Standard Test Method for Calibrating and Meausring CT Density
This test method allows specification of the density calibration procedures to be used to calibrate and perform material density measurements using CT image data. Such measurements can be used to evaluate parts, characterize a particular system, or compare different systems, provided that observed variations are dominated by true changes in object density rather than by image artifacts. The specified procedure may also be used to determine the effective X-ray energy of a CT system.
The recommended test method is more accurate and less susceptible to errors than alternative CT-based approaches, because it takes into account the effective energy of the CT system and the energy-dependent effects of the X-ray attenuation process.
This (or any) test method for measuring density is valid only to the extent that observed CT-number variations are reflective of true changes in object density rather than image artifacts. Artifacts are always present at some level and can masquerade as density variations. Beam hardening artifacts are particularly detrimental. It is the responsibility of the user to determine or establish, or both, the validity of the density measurements; that is, they are performed in regions of the image which are not overly influenced by artifacts.
Linear attenuation and mass attenuation may be measured in various ways. For a discussion of attenuation and attenuation measurement, see Guide E 1441 and Practice E 1570.
FIG. 1 Density Calibration Phantom
1.1 This test method covers instruction for determining the density calibration of X- and γ-ray computed tomography (CT) systems and for using this information to measure material densities from CT images. The calibration is based on an examination of the CT image of a disk of material with embedded specimens of known composition and density. The measured mean CT values of the known standards are determined from an analysis of the image, and their linear attenuation coefficients are determined by multiplying their measured physical density by their published mass attenuation coefficient. The density calibration is performed by applying a linear regression to the data. Once calibrated, the linear attenuation coefficient of an unknown feature in an image can be measured from a determination of its mean CT value. Its density can then be extracted from a knowledge of its mass attenuation coefficient, or one representative of the feature.
1.2 CT provides an excellent method of nondestructively measuring density variations, which would be very difficult to quantify otherwise. Density is inherently a volumetric property of matter. As the measurement volume shrinks, local material inhomogeneities become more important; and measured values will begin to vary about the bulk density value of the material.
1.3 All values are stated in SI units.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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