A software method has been developed that is applicable for analyzing cylindrical and partially cylindrical objects inspected using computed tomography (CT). This method involves unwrapping and re-slicing data so that the CT data from the cylindrical object can be viewed as a series of 2D sheets (or flattened “onion skins”) in addition to a series of top view slices and 3D volume rendering. The advantages of viewing the data in this fashion are as follows: (1) the use of standard and specialized image processing and analysis methods is facilitated having 2D array data versus a volume rendering; (2) accurate lateral dimensional analysis of flaws is possible in the unwrapped sheets versus volume rendering; (3) flaws in the part “jump out” at the inspector with the proper contrast expansion settings in the unwrapped sheets; and (4) it is much easier for the inspector to locate flaws in the unwrapped sheets versus top view slices for very thin cylinders. The method is fully automated and requires no input from the user except proper voxel dimension from the CT experiment and wall thickness of the part.

The software is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and can be used with binary data (8- and 16-bit) and BMP type CT image sets. The software has memory (RAM) and hard-drive based modes. The advantage of the (64-bit) RAMbased mode is speed (and is very practical for users of 64-bit Windows operating systems and computers having 16 GB or more RAM). The advantage of the hard-drive- based analysis is one can work with essentially unlimited-sized data sets.

Separate windows are spawned for the unwrapped/re-sliced data view and any image processing interactive capability. Individual unwrapped images and unwrapped image series can be saved in common image formats.

More information is available at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/OptInstr/NDE_CT_CylinderUnwrapper.html .

This work was done by Don J. Roth of Glenn Research Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steven Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. LEW-18808-1