Study of the microgeometry of porous materials using synchrotron computed microtomography
K. W. Jones, H. Feng, W. B. Lindquist, P. M. Adler, J. F. Thovert, B. Vekemans, L. Vincze, I. Szaloki, R. Van Grieken, F. Adams, C. Riekel, 2003. "Study of the microgeometry of porous materials using synchrotron computed microtomography", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
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A series of measurements of the structure of a variety of porous materials has been made using synchrotron computed microtomography (SCMT). The work was carried out at the Brookhaven National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), the Argonne Advanced Photon Source (APS) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). The experiments at Brookhaven and Argonne were carried out on bending magnet beam lines using area detectors to obtain CT images based on determination of X-ray absorption coefficients. The work at the ESRF used an undulator beam line, a 13KeV pencil X-ray beam of 2 μm and an energy dispersive X-ray detector to make tomographic sections of trace element distributions by X-ray fluorescence tomography. Most of the work was done with a pixel/voxel size ranging from 0.002 to 0.010 mm. We examined the structure of unconsolidated estuarine sediments, whose structure is relevant to transport of contaminants in rivers and estuaries. Fluorescent tomography with 2-3 μm resolution was used to ascertain whether or not metals were concentrated on the surface or throughout the volume of a single sediment particle. Sandstone samples were investigated to obtain a set of values describing their microstructures that could be useful in fluid flow calculations relevant to petroleum recovery or transport of environmental contaminants. Measurements were also made on sandstone samples that had been subjected to high-pressure compression to investigate the relation between the microgeometry and the magnitude of the applied pressure. Finally, a Wood's metal-filled sample was scanned for demonstration of resolution enhancement and fluid flow studies.
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X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a technique that allows non-destructive imaging and quantification of internal features of objects. It was originally developed as a medical imaging technique, but it is now also becoming widely used for the study of materials in engineering and the geosciences. X-ray CT reveals differences in density and atomic composition and can therefore be used for the study of porosity, the relative distribution of contrasting solid phases and the penetration of injected solutions. As a non-destructive technique, it is ideally suited for monitoring of processes, such as the movement of solutions and the behaviour of materials under compression. Because large numbers of parallel two-dimensional cross-sections can be obtained, three-dimensional representations of selected features can be created. In this book, various applications of X-ray CT in the geosciences are illustrated by papers covering a wide range of disciplines, including petrology, soil science, petroleum geology, geomechanics and sedimentology.