The realisation of fast X-ray computed tomography using a limited number of projection images for dimensional metrology

Wenjuan Sun, Stephan Chretien, Ander Biguri, Manuchehr Soleimani, Thomas Blumensath, Jessica Talbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to the merit of establishing volumetric data, X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is increasingly used as a non-destructive evaluation technique in the quality control of advanced manufactured parts with complex non-line-of-sight features. However, the cost of measurement time and data storage hampers the adoption of the technique in production lines. Commercial fast XCT utilises X-ray detectors with fast detection capability, which can be expensive and result in a large amount of data. This paper discussed a different approach, where fast XCT was realised via the acquisition of a small number of projection images instead of full projection images. An established total variation (TV) algorithm was used to handle the reconstruction. The paper investigates the feasibility of using the TV algorithm in handling a significantly reduced number of projection images for reconstruction. This allows a reduction of measurement time from 52 min to 1 min for a typical industrial XCT system with an exposure time of 1 s per projection. It also enables a reduction of data size proportionally. A test strategy including both quantitative and qualitative test metrics was considered to evaluate the effectiveness of the reconstruction algorithm. The qualitative evaluation includes both the signal to noise ratio and the contrast to noise ratio. The quantitative evaluation was established using reference samples with different internal and external geometries. Simulation data were used in the assessment considering various influence factors, such as X-ray source property and instrument noise. The results demonstrated the possibility of using advanced reconstruction algorithms in handling XCT measurements with a significantly limited number of projection images for dimensional measurements. This work lays down the foundation for conducting fast XCT measurements without the need for instrument alteration or enhancement. Although the reconstruction time required is still considerable, various possibilities to improve this have been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102852
Number of pages11
JournalNDT and E International
Early online date13 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2023


  • Dimensional metrology
  • Fast X-ray computed tomography
  • Image quality
  • Reconstruction
  • Total variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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