Phase contrast stereometry: Fatigue crack mapping in 3D

K. I. Ignatiev*, W. K. Lee, K. Fezzaa, F. De Carlo, Stuart R Stock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Plate-like samples are particularly challenging to reconstruct with computed tomography (CT) while preserving sensitivity to very small features within the sample. Specifically, quantifying fatigue crack openings of ≤ 2.5 μm in compact tension samples with maximum cross-sections of 25 mm is impractical with conventional microCT. If one is constrained to use plate-like samples, then an alternative approach to conventional microCT is needed. Imaging with X-ray phase contrast offers increased sensitivity compared to X-ray absorption-based techniques. Synchrotron X-ray phase contrast microradiographs (propagation method) coupled with multiple-angle stereometry are used to map the 3D position of fatigue crack surfaces within aluminum samples. The method is briefly outlined, and crack positions obtained with phase stereometry are found to agree with those determined from absorption microCT. Preliminary calculations of phase contrast derived from a sample fractured in fatigue are compared with phase micrographs of the same sample: at present agreement is only approximate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
EventDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography IV - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2004Aug 6 2004


  • Aluminum
  • Closure
  • Cracks
  • Fatigue
  • MicroCT
  • Tomography
  • X-ray phase contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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