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CT Scanning The Most Reliable Method of Wall Thickness Analysis


Industrial fiber analysis

In recent years industrial CT scanning has been used for everything from routine quality assurance to top secret corporate espionage. When you need to look inside a part without breaking it down or destroying it, there aren’t many viable non-destructive testing methods available to you.
Enter CT scanning services, which allow engineers to look inside their parts, right down to a micron level. The 3D scanning companies that utilize industrial CT scanning are often one step ahead of the competition, who rely on laser scanning that only provides data on the external surfaces of the scanned object.
While CT scanning services are popular for reverse engineering, failure analysis, and first article inspection reports, more and more these machines are also being used to perform wall thickness analysis. So how does it work?
First, the CT scanning machine is calibrated to match the size of the object being scanned and the desired resolution. Although it’s not usually necessary to provide a microscopic resolution, CT scanners can be calibrated to provide resolutions of a single micron. Then, the object is rotated as it’s subjected to a radiation source, providing a 360 degree view of the object. Thousands of two dimensional X-ray slices are then combined into a single 3D image, allowing quality engineers to examine even the slightest deviations in wall thickness.
When the object is canned, a boundary is created around all of the internal and external features. Then, the distance between every surface is calculated and a minimum wall thickness is identified. Then, the scan results are color coded to make it easier to identify deviations from the pre-determiend wall thickness (to see what a wall thickness analsysis looks like in practice, click here). Typically, the minimum detectable wall thickness will be equal to the desired or specified accuracy of the scan.
The reason CT scanning services are so popular for wall thickness analysis is that the data can be used to view both a 3D color coded model and individual 2D cross sectional whisker plots, giving quality engineers an unparalleled level of detail when reviewing parts. Not only that, but the data can be fed through a variety of software to repeat the wall thickness analysis or perform further testing. The color scale can also be customized depending on the end users requirements.
Wall thickness analyses, when done correctly, can not only ensure parts function as needed, but also spare end clients from costly production mistakes and errors.

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