Most people have heard of a computed tomography scan. These are also called “CT” or “cat” scans and are often used in medicine. The reason these are done is simple; CT scanning services fall under the heading of non-destructive testing or NDT testing where a material, substance or body part can be examined without doing any damage to the item.
NDT testing can refer to a vast array of methods that use electromagnetic radiation, sound and x-ray inspection. CT scans takes x-rays that are taken of structures in an animal or human body or of another item and converts the two dimensional images to three dimensional pictures. The technology was first developed by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack in 1972. The two were later awarded the Nobel Prize for Science and Medicine for this invention and its contributions to science and the medical field.
These first scans used by Cormack and Hounsfield took many hours to assemble the raw data from the x-rays and then days to compile it all into a single 3-d image. New NDT technology can process up to four slices of raw data in approximately 350 milliseconds. It now takes mere seconds to produce images that were made from millions of data points.
CT scanners began be to widely used in clinical settings in mid 1970s. These early uses of the NDT testing technology was limited to CT scans of heads only. In 1976, full body CT scanners began to show up around the world and by 1980, they were available all over the world. There are currently at least 6,000 CT scanning devices in the United States and more than 30,000 worldwide. This technology gives doctors a way to look inside patients in a way they were never able to do before. By being able to get images inside a person or animal, they are saved many invasive and painful procedures. Current CT scans make a lot of exploratory surgeries unnecessary.
NDT testing technology such as cone beam CT imaging has implications beyond medicine. Industrial CT scanning is very helpful for companies that want to decrease their inspection costs and failure rates. By using industrial ct scanning services rather than traditional methods to check and inspect products, those rates can drop by between 25 and 75%. As with medical uses, the technology used in industrial CT scanning has improved dramatically over the years. It is possible to get very complex 3D images of items and materials that cannot be viewed in any other way.
Size and shape are no longer barriers to getting precise imaging. Moreover the application for this technology grows every day. Fields such as 3D reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, 3D metrology can now benefit from different forms of NDT testing. Items as small as .5 mm long can be analyzes as easily as those as large as 660 mm across. Moreover, the results for items all along that spectrum are the same. You an get the same detailed images of a tiny object as you can from a large one.
The time it takes to complete digital scanning of most products is minimal and the resolution allows better views of many products than is allowed by other technology. By allowing companies to carefully determine the makeup chemical and physical composition of an item without destroying it, the applications are more varied. Archaeologists can use this technology to study fossils and mummified remains, for instance, without damaging the items being studied.
As the NDT testing technology is improved, the images are better and the time it takes to get and compile them is shorter. For people and animals, new advanced in CT scanning devices has meant that they are exposed to lower doses of radiation, which makes the process a lot safer. For companies that want to save money on inspection and product failure rates, these advancements make using the technology more cost effective and accessible.
Regardless of your business or how you would like to improve your bottom line, looking into how CT scanning technology can help you grow your business is a great idea. This new technology can help you improve your bottom line and quality of your products.