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X-ray vision

Catching a glimpse of the innermost core. The giant computed tomography (CT) scanner of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS provides precise, detailed images never before possible. In this case, however, it is cars rather than the human body that is being scanned.


One of the aims behind the development of the industrial computed tomography scanner is to establish even higher safety standards for cars. The major advantage of this innovative device over conventional, two-dimensional x-ray images is that it uses a contactless and non-destructive method to capture complete, three-dimensional images of components. This enables engineers to glean substantially more information from crash tests, for example.

According to the Fraunhofer IIS, the technology can be used to check new car prototypes against the design data or to detect material defects such as tiny cracks. The Fraunhofer IIS holds another record besides the world’s largest computed tomography scanner. The researchers have also developed the smallest mobile CT scanner – a device the size of a microwave oven. It scans small polymer components with a resolution of 0.02 millimetres. And that’s not all: Professor Randolf Hanke, Head of the Development Centre for X-ray Technology (EZRT), is working together with students and PhD candidates on the next innovation – a device for the nano scale.


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