film radiography. Radioscopy, which provides real-time images on a video monitor, allows objects to be readily manipulated and oriented for optimum x-ray evaluation, or monitored during dynamic processes to check performance. Combined with an accurate manipulating stage and data acquisition system x-ray measurements can be used for CT image reconstruction. The CT image provides a cross sectional view of the interior of an object without the interference of superposition of features found in conventional radiography. Accurate dimensional measurements and material constituent identification are possible from the CT images. By taking multiple, contiguous CT slices entire three dimensional data files can be generated of objects.

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