Bernd R. Müller, Axel Lange, Michael Harwardt, Manfred P. Hentschel, Bernhard Illerhaus, Jürgen Goebbels, Joachim Bamberg, Falko Heutling
May 26, 2013
For the first time metal matrix composites have been investigated by 3D computed tomography combined with enhanced interface contrast due to X-ray refraction. The related techniques of refraction topography and refraction computed tomography have been developed and applied during the last decade to meet the actual demand for improved non-destructive characterization of high performance composites, ceramics and other low-density materials and components. X-ray refraction is an optical effect that can be observed at small scattering angles of a few minutes of arc as the refractive index n of X-rays is nearly unity ( n = 1 − 10 −6 ). Due to the short X-ray wavelength, the technique determines the amount of inner surfaces and interfaces of nanometer dimensions. The technique can solve many problems in understanding micro and sub microstructures in materials science. Applying 3D refraction computed tomography, some questions could be clarified for a better understanding of fatigue failure mechanisms under cyclic loading conditions.