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Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF)


Global environmental changes, climate change, scarcity of natural resources, environmentally friendly interventions in the earth to supply the economy with necessary resources. These are the challenges and tasks that are at the centre of Freiberg’s geosciences.


Equipped with a versatile X-ray tomographic system (Zeiss Versa 510), the Institute for Mechanical Process Engineering and Mineral Processing (MVTAT) @ TU Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF) is a leading partner in analysing disperse particulate systems. In recent years, we have been and are currently partners in numerous research networks, whereby we also coordinate two priority programmes ourselves. The Priority Program 2045, which deals with the fractionation of particle systems smaller than 10 µm and characterises particle properties multi-dimensionally (i.e. several properties not alone, but at the same time). In the course of this project, decisive foundations were laid for the corresponding preparation methodology of particulate systems for X-ray tomography in this size range. Furthermore, the Priority Program 2315, which deals with EnAM (engineered artificial minerals). Here, pioneering analyses were carried out in the field of in-situ single grain commination (Deben Load Cell).  We can also draw on many years of experience in the field of filtration, where we are experts in the in-situ 3D analysis of filter cake structures using X-ray tomography. In addition to analysing particulate samples, we are an established partner in the analysis of other types of samples, for example metallic test geometries for tensile tests, layer structures (battery material, fabric layers).

Equipment TUBAF-CT

Xradia 510 Versa (μ-CT):
High-resolution 3D X-ray microscope (XRM) designed for non-destructive in-situ analysis ((1) load cell, Deben, CT5000, (2) in-situ flow cell, self-developed, 2 sizes). Sample sizes up to 300 mm, supporting weights up to 15 kg. Up to 0.7 μm true spatial resolution, with a minimum reasonable voxel size of approx. 0.4 μm. Key specifications: X-ray source: 30-160 keV, maximum power 10 W, 12 filters for energy selection (artefact reduction + contrast enhancement), 2k x 2k pixel detector. Two-stage magnification (0.4x macro / 4x, 20x, 40x) for multi-scale zoom-in tomography.


In-situ 3D analysis of Earth materials:
With the use of our high-resolution 3D X-ray microscope, equipped with a load cell and in-situ flow cell, multi-phase flow inside Earth materials can be characterised. The high-precision X-ray microscope (Zeiss Xradia Versa 510) is designed as a full protection device, which does not have any increased radiation safety requirements. The measuring chamber is enlarged (king cab) to be able to fit in large samples and several in situ devices. It is possible to feed process media (liquids, gases) into the measuring chamber and to maintain data connections for process control of the in situ experiments. The X-ray microscope is installed in a specialised vibration-damped and air-conditioned laboratory designed specifically for high-precision particle characterisation and analysis.

Processing and data acquisition software

VGStudioMax, Dragonfly, Ilastik

Sample preparation

TUBAF offers a guided sample preparation of particulate samples. Also assistance in fixing complex geometries supported by 3D printing is available, if discussed early in advance.

Science team

Dr. Ralf Ditscherlein (Facility manager, particle technology specialist)
Dr. Erik Löwer (Solid liquid separation specialist)
Dr. Thomas Leißner (Mineral processing and recycling specialist)

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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