Micro-CT Optional Stages
Special purpose Micro-CT optional stages for the SkyScan systems enhance micro-positioning and material testing, as well as cooling and heating.
The micro-positioning stage helps to achieve exact positioning of small objects in the middle of the scanning field. Precise object centering improves all aspects of scan quality, enabling maximum magnification to be achieved and optimizing scan speed. This positioning stage has 5mm travel in the X and Y directions, and axial positioning is attained in a straightforward, user-friendly procedure, by reference to projection images. It contains an integrated microprocessor controller and two precision stepping motor drives. The stage is supplied with independent control software, which sends the positioning commands through second serial port or through USB-to-serial converter.
Note that the positioning stage is integrated in the SkyScan 1173.
The thermo-stages keep an object at a preselected temperature during imaging and micro-CT scanning. It contains a two-stage solid-state Peltier thermopump. Cooling stage keeps object in the controllable temperature down to < -15C; heating stage — in the temperature up to > +80C. An internal microprocessor and a precision temperature sensor provide feedback to the stage control program for temperature stabilization during scanning at a pre-selected value, with 0.5˚C accuracy. The stage is supplied with independent control software, which send the commands through second serial port or USB-to-serial converter. Possible applications are not only found in the imaging of snow or ice but this stage can also be used for scanning samples like foods where it is important to keep a steady temperature or to avoid shrinkage due to temperature increase.
Materials Testing Stage
The Material Testing Stage allows the user to combine micro-CT imaging with tensile and compression testing. During scanning the sample is subjected to a controlled load, while having the loading curve displayed on-screen in real time. This material testing stage applies an accurate force measured by load cell with deformation measurements by precision displacement sensor. The stage can be used in 2 modes: a continuous mode for compression or tension up to the maximum allowable load or until the maximum displacement; and a predefined mode in which the user can specify either the load or the displacement that should be reached. For compression the lower part of the stage will be moved upwards, for tension downwards. The loading curve is displayed on-screen in real time; units can be changed; load/displacement or stress/strain curves can be displayed and saved. The object can be held under a specific loading for micro-CT scanning. The stage can be fitted with a load cell having a different range.
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