Experiments in Fluids

, 55:1686 | Cite as

Synchrotron X-ray techniques for fluid dynamics

Review Article


X-ray diagnostics have the potential for making quantitative measurements in many flowfields where optical diagnostics are challenging, especially multiphase flows. In the past, many such measurements have been taken with laboratory-scale X-ray sources. This review describes the measurements that are possible with synchrotron X-ray sources, which can provide high-flux, tunable, monochromatic X-ray beams that cannot be created with laboratory sources. The relevant properties of X-rays and their interactions with matter are described. The types and capabilities of various X-ray optics and sources are discussed. Finally, four major X-ray diagnostics are described in detail. X-ray radiography provides quantitative measurements of density in variable-density flows. X-ray phase-contrast imaging is used to visualize multiphase flows with high spatial and temporal resolution. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy shows significant promise to study mixing in single-phase and multiphase flows. Small-angle X-ray scattering is a powerful technique to examine small-scale particles in flows.


  1. Als-Nielsen J, McMorrow D (2001) Elements of modern X-ray physics. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Arndt UW et al. (2006) X-rays. In: International tables for crystallography, chapter 4.2, vol C, pp 191–258Google Scholar
  3. Balewski B, Heine B, Tropea C (2010) Experimental investigation of the correlation between nozzle flow and spray using laser Doppler velocimeter, phase Doppler system, high-speed photography, and X-ray radiography. At Sprays 20(1):57–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balz R (2013) Ultra-fast X-ray particle velocimetry measurements within an abrasive water jet. Exp Fluids 54:1476–1488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berrocal E, Kristensson E, Richter M, Linne M, Alden M (2008) Application of structured illumination for multiple scattering suppression in planar laser imaging of dense sprays. Opt Express 16(22):17870–17881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Braun A et al (2004) Size-range analysis of diesel soot with ultra-small angle X-ray scattering. Combust Flame 137:63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cai W et al (2003) Quantitative analysis of highly transient fuel sprays by time-resolved X-radiography. Appl Phys Lett 83:1671–1673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheong S-K et al. (2004) Effects of ambient pressure on dynamics of near-nozzle diesel sprays studied by ultrafast X-radiography. SAE paper 2004-01-2026Google Scholar
  9. Cloetens P et al (1996) Phase objects in synchrotron radiation hard X-ray imaging. J Phys D Appl Phys 29:133–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Creagh DC (2006) X-ray absorption spectra. In: International tables for crystallography, chapter 4.2.3, vol C pp 213–220Google Scholar
  11. Davis TJ et al (1995) Phase-contrast imaging of weakly absorbing materials using hard X-rays. Nature 373:595–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dhal B et al (2006) Bending magnet source: a radiation source for X-ray phase contrast tomography. Radiat Phys Chem 75:2004–2007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dubsky S et al (2012) Computed tomographic X-ray velocimetry for simultaneous 3D measurement of velocity and geometry in opaque vessels. Exp Fluids 52:543–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eberhart C, Lineberry D, Fredrick R, Kastengren A (2012) A mechanistic assessment of swirl injection and atomization by X-ray radiographic and optical techniques. AIAA paper 2012-3746, 48th AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, Atlanta, GAGoogle Scholar
  15. Eng P et al. (1998) Dynamically figured kirkpatrick baez X-ray micro-focusing optics. In: SPIE conference on X-ray microfocusing: applications and techniques, San Diego, CAGoogle Scholar
  16. Gao N, Janssens K (2004) Polycapillary X-ray optics. In: Tsuji K, Injuk J, Van Grieken R (ed) X-ray spectrometry: recent technological advances, Wiley, pp 89–110Google Scholar
  17. Halls B, Heindel T, Meyer T, Kastengren A (2012) X-ray spray diagnostics: comparing sources and techniques. AIAA paper 2012-1055, 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Nashville, TNGoogle Scholar
  18. Heindel T (2011) A review of X-ray flow visualization with applications to multiphase flows. J Fluids Eng 133, paper 074001Google Scholar
  19. Hessler J, Seifert S, Winans R, Fletcher T (2001) Small-angle X-ray studies of soot inception and growth. Faraday Discuss 119:395–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jamison RA et al (2012) X-ray velocimetry within the ex vivo carotid artery. J Synchrotron Radiat 19:1050–1055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kak A, Slaney M (1988) Principles of computerized tomographic imaging. IEEE Press, New YorkMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. Kastengren A et al (2009) X-ray radiography measurements of diesel spray structure at engine-like ambient density. At Sprays 19:1031–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kastengren A et al (2011) Application of X-ray fluorescence to turbulent mixing. J Synchrotron Radiat 18:811–815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kastengren A et al. (2012) Time-resolved X-ray radiography of sprays from engine combustion network spray a diesel injectors. In: 12th triennial ICLASS conference, Heidelberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim G, Lee S-J (2006) X-ray PIV measurements of blood flows without tracer particles. Exp Fluids 41:195–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Knoll G (2000) Radiation detection and measurement. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Koch A, Raven C, Spanne P, Snigirev A (1998) X-ray imaging with submicrometer resolution employing transparent luminescent screens. J Opt Soc Am A 15:1940–1951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lee S-J, Kim Y (2008) In vivo visualization of the water-refilling process in xylem vessels using X-ray micro-imaging. Ann Bot 101:595–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lee W-K, Fezzaa K, Uemura T (2011) Three-dimensional X-ray micro-velocimetry. J Synchrotron Radiat 18:302–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Leick P, Grzeszik R, Arndt S, Wissel S (2011) Suppression of multiple scattering using structured light sheets: a first assessment for diesel and gasoline spray visualization. ILASS EuropeGoogle Scholar
  31. Lightfoot M et al. (2012) A study of gas-centered swirl coaxial injectors using X-ray radiography. In: 12th triennial ICLASS conference, Heidelberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  32. Lin K-C, Ryan M, Carter C, Sandy A, Narayanan S, Ilavsky J, Wang, J (2008a) Investigation of droplet properties of supercritical ethylene jets using Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) Technique. In: 21st ILASS-Americas conference, Orlando, FLGoogle Scholar
  33. Lin K-C et al (2011) Investigation of pure- and aerated-liquid jets using ultra-fast X-ray phase contrast imaging. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 649:194–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lin K-C, Carter C, Kastengren A, Fezzaa K (2012) Exploration of aerated-liquid jets using X-ray phase contrast imaging and x-ray radiography. In: ICLASS 2012, 12th triennial international conference on liquid atomization and spray systems, Heidelberg, Germany, Sep 2–6, 2012Google Scholar
  35. Lin K-C, Carter C, Cernucan J, Fezzaa K, Wang J (2008b) Ultrafast X-ray study of aerated-liquid jets in a quiescent environment. In: 21st ILASS-Americas conference, Orlando, FLGoogle Scholar
  36. Linne M (2012a) Analysis of X-ray phase contrast imaging in atomizing sprays. Exp Fluids 52:1201–1218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Linne M (2012b) Analysis of X-ray radiography in atomizing sprays. Exp Fluids 53:655–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Linne M, Paciaroni M, Hall T, Parker T (2006) Ballistic imaging of the near field in a diesel spray. Exp Fluids 40:836–846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Liu Z et al (2010) Ultra-fast phase-contrast X-ray imaging of near-nozzle velocity field of high-speed diesel fuel sprays. In: 22nd Annual ILASS-Americas Conference, Paper 169, Cincinnati, OHGoogle Scholar
  40. MacPhee A et al (2002) X-ray imaging of shock waves generated by high-pressure fuel sprays. Science 295:1261–1263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Manke I et al. (2007) Investigation of water evolution and transport in fuel cells with high resolution synchrotron X-ray radiography. Appl Phys Lett 90, paper 174105Google Scholar
  42. Marchitto L, Dabagov S, Allocca L, Hampai D, Liedl A, Alfuso S (2013) X-ray tomography of high-pressure fuel spray by polycapillary optics. In: Proceedings of the SPIE 8848, advances in X-ray/EUV optics and components VIII, paper 884808Google Scholar
  43. Martin T, Koch A (2006) Recent developments in X-ray imaging with micrometer spatial resolution. J Synchrotron Radiat 13:180–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Maslen EN (2006) X-ray absorption. In: International tables for crystallography, chapter 6.3, vol C, pp 599–608Google Scholar
  45. Moon S et al. (2011) Ultrafast X-ray phase-contrast imaging of high-speed fuel sprays from a two-hole diesel nozzle. In: 22nd Annual ILASS-Americas conference, Cincinnati, OHGoogle Scholar
  46. Muthuvelu P et al (2004) Investigations of vascularization and blood flow at the subchondral plate using an X-ray fluorescence technique. Radiat Phys Chem 71:961–962CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Narayanan T (2007) Synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering. In: Soft matter: scattering, imaging, and manipulation, Chapter 5, Springer, LondonGoogle Scholar
  48. Paganin D, Mayo S, Gureyev T, Miller P, Wilkins S (2002) Simultaneous phase and amplitude extraction from a single defocused image of a homogeneous object. J Microsc 206:22–40MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  49. Pouvesle JM, Cachoncinlle C, Viladrosa R, Robert E, Khacef A (1996) Compact flash X-ray sources and their applications. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res B 113:124–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Powell CF, Duke D, Kastengren AL, Ilavsky J (2013) Measurements of diesel spray droplet size with ultra-small angle X-ray scattering. In: 25th ILASS-Americas conference, Pittsburgh, PAGoogle Scholar
  51. Rack A et al (2009) Synchrotron-based radioscopy employing spatio-temporal micro-resolution for studying fast phenomena in liquid metal foams. J Synchrotron Radiat 16:432–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Renzi MJ et al (2002) Pixel array detectors for time resolved radiography. Rev Sci Instrum 73:1621–1624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rimmer A et al (1998) Rapid fluid content measurement method for fingered flow in an oil-water-sand system using synchrotron X-rays. J Contam Hydrol 31:315–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Robert E, Huré L, Cachoncinlle C, Viladrosa R, Pouvesle JM (1999) Simultaneous X-ray induced fluorescence imaging and radiography of argon jets in ambient air. Meas Sci Technol 10:789–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Robert E et al. (2010) Table-top flash X-ray diagnostics of dodecane sprays. In: 23rd ILASS-Europe conference, Bruno, Czech RepublicGoogle Scholar
  56. Rutter M et al. (2002) Viscosity of liquid Fe at high pressure. Phys Rev B 66, paper 060102Google Scholar
  57. Sanchez del Rio M, Dejus RJ (2004) Status of XOP: an X-ray optics software toolkit. In: SPIE Proceedings vol 5536, pp171–174Google Scholar
  58. Scarcelli R et al. (2012) High pressure gaseous injection: a comprehensive analysis of gas dynamics and mixing effects. In: ASME paper ICEF2012-92137, ASme fall internal combustion engine division technical conference, Vancouver, BCGoogle Scholar
  59. Sen D et al (2007) Slow drying of a spray of nanoparticles dispersion. In Situ SAXS investigation. Langmuir 23:4296–4302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Silversmit G et al (2009) Polycapillary-optics-based micro-XANES and micro-EXAFS at a third-generation bending-magnet beamline. J Synchrotron Radiat 16:237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Snigriev A et al (1998) Focusing high-energy X rays by compound refractive lenses. Appl Opt 37(4):652–662Google Scholar
  62. Vabre A et al (2009) Synchrotron ultra-fast X-ray imaging of a cavitating flow in a Venturi profile. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 607:215–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walko DA, Arms DA, Miceli A, Kastengren A (2011) Empirical dead-time corrections for energy-resolving detectors at synchrotron sources. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 649:81–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wegener P, Clumpner J, Wu B (1972) Homogeneous nucleation and growth of ethanol drops in supersonic flow. Phys Fluids 15:1876–1896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Weitkamp T, Haas D, Wegrzynek D, Rack A (2011) ANKAphase: software for single-distance phase retrieval from inline X-ray phase-contrast radiographs. J Synchrotron Radiat 18:617–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Weon BM et al (2008) A coherent synchrotron X-ray microradiology investigation of bubble and droplet coalescence. J Synchrotron Radiat 15:660–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Woll AR et al (2006) Development of confocal X-ray fluorescence (XRF) microscopy at the Cornell high energy synchrotron source. Appl Phys 83:235–238Google Scholar
  68. Wilkins SW et al (1996) Phase-contrast imaging using polychromatic hard X-rays. Nature 384:335–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wyslouzil B et al (2007) Small angle X-ray scattering measurements probe water nanodroplet evolution under highly non-equilibrium conditions. Phys Chem Chem Phys 9:5353–5358 Google Scholar
  70. Zhang LV et al (2012a) Evolution of the ejecta sheet from the impact of a drop with a deep pool. J Fluid Mech 690:5–15CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  71. Zhang LV et al (2012b) Splashing from drop impact into a deep pool: multiplicity of jets and the failure of conventional scaling. J Fluid Mech 703:402–413CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.X-ray Science Division, Advanced Photon SourceArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  2. 2.Energy Systems DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

Personalised recommendations