METRIS Custom 320KV Bay Introduced in Brand New CT Imaging Facility in Manchester University

Leuven, July 7th, 2009 – Dinosaur experts will rub shoulders with aircraft designers at a new x-ray imaging facility at the University of Manchester, which was officially opened on June 8th. The Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility recently took delivery of a powerful and highly accurate custom Metris 320kV Micro-CT system. Two Metris systems and other imagers provide academic and industrial users with world-leading characterization and research CT instrumentation.

Providing access to world-class CT instruments

Located at the Materials Science Center at the University of Manchester, the Henry Moseley X‑ray Imaging Facility houses a suite of five computed tomography (CT) systems. These state-of-the-art instruments have been commissioned with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the North West Development Agency and the University of Manchester. It is an open facility that provides researchers with access to unique world-class instruments for CT, from the millimeter to nanometer length scales.

For the micrometer length scale, the imaging facility opted for a standard Metris XT H computer tomography system equipped with a market-leading micro-focus source and high-definition detector technology. The default source is a proprietary 225kV micro-focus X-ray source with a spot size that is considerably smaller than competitive mini-focus sources, providing image resolution up to 3 micron. The CT system supports both commercial projects and fundamental research involving a wide diversity of materials.

Micro-focus sources yield better CT performance

A second system installed at the Henry Moseley Imaging Facility features a more powerful 320kV micro-focus source to tackle denser or larger specimens, such as heavy engineering items or thick stones or soil samples. A premium 2000x2000 pixel Perkin Elmer flat-panel detector digitizes a field of view of up to 410x410mm, generating highly accurate and pinpoint-sharp X-ray images and 3D CT visualizations.

The entire inspection setup is integrated into a walk-in radiation bay to accommodate larger specimens as well as user-installed equipment. This custom CT instrument is equipped with a fully programmable 5-axis manipulator designed for samples up to 100kg, and an extendible jib crane for heavy sample and/or sample rig handling. This system can also be equipped with a rotating target source offering enhanced cooling of the target. This source generates electron flux that is up to five times higher without risking permanent source damage, providing faster data acquisition and/or higher image accuracy.

A wide range of applications

The Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility will be used by academic and industrial researchers working with a diverse range of samples and objects, including composite, biological, metallurgical, paper, textiles, sports goods, archaeological, paleontological and geological samples. The objects examined may range from micron-sized biological samples to heavy engineering components. Biological events, degradation processes such as corrosion, or crushing of materials can be monitored in a non-invasive way. Imaging equipment is supported by a suite of powerful workstations for the off-line reconstruction and visualization of data. A sample preparation area and office work space is also available.

Prof Phil Withers, founder of the new facility said: “From a series of 2D x-ray images we can construct 3D ‘pictures’. This facility enables us to study how things evolve over time, either naturally or under a range of loads, temperatures or other stimuli. It is bringing together scientists and engineers from many disciplines to see things behave at a level of detail not previously possible.”

Metris’ extensive track record with world-renowned universities, research institutes and museums includes Harvard, NASA, Manchester University, Natural History Museum London, Northwest Composite Research Center, Norwegian Geological Institute, National Research Center Canada, Sandia National Labs, Texas A & M, University of Minnesota, and Warwick University.

About Metris

Metris (Euronext – MTRS) designs, develops and markets a unique range of 3D hardware and software inspection systems servicing design and manufacturing industries.

The company’s reliable and innovative metrology solutions cover the full range of measurement volumes required by automotive and aerospace customers, in both fixed and portable configurations and with optical and/or touch sensors.

Metris Headquarters are based in Leuven, Belgium, with additional production and development centers in Belgium, UK, Italy, US, China and Bulgaria. Metris provides a worldwide network of sales and support offices located in Europe, Asia, and America.

More information on Metris can be found on


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