NeXT-Grenoble, a novel Neutron and X-ray Tomography characterisation facility

Atkins, Duncan; Institut Laue-Langevin; France

Atkins, D.; Institut Laue-Langevin; France
Tengattini, A.; Université Grenoble Alpes; France
Giroud, B.; Institut Laue-Langevin; France
Ando, E.; Université Grenoble Alpes; France
Beaucour, J.; Institut Laue-Langevin; France
Viggiani, G.; Université Grenoble Alpes; France

ID: ECNDT-0050-2018

NeXT-Grenoble is a Neutron and x-ray imaging facility developed and now running in Grenoble, born from a collaboration between the University Grenoble Alpes and the European Neutron Source the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). This instrument combines the uniquely intense neutron flux offered by the ILL with laboratory x-ray tomography in order to obtain simultaneous bi-modal imaging, thus allowing the complementarity of these methods to be exploited.
As a preliminary step, a medium resolution neutron radiography/tomography instrument has been implemented in 2016 allowing academic and industrial users to perform successful material characterisations in a wide range of applications such as porous/geomaterials, hydrogen fuel cells, medical prosthetics and cultural heritage artefacts. In several cases tomographic acquisitions were obtained during in-situ hydro-thermo-chemo-mechanical tests, for example using bespoke high confinement triaxial or tensile loading rigs, or imposing high-temperature conditions, running multi-phase permeability tests as well as inducing electrochemical reactions. The specific transmission proprieties of neutrons (low attenuation of metals compared with relatively high absorption in hydrogen, and isotopic differentiation, e.g., between hydrogen and deuterium atoms) and the high flux of ILL’s reactor is now enabling researchers to take this type of tomographic set-up to its limits in terms of the inherent compromise between temporal and spatial resolution.
The addition in 2017 of an integrated x-ray tomograph, as well as the implementation of a newly developed high-resolution neutron detector, is expected to push boundaries still further and permit for the first time full visualisation of interactions between complex phenomena in areas such as geomaterial permeability, hydraulic fracturing and concrete behavior under extreme conditions.