Interview with Mrs. Martina Vincetti - Head of TEC Eurolab Tomography Department on RPD - RAPID PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT magazine. 


TEC Eurolab’s tomographic center, integrated within the company’s multidisciplinary testing laboratories, upgrades with a new linear accelerator that extends customer service.

The growing diffusion of additive manufacturing in most diverse application fields and its use increasingly aimed at the manufacturing of final details and components require the certification of the supply chain and of the additive products, for an efficient integration within the industrial system. An important added value can result from the combination of digital technologies and science of materials, which can certify the products’ quality in every aspect: from the raw material, to processes, and post-processing treatments.

Thanks to a mix of tested methodologies and continuously updated technologies, TEC Eurolab can support the current industrial world with a series of services that integrate ‘classic’ nondestructive quality testing with last generation tools that allow evaluating the components both at the beginning of serial manufacturing as well as along the job. In particular, scanning through industrial compute tomography allows achieving detailed information on the possible presence of internal defects, with the reconstruction of the 3D model, its extraction and dimensional comparison.
To extend the operational scope of its tomographic center, TEC Eurolab has recently installed a 6 MeV linear accelerator that can analyze complete engine blocks, turbine blades in Inconel, large steel sections and large additive components. 
1. An image of TEC Eurolab tomographic center that integrates within the multidisciplinary structure of the company testing laboratories.
2. Computed industrial tomography scanning allows achieving detailed information on the possible presence of internal defects.



The first industrial tomographic system NSI, 240 kV was installed in our tomographic center in 2013 - says Martina Vincetti, head of Industrial Tomography at TEC Eurolab – In 2016, we purchased the second NSI system, 450 kV, and eventually, this year we have added the new linear accelerator Diondo 6 MeV; an absolute technological evolution in the field of applications for industrial tomography. The three systems have very different features, in order to cover the greatest number of requests from the industrial world, in the automotive, aerospace and biomedical compartments as well as in the cultural and artistic heritage field.
The first installed CT scan has an inferior power compared to the others but it can reach much higher detail resolutions: in the order of 5-10 micron. Thus, it can scan smaller sections and materials- we can scan steel components with walls having a maximum of 1 cm- but on given applications it ensures a much more performing acquisition resolution. 

With the tomograph we installed in 2016, we reach 7-8 cm, but resolution does not drop below 70 micron. With the accelerator, we still do not know what the maximum attainable thickness is because we still did not get a chance to test it, but we expect to reach 30-40 cm in steel, while resolution is around 130 micron. 
The linear accelerator instead is a tomographic system whose operating principle is similar to the others installed in the center, made of a X ray source, a rotating platen on which the component is placed and a detector; what differs it from other tomography systems is the physics by which X rays are generated and, of course, its power: in this case we are talking about very high powers, in the order of 10 times superior to the other two systems
3. The new linear accelerator Diondo 6 MeV installed by TEC Eurolab in its tomographic center.


The installation the new accelerator - says Vincetti- is part of the evolution path undertaken by TEC Eurolab’s tomographic center to extend the range of scanning that can be performed, in terms of dimensions and materials that can be inspected. 
In particular, we intend to bring the 360° usability of industrial tomography in all applications developed through additive manufacturing and on materials and alloys with significant densities such as Inconel, Cr-Co alloys or all other high-density alloys that must withstand high operating temperatures. 
The Diondo 6 MEV accelerator can also scan this type of alloys, obviously increasing the range of possible applications compared to current standards. It can operate on high-thickness components, thus it is possible to scan the parts directly on the print plate to perform a defect test before carrying out the various stretching and thermal treatments and so on.
Furthermore, on components made with AM it allows knowing if any residual powder is present in parts such as channels or intricate and complex areas, so as to exactly spot the points where powder deposits thereby implementing the suitable tasks for the cleaning of such spots.

At times customers asks us to perform tomography because they just want to verify just some aspects of the detail, the component, a musical instrument or an archeological artifact.
However, much more frequently tomography integrates with FEM analysis services, since being carried out before any destructive kind of testing it allows having a kind of picture of the part’s condition before it is altered by the tests for good.


Another application of tomography for AM involves the overall characterization of the process. In this case, the finished component is inspected with the tomograph, while testing samples printed with the part undergo tensile, fatigue or micrography tests. In this way, a map is provided on the internal state of the component to detect possible variations that could alter its behavior during the test or to experiment if this defect spreads and how it spreads during the test, then combining FEM simulations performed on those given defect features.

TEC Eurolab tomographic center, integrated in the multidisciplinary structure of our testing laboratories can support AM from the very initial stage, thanks to an in-depth powder analysis that indicates their integrity, composition, homogeneity, granulometry, moisture etc. It operates about 3000 hours a year, scanning about 6000 components every year.
In-house we have experts of additive processes; since TEC Eurolab services also include training courses for technicians working in this field, as well as other specific processes such as welding or quality testing or even industrial tomography. Being able to closely collaborate with our customers on the many aspects that contribute to achieving quality results is extremely important to us-
says Vincetti. 
Customers drive us to focus on new needs and find the way to satisfy them, thereby offering us a precious opportunity for improvement, all the more so since our work method leads us to follow the process from A to Z, up to optimization of all manufacturing stages. This is our great asset: the integration existing between the various departments and the information exchange between experts, allows us to provide an excellent service”.
4. The Diondo 6 MEV accelerator can also scan high-density alloys, components with great thicknesses and allows knowing if there is any residual powder in the parts made through AM.

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