FPInnovations’ Vancouver laboratory has been equipped for many years now with a computed tomography (CT) scanner—a specialized scanning device that makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting it.
FPInnovations believes that the CT scanner is a unique tool that should be known by the scientific community at large. The technology offers a wide range of practical applications: inspecting mechanical parts and assemblies, analyzing porosity, reverse engineering, scanning logs for internal defects, detecting anomalies at the glue-line interface in engineered wood products, characterizing density profiles in composite panels, etc. It could be used for equipment manufacturing as well as in a wide variety of sectors and industries, including mechanical, geological, automotive, archeological, oil and gas, and mining.
What makes FPInnovations’ CT scanner so unique is not only that it is one of the world’s largest non-military CT scanning machines, but that it can scan large and dense objects that cannot be done elsewhere as FPInnovations uses a 4-MeV high-energy linear accelerator X-ray source (200 r/min @ 1 m). The scanning envelope, with a height of 5000 mm and a diameter of 1000 mm, can handle an object with a weight up to 2 tonnes, and its spatial resolution is 0.4–0.8 mm. The CT scanner is also certified with the Controlled Goods Program Certification.
In the past, FPInnovations’ CT scanner has been used for some very interesting projects. In 2014–2015, it was used to scan soil samples for the investigation on the Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach. In 2012, FPInnovations worked with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, based in Washington, D.C., to scan fossil whales.
The scanner has also been used by the B.C. Coastal program for log scanning, the U.S. Space Program for several different projects, a top-tier oilfield service company for scanning large mechanical devices, and both Stanford University and the University of British Columbia for other whale scans.
If you are interested in learning more about what the CT scanner can do for you, your group, or your customers, please contact Gabor Szathmary.