Industrial use of NIAG beamlines

Neutron imaging as a non-destructive testing method can be used for a broad spectrum of industrial applications. It provides similar capabilities as industrial X-ray i.e. radiographic images or 3D tomographic views of samples with a size of a few centimeters up to tens of centimeters. Due to the quite different attenuation characteristics of neutrons and X-ray, neutrons are most useful if small amounts of hydrogenous material has to be detected within a metallic or ceramics sample.
Neutron tomography data of a loaded diesel particulate filter: (left) The steel jacket is no barrier for neutrons and allows an insight into the loaded monolith. (right) High-resolution tomography of a piece of the monolith. Green color indicates the soot, the blue color indicates the ash.
Boron containing brazing solder within test sample investigated by neutron computer tomography

A: Outside view, B: Brazing material distribution

C: Semi-transparent rendering, D: Orthogonal cut through sample

Neutron tomography is presently the only possibility to obtain information about the three-dimensional distribution of soot and ash in a filter monolith. The estimation of the soot distribution in a diesel particulate filter with neutron imaging is possible because neutrons are highly sensitive to the element hydrogen, which is content of soot.

Boron containing brazing solder shows with high contrast in a steel sample. This is due to the high neutron absorption coefficient of boron for thermal neutrons.


In a collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institut experts from the company quattro GmbH (Neckarsulm, Germany) were investigating the fluid dynamics of car shock absorber systems using neutron imaging. The aim of this project was the comparison of digital simulation results with experimental dynamic vehicle-behaviour.