Elitomo Project: 2D &3D Tomography for Large-size Objects Using ELI-NP Ultrabright Gamma Beam Source

National funded projects
September, 2016 to August, 2019

Contract number: 10ELI / 01.09.2016
Project Manager: Mihai IOVEA; e-mail: office@accent.ro
State Budget value: 1.111.200 RON
Partners: P1 Horia Hulubei National Institute for R&D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH) -Romania

Many of the important scientific and engineering achievements of the last decades can be traced back to a non-destructive testing (NDT) methods that has been used during development stage without damaging or affecting the product properties, assuring the performance and integrity for which the product was intended. From all existent NDT methods, the classical radiography has been spectacularly improved lately thanks to the development of the microfocus X-ray sources and of very high-resolution X-ray detectors. As a result, two new improved sub-domains called Digital Radiography (DR) and Industrial Computed Tomography (ICT) has been developed and became most advanced techniques that could offer high-penetrability at very high spatial resolution. Despite the latest improvements still is a lack of high-resolution NDT solutions for investigating large size metallic components, such as aeronautics, space and military products, cars/trucks engine blocks and gearbox, oil refinery parts, etc. The available industrial solutions are based on using high-energy radiation sources in the range of 1-15 MeV (such as Linacs) or isotopic sources (Co60, for example). But these solution have a very big focal spot size in the range of 0.5 – 2 mm [1], which reduces dramatically the spatial resolution and are practically not useful in the high-resolution applications. From all other techniques available for producing high-energy photon with small focal spot is of very much interest the Laser Compton Scattering (LCS) [2] that could meet entirely the requirements. This is the reason why we have proposed in the ELI White Book [3] to develop the digital radiography and tomography applications by using ELI Gamma beam, as a perfect solution for high-resolution DR and ICT investigation of large-size objects. Deserve to be detailed the main advantages of using ELI Gamma Beam source in DR and ICT for industrial large size objects for industrial NDT applications: (i) Is the only solution available that could provide such low-size focal spot size (10-30 microns) providing very high-resolution NDT imaging even for very large size objects that are easily penetrated by the beam high-energy energy range; (ii) By using photons over a few MeV the results are almost free from the spectrum hardening effect and the metal streak artefacts usual found in classical bremsstrahlung DR and ICT techniques. (iii) By having a tunable monochromatic gamma beam we can measure sample’s exact value of the linear attenuation coefficient and, by doing same measurement at different gamma energies, a dual/multi energy technique could be applied for samples materials accurately identification. At ELI-NP we expect to achieve a better spatial resolution (100-200 microns) and higher contrast sensitivity in industrial applications since the intensity of the ELI-NP gamma beam will be few orders of magnitude higher than at HIγS (USA) or at AIST (Japan). Should be noticed that the present ELITOMO partners has developed up to now at ELI-NP the Monte Carlo simulation for industry NDT applications and establish the basic requirements for the DR and ICT mechanical scanners. Within the project we propose to build two DR and ICT machine (for small and big size samples), to design and develop 1D and 2D gamma dedicated gamma detectors, to develop the software packages for data acquisition, scanners control, special tomographic scanning and reconstruction techniques, image enhancement and visualisation algorithms. A series of preliminary tests with both equipments will be made in laboratory by using X-Ray microfocus sources, gamma sources or LINAC. Finally a series of tests at CETAL or other LCS facilities will be followed by both system installation at ELI-NP GAMMA BEAM, being ready for experiments from DAY ZERO.