Articles from "Microelectronics News"

Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics

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X-rays in time and space


What happens inside a running engine? The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS visualizes the previously invisible interaction of the components: the Fraunhofer researchers have added the fourth dimension – time – to three-dimensional x-ray computed tomography (3D CT) systems, creating 4D CT and giving us insight into the moving world of dynamic processes.

For many years, 3D CT systems have been used for industrial product testing. 3D CT allows complex objects to be observed without touching or destroying them. The data record generated is a static 3D map of a real measured object. The Fraunhofer researchers are now adding information about time and motion to this 3D CT data record. This is achieved by the use of several consecutive volume data records. This volume sequence allows dynamic processesto be visualized and analyzed. To this end, Fraunhofer IIS is developing different recording and reconstruction procedures for processes that change over time. The reconstruction data obtained allows a 4D analysis of the temporal-spatial behavior and interaction of components under extreme external conditions, e.g. during endurance tests.

Areas of application for this new “4D view” include investigation of the temporal effect of tensile and pressure tests or temperature gradations on products as well as process and quality analyses. For the first time, the motions of a combustion engine piston and the rolling bodies in a ball bearing can be mapped and analyzed in full. These processes, which were previously hidden, as well as their effects on individual product components, provide important information for improving production processes.



Eva Beuchel
Phone +49 9131 776-1644
Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
Am Wolfsmantel 33
91058 Erlangen