In the past, looking under the surface of samples was only possible for transparent materials. Nowadays, the discovery of X-rays, ultrasound technology as well as thermography have been used for subsurface imaging of materials or for biomedical imaging. However, all these methods do not fully offer the high-resolution needed for deeper structures.
Innovation: The Research Center for Non-Destructive Testing GmbH (RECENDT), EARTO member through UAR, developed an innovative super “hybrid” imaging technique, the so-called “thermo-tomography” that combines the advantages of thermography and ultrasound. With the use of a mathematical transformation, the measured thermography signal for each pixel can be converted into a “virtual” sound wave. These converted signals can then be used to generate an image from the interior of the material by using tested ultrasound algorithms.
Impact Expected: RECENDT’s method is able to deliver on higher raw material, energy efficiency and can be applied before, but also directly in the production line. Thanks to this innovation, significant revenue from its software sale can be achieved, opening-up new business and job opportunities. Two relevant systems are available on the market, but only for surface imaging. The full project, using in-depth imaging, will reach the market within 3 years.