The tested component remains in the x-ray equipment during the mechanical load. As a result, the exact location in the material can be observed and analyzed throughout the entire load duration. The new process represents a huge advance regarding detail resolution and precision, as well as the retrievability of possible causes of damage. With forces in the test machine of up to 250 kilonewtons, even high-strength components made of carbon fiber like those used in aircraft construction can be examined.
With most modern imaging processes, cracks and damage in material can be illustrated vividly and in three dimensions, resulting in many possibilities for analysis. With the use of a micro fusion pipe, the x-ray equipment in the Fraunhofer LBF has a higher resolution capacity of just a few micrometers. In this way it is possible to detect the smallest signs of damage even as it begins to occur or determine that the slightest irregularities in the material are the point of origin for the damage. Particularly concerning fiber-reinforced plastics, the occurrence of damage on the fiber level can be studied. With this knowledge about the cause of the error and the error sequence, developers, designers, and manufacturers can now improve their materials, components, and manufacturing processes even before a crack is macroscopically visible.