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Application of Different X-ray Techniques to Improve In-Service Carbon Fiber Reinforced Rope Inspection


Carbon fiber reinforced polymer ropes are gaining in significance in the fields of civil engineering and hoisting applications. Thus, methods of non-destructive testing (NDT) need to be developed and evaluated with respect to new challenges and types of defects. Particularly important is the development of in-service testing solutions which allow the integration in global online monitoring systems. Conventional methods like electrical resistivity or strain measurements using optical fibers are already in use. This study investigates the possibility of using various X-ray techniques to increase the reliability and significance of NDT and their applicability to in-service testing. Conventional film radiography is the most common technique; however, even after image enhancement of the digitized film, this technique lacks contrast sensitivity and dynamic range compared to digital detector array (DDA) radiography. The DDA radiography is a highly sensitive method; yet, the limitation is that it delivers 2D images of 3D objects. By the use of co-planar translational laminography the detectability of planar defects is superior to 2D methods due to multiple projection angles. Apart from this, it can be used on-site due to a rather simple setup and robust equipment. In this work two photon counting detectors (PCD) with different sensor materials (Si and CdTe) were used. The results show that the resolution and defect recognition is lower in case of DDA radiography and laminography using PCDs compared to high-resolution computed tomography. However, the DDA radiography and laminography are sensitive enough to both fiber breakage and delaminations and can be significantly advantageous in terms of measurement time and adaptability for on-site monitoring.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the support by Sylke Bär and Uwe Ewert of the BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Department of Radiological Methods and the Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster (FIMECC) funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES).

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Correspondence to David Schumacher.

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Schumacher, D., Antin, KN., Zscherpel, U. et al. Application of Different X-ray Techniques to Improve In-Service Carbon Fiber Reinforced Rope Inspection. J Nondestruct Eval 36, 62 (2017).

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  • X-ray imaging
  • Digital radiography
  • Co-planar translational laminography
  • Computed tomography
  • Photon counting detectors
  • Carbon fiber reinforced polymer
  • Rope