The X-ray microtomography lab at Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden shares interesting insights
The sample bed was 6 mm in diameter and 5 mm in height (initially). The scans were carried out using a spatial resolution of 4 micron. The in-situ loading was carried out using a Deben CT5000TEC load stage with a 500 N load cell. Four XMT scans were acquired along the load cycle 0N-10N-18N-25N, at a constant temperature of -15°C. Quantitative analysis of microstructure (shape of crystals, porosity etc.) was obtained from 3D image analysis using the software Dragonfly Pro (ORS), and the compaction of the snow bed was analyzed by digital volume correlation (DVC) using software from LaVision.
One great benefit of using the Deben stage is the flexibility in using different load cells depending on material and application. The software interface is also easy to use and supported by the Scout and Scan software from ZEISS that is used for control of ZEISS Xradia Versa.
A recent study that we are very proud of is 3D quantitative in-situ imaging of micro scale snow crystals and how they respond to compaction. This study was quite challenging, and required a lot of careful planning, but turned our very well. It’s received a lot of positive feedback from both the scientific community as well as from media. In fact, the first results from this study were broadcast on national television (in Sweden) only a few hours after performing the scans. These measurements would have been hard to achieve without the Deben CT5000TEC stage as they required precise control of both the mechanical load and the temperature (freezing capability) at the same time.
Fredrik Forsberg, Associate Senior Lecturer, Luleå University of Technology