Nikon XT H 225/320 LC Computer Tomography

Nikon XT H 225/320 LC Computer Tomography with torsion, fluidbath, heating and cooling

The Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow host the Nikon XT H 225 LC X-ray computed tomography system, fitted with a Deben CT 10kN cell. This facility allows non-destructive 3D imaging and analyses of samples in real time under controllable environmental conditions of temperature, pressure and in a liquid or dry environment.

Funded by the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), this unique system allows breath-taking volume imaging of a different range of materials, reaching an optimal voxel size of 1.5 microns. The addition of the Deben CT 10kN cell to the Nikon XT H 225 LC system allows us to image at the micro-scale samples which are in-situ deformed under applied stresses, extreme temperatures and in a liquid environment if required, essentially yielding full 4D analyses. This unique setup creates a cutting-edge system to solve industrial and academic problems!

Here we present some examples of what we can do with our Nikon XT H 225 LC X-ray computed tomography system, fitted with a Deben CT 10Kn cell. Many more applications can be considered and discussed with the team, ready to adapt to your specific needs, to help you to tackle challenges such as:

  • Enhanced oil recovery                 ‌
  • Induced fracturing
  • Cement design for encapsulation of contaminated waste
  • Bio-materials or sintered metal powders

The research applications are numerous, spanning bio-medical evolution to micro-component development, 4D charaterisation of reservoir properties during deformation to fracturing and fluid flow.

How it Works

The Nikon XT H 225/320 LC system: a step toward micro-scale volume


Figure: Inside the machine (Courtesy of Nikon).

X-ray Computed micro-Tomography (micro XCT), developed from earlier medical scanning technology in the 1970s, has been used in earth and engineering sciences since the late 2000’s. This non-destructive 3D imaging technique produces high-resolution volume reconstructions of a material based on the x-ray signal attenuated by the sample: the images obtained are in 32-bit grey scale values, whose intensity of grey is a function of the attenuation and therefore of the density of the material itself.  Grouping pixels according to grey scale and hence density is called segmentation.

The XCT collects 2D radiographs of the sample in front of the detector in evenly spaced angular interval through a full rotation of 360° under a continuous x-ray beam. The 2D radiographs are then mathematically converted to a reconstructed 3D volume by filtered back-projection (see figure below).

Figure: Schematic representation of an x-ray CT system. Modified from Cnudde et al (2013): High-resolution X-ray computed tomography in geosciences: A review of the current technology and applications.

The reconstructed 3D volume datasets are available to our customers in a range of different format types: these include vol formats (readable by Avizo, FEI), and 16 bit TIFF files (readable by FiJi, Paraview, Drishti, 3D Slicer, Python and Matlab).

Our imaging processing is performed through Avizo, a world leading software developed by FEI that allows segmentation of images, to produce information on density contrast and phase/material quantification. It is also a powerful graphics package that can produce striking movies and images. Avizo can be used for various tasks as fibre separation, object orientation, data extraction, component visualisation and more.

The Deben CT torsion 10kN cell: test your material under extreme conditions‌

The CT torsion 10kN manufactured by Deben is a newly developed cell that allows deformation, hydraulic, and/or thermal alteration of samples in situ. Once coupled to the micro XCT, we can monitor the evolution of a pore volume experiencing tension, compression or torsion, by controlling the applied stress (up to 100 mPa for a sample surface of 1 cm2). A temperature controlled stage allows us to image change in the media when heating or cooling (-20°C to 300°C). Finally, a fluid bath can be used to image the effect of fluid saturation in a material over time with applied heating /cooling if desired. All three tools can be combined to design exciting experiments where material composition and pore structure can be explored under conditions of temperature, fluid environment and applied stress.

 Figure: Deben CT torsion 10kN in a CT cabin (Deben UK ltd®)


The Nikon XT H 225/320 LC specifications:

  • Dual Source transmission (180 kv) and reflections (225 kv).
  • Maximum size 900mm long x 400 mm diameter. Enquire for customised solutions.
  • High-resolution images with voxel size starting at 1.5 microns.
  • Fast-scan process (from 15 minutes). 

 The Deben CT torsion 10kN cell specifications: 

  • Deben CT 10kN Torsional Test Cell (torsion, compression and tension) up to 10kNewton.
  • Deben heating/cooling stage from -20°C to +100°C in the liquid chamber / room temperature 300°C in air.
  • Maximum size of sample in the 10kN liquid cell: 100mm long x 50mm diameter.


Case Studies

Access the Facility

Half day (4 hours) and full day (8 hours) only sessions are available.

To know more about costing and access to the facility, please get in touch with Dr Alice Macente

For supplementary information about the kit, our research, or how we could collaborate to solve your problem, please contact: