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Ghent University

Ghent University (UGent)

Ghent University hosts the Expertise Centre for X-ray Tomography (UGCT). UGCT is operated by a multi-disciplinary team and is currently an interfaculty collaboration between three research groups: the Radiation Physics group, the Pore-Scale Processes in Geomaterials Research group (PProGRess) and the Laboratory for Wood Technology.


The five systems available include: 1) Hector: the most versatile of the systems, and therefore also the most frequently used system. It consists of a 240 kV X-ray tube and a large flat-panel detector. The sample stage can hold samples of up to 80 kg. The highest achievable resolution is approximately 3 μm; 2) EMCT: the environmental micro-CT system is a unique gantry-based system developed for fast and in-situ CT scanning. It allows for many add-on modules without a limitation on wires and tubes. The system has a maximum spatial resolution of 4 μm and a best temporal resolution of 12 seconds/scan; 3) Medusa: this high-resolution scanner combines a high-resolution photonic science detector with a flat-panel Varian detector, allowing both low-density and high-density object imaging.

The X-ray tube allows for a resolution of approximately 0.9 μm; 4) Herakles: a combined micro-CT and micro-XRF system. One high-resolution CT stage is complemented with two micro- XRF stages, with a sub-micron accuracy over the complete setup allowing image correlation; 5) NanoWood: a versatile multi-resolution tomography scanner, equipped with two separate X-ray tubes and two different X-ray detectors to allow optimal scanning conditions. 

UGCT has expertise in providing services related to the following types of experiments and their (4D) analysis: 


(Multi-phase) fluid flow experiments: Fluid flow in rock samples is driving research in both academia and industry to understand the subsurface distribution and potential leakage of fluids as well as chemical reactions altering the subsurface. UGCT is highly experienced in conducting and assisting fluid flow experiments which are imaged to resolve the pore space of geomaterials and the interplay between fluids and the rock sample itself.
Weathering of (natural) building materials: Building materials (cement, mortar, acoustic isolators, but also natural building stones) weather due to the interplay of ambient conditions, pore-filling fluids and the material itself. To understand these weathering processes, experiments are conducted in the lab according to international standards, which are complemented by a detailed investigation using micro-CT to understand microscopic changes in the fabric of the material due to weathering. UGCT specializes – among others – in performing these experiments in controlled conditions on the micro-CT scanners to understand the pore-scale processes leading to weathering of the materials.
Geomechanical testing: UGCT can perform miniature uniaxial- and triaxial compressive experiments, as well as uniaxial tensile tests while imaging the sample at in-situ stress-strain conditions. These experiments are complementary to standard lab tests and provide insight into the deformation of materials at in-situ conditions.

Curious to learn more?

Interested in gaining access to the EXCITE2 facilities? Please enter your email address and be one of the first to be informed when we open the first EXCITE2 call for proposals. Other questions? Contact us here.

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