Site icon Creative Electron – The X-ray People

Dual Energy: The best of both worlds.

One of the newest features of modern smartphones is the HDR technology in our cameras. This technology combines multiple images to create one image, richer in color and contrast. At Creative Electron, we’ve developed the X-ray equivalent to this technology. We call it, dual energy analysis. In short, our software combines two X-ray images at different voltages and amperage to create a more detailed image. From the dual energy render we can then more accurately identify differences in density. Nondestructive testing and inspection means we can’t always open components or remove obtrusive shielding and housings. These obstacles are often vastly different densities than the components we are analyzing. This contrast could make it very difficult to attain a clear X-ray image. With the dual energy analysis on our TruView™ software we can create a composite image with both densities clearly defined.

Below are two examples of just how useful dual energy can be in nondestructive testing. The first is a BGA from a client in the electronics component manufacturing industry. The second, a wire harness from the automotive component industry. Both items could be X-rayed under normal circumstances, however, only after they were processed through the dual energy analyzer was the issue clearly identified and just as importantly, given context in the component structure.

The first example is a BGA with excessive voiding. The first image is a high energy capture. The excessive voltage and amperage wash out much of the board and leave only the densest material. The second image is captured at lower and more commonly used kV. This X-ray captures a wider array of board elements, although leaving less detail in the densest area; the BGA. The third image is the resulting product from the dual energy software. It combines and amplifies the detail from the high energy image with the low energy image. This composite image reveals the voiding in the individual balls. Not only is the voiding clearly visible now, it is highly contrasted, meaning it can now be better utilized by voiding software and metrology, also included in our TruView™ platform!

The second example is the result of a very interesting mystery. This wire harness was passed by QA standards but failed in the field. When processed as an RMA it again passed QA standards only to fail again. Just as the BGA, the images below are X-rays from the various stages of dual energy analysis. Just as with the BGA, the first image is a high energy blast of the component. The second is a lower energy capture and finally, the composite image revealing the cause of failure! We can clearly see the wires were not properly crimped. When the harness was inserted into the testing platform, the wire was pushed into the contact causing the harness to pass. Once in the field, the harness was installed in such a way that the wire was pulled out of the lead! The dual energy image allowed us to see that the harness as well as the contact lead was properly positioned and that the wires themselves were not frayed. After a second X-ray with the harness re-positioned we spotted the wires back in place!

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