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John Legleu, Exact Metrology Product Manager, provides insights into the advancements and benefits of CT technology, especially as it relates to the future of the aerospace industry
Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, through its product manager John Legleu, details the uses of CT scanning technology across various industries, highlighting especially how CT serves additive manufacturing and how it will change the aerospace industry.
Computed tomography (CT), also known as industrial x-ray and industrial imaging, is used to obtain 3-dimensional (3D) results by placing an object on a rotational stage between an x-ray tube and x-ray detector, rotating the object 360 degrees and capturing images at specific intervals—such as every degree or half degree. For its services to clients, Exact Metrology uses CT technology in almost every industry, including aerospace, automotive, medical, injection molding, plastics, additive manufacturing and electronics.
Its most often used scanners are the ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout and GE V TOME XM 300Kv. The METROTOM 6 scout digitizes complex parts including the internal geometries at the finest level of detail. Users obtain a complete 3D image for GD&T analysis or nominal-actual comparisons. The metrology CT excels in digitizing very small plastic parts. The GE V TOME scanner is a versatile X-ray microfocus CT system for 3D metrology and analysis with up to 300 kV / 500 W.
According to Legleu, the technology offers numerous benefits, such as higher accuracy/resolution, non-destructive ways to obtain true dimensional data and scanning multiple parts in a single scan. In addition, CT scanning requires very little time to capture data and troubleshoot parts and also offers multiple uses with one scan (void analysis, inspection, volume, porosity, reverse engineering etc.). In contrast to conventional tactile coordinate measurement techniques, a CT acquires all surface points simultaneously —on even the most complex objects.
The technology does bring challenges with it, namely due to high-density materials that are difficult to scan. In addition, parts that have more than one material are challenging to surface. The size and weight of parts are also limited.
Legleu points out how CT has already evolved in the rapidly emerging additive manufacturing industry, making scanning faster, with higher resolution and better accuracy. Although used primarily in additive manufacturing to find porosity or unformed materials within printed parts, CT scanning can also be used to analyze the raw material for 3D printing, such as powdered metals or filaments.
He concludes by stating, “I predict that aerospace will begin to use CT exclusively to inspect all additive manufactured parts. Presently, CT is considered an “emerging technology” in aerospace but that is likely to change within the next few years. All predictions show a growth rate of 7.5% between 2021 and 2028, increasing from $460 million to $765.8 million.”
Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, is ISO9001, AS9100 Certified as well as ITAR Registered.
Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.
In-Place Machining Company: On-Site Machining Solutions In-Place, Any Place in the World.
In-Place Machining Company, with seventeen locations across North America, is the premier provider of high-precision engineered on-site machining, in-shop industrial machining, metrology solutions, machine alignment, and large scale cutting & drilling services for a wide range of renewable energy, aerospace, industrial manufacturing, marine, and military customers throughout the world.
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