MAVI Success Story – Dr. Alexander Rack

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)

Dr. Alexander Rack, ESRF
Dr. Alexander Rack, ESRF

Synchrotron-Based Microtomography and Quantitative Image Analysis for the Characterisation of Heterogeneous Multi-Constituent Specimens

The usage of intensive and hard synchrotron radiation for three dimensional imaging by means of microtomography permits the acquisition of low-noise volume images with additionally a high level of contrast. These tomographical images are an ideal basis for applying a quantitative, three dimensional image analysis.

In particular, the strength of the combination of image analysis with synchrotron microtomography is outlined by examining the foaming behavior of commercial aluminium alloys in an early state of pore development. To enable the required reproducibility of the foam quality for a subsequent industrial utilization, it is necessary to understand the correlations which are predominant during the development of the first pores of a foaming metal.

Optimize Pore ​​Formation in the Metal Foam

MAVI was used to determine spatial cross-correlations in the volume images between the pore space and other material phases. Here, the location of the first pore development in an aluminium foam appeared to be influenceable by the composition of the precursor material. Hence, an easy realizable and robust method for optimizing the pore development in metal foam arose out of it.

About the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)

The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility is a multinational research facility located in Grenoble.

Website ESRF, Project ID19


  • C. Redenbach, A. Rack, K. Schladitz, O. Wirjadi, M. Godehardt
    Beyond imaging: on the quantitative analysis of tomographic volume data.
    Int J Mater Res 2 (2012), pages 217–227
  • A. Rack, H.-M. Helwig, A. Bütow, A. Rueda, B. Matijasevic-Lux,
    L. Helfen, J. Goebbels, J. Banhart: Early pore formation in aluminium foams studied by synchrotron-based microtomography and 3-D image analysis Acta Materialia 57 (2009) 4809–4821.
  • A. Rack, L. Helfen, T. Baumbach, S. Kirste, J. Banhart, K. Schladitz, J. Ohser: Analysis of spatial cross-correlations in multi-constituent volume data. Journal of Microscopy vol. 232, issue 2, in print (2008).
  • L. Helfen, T. Baumbach, P. Pernot, P. Cloetens, H. Stanzick: Investigation of pore initiation in metal foams by synchrotron-radiation tomography. Applied Physics Lettre vol. 86, issue 23, 231907 (2005).