Comparison of defect detectability between Computed Tomography inspection and CT simulation using a calibrated defect phantom

Carlos Galleguillos, Sascha Senck, Celia Vilches, Sarah Heupl, Fernando Lasagni

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/TagungsbandKonferenzbeitrag


The usage of metal Additive Manufactured (AM) components is growing in aerospace industry since the establishment of quality
standards and due to the current maturity of the manufacturing systems, processing route, and inspection methodology.
Moreover, possibilities of designing complex shapes by using 3D-printers enables design engineers to build lightweight
structures and/or increase part functionality. However, the freedom in design is often a challenge for non-destructive testing
(NDT), especially in parts with limited access, non-flat surfaces, etc. Therefore, there are few NDT methods which can be applied
on such complex 3D geometries and capable of inspecting the whole part volume. Computed Tomography (CT) and Digital Xray
methods are the most relevant ones offering rich information of inner defectology and the outer geometrical metrology.
Simulation tools regarding manufacturing process and mechanical behavior are already considered as part of the definition phase
of AM components and utilized as inputs in the design loop. However, inspectionability issues are mainly considered during the
quality assurance phase. Therefore, inspection problems related with the detectability of defects above the part allowable can
appear once the part have been designed, validated, and manufactured. On the other hand, tools that perform numerical
simulations of X-ray imaging like SimCT could be a valuable source of additional information [1]. Firstly, for the users of XRay
imaging devices in order to set up best inspection parameters and system configuration [2, 3]. Secondly, for producing CT
simulations which can evaluate the inspectionability of a part, avoiding non-inspectionable regions limited by the inspection
method. In this way, this information can be introduced for validating the part design for instance at PDR (Preliminary Design
Review) and later at CDR (Critical Design Review) levels.
In this work, an aluminum Image Quality Indicator (IQI) with calibrated defects has been analyzed with both real and simulated
CT scans using different physical resolutions. In this way, a comprensive analysis for determining the limits of defect
detectability by comparing both simultaion and test results has been developed. Defects of 100, 200 and 500μm diameter have
been evaluated, corresponding to aerospace allowable for pores in AM hardware, depending on part criticality.
TitelProceedings of 11th Conference on Industrial Computed Tomography (iCT) 2022
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 8 März 2022


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Non destructive testing


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