Phoenix, LLC., a nuclear technology company founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 2005, has announced that it has now demonstrated the capability to take ASTM Category I neutron radiographs at its new accelerator-based industrial radiography facility, the Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center (PNIC), which opened in October of this year. ASTM Category I images are the highest image quality level specified by ASTM E545, the gold standard for defining the quality of neutron radiographs.

Neutron imaging, also known as N-ray, is a form of radiographic inspection similar to X-ray imaging that provides unique information and valuable insight into an object’s internal structure that other non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques cannot. Neutron imaging is a vital inspection technique for high-reliability products such as the turbine blades found in aircraft jet engines, energetic devices such as aircraft ejection mechanisms, spacecraft payload fairing separation mechanisms, and munitions.

Since the discovery of neutron imaging as an industrial NDT technique in the 1950s, only nuclear reactors could provide the magnitude of neutron radiation to create high-quality images in reasonable time periods. However, after decades of increasing regulation and costs, scores of these reactors have closed. There are now only a few nuclear reactors available for commercial imaging, drastically limiting the availability of neutron inspection in the NDT community. Read the full story here.