A Review of Current Challenges and Case Study toward Optimizing Micro-Computed X-Ray Tomography of Carbon Fabric Composites Rashidi, Armin; Olfatbakhsh, Tina; Crawford, Bryn; Milani, Abbas S.
X-ray computed tomography provides qualitative and quantitative structural and compositional information for a broad range of materials. Yet, its contribution to the field of advanced composites such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers is still limited by factors such as low imaging contrast, due to scarce X-ray attenuation features. This article, through a review of the state of the art, followed by an example case study on Micro-computed tomography (CT) analysis of low X-ray absorptive dry and prepreg carbon woven fabric composites, aims to highlight and address some challenges as well as best practices on performing scans that can capture key features of the material. In the case study, utilizing an Xradia Micro-CT-400, important aspects such as obtaining sufficient contrast, an examination of thin samples, sample size/resolution issues, and image-based modeling are discussed. The outcome of an optimized workflow in Micro-CT of composite fabrics can assist in further research efforts such as the generation of surface or volume meshes for the numerical modeling of underlying deformation mechanisms during their manufacturing processes.
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