MicroCT: EasyTom 230

Funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation Evans Leaders Fund (CFI-JELF), the Transparent Lab purchased the RX Solutions EasyTom 230 Micro-CT XRay System.

The EasyTom Micro-CT can generate image volumes with voxel sizes down to 4 µm with a detection area of 320 mm in diameter and 530 mm in height and can image payloads with a mass of up to 20 kg. It is equipped with six motorized axes to position the sample and detector with up to 590 mm displacement stroke. The EasyTom has a tube voltage range of 0-220 kV and a tube current range of 0-1000 µA, with a maximum power of 200 W.

Published content with equipment:​​

Tormach 770M CNC Mill

Thanks to a generous donation from PETRONAS Canada, our Geomechanic’s group acquired the Tormach 770M precision mill, equipped with a Vortec 621 cold air gun for water-free milling. Obtaining this CNC mill was a large boon to our research efforts, as conventional coring methods for extracting intact samples for rock mechanics testing can be insufficient. Using a water-free cooling system ensures high sample retrieval rates when milled instead of cored, especially so for highly fractured, water sensitive media such as shales and siltstones. Combined with specialized low-impact methods of sample preparation, difficult testing programs involving limited in-situ/cored samples from large depths become standard procedure in the Geomechanic’s group. In addition, this setup will allow us to mill titanium to plastics alike, to be used for everything from sample preparation to custom design of mechanical components.
Published content with equipment:​​

Experimental Rock Deformation Physics: ERDμ-Q and ERDμ-T

Used in the measurement of seismic wave attenuation, the X-Ray transparent ERDμ-Q vessel is used in conjunction with a micro-CT machine for continuous imaging. The vessel is able to apply confining pressures up to 30 MPa and pore pressures up to 20 MPa with varying fluids for a 12 x 36 mm cylindrical sample. The vessel applies a sinusoidal variation of the vertical stress, and with an axial load cell and a cantilever system quantifies a complex Young’s modulus of the specimen to derive the seismic attenuation for a given material.

Similar to the ERDμ-Q, the ERDμ-T vessel can be used to observe rotary shear effects on a slipping surface with a micro-CT imaging machine for continuous imaging during rotary shear deformation. The rate of rotary shear varies from 0.8 to 48mm/s. The ERDμ-T vessel is also able to generate confining pressures up to 30 MPa, for a sample size of 12 x 36 mm. Being able to image the 4D progression of slipping mechanics and the slip surface characteristics, the ERDμ-T provides new capabilities to understand gauge layers on rock friction during shear mechanisms.

Published content with equipment:​​

Material Charactierization: Nanovea Micro- and Nano-Indenter

The Nanovea Micro- and Nano- Material testing modules gauge material properties through indentation and scratch testing on varying scales. Micro and Nano indentation modules can assess material hardness, elastic modulus, fracture toughness and yield strength. The microindenter module are used with sphereconical and Vickers tips while the nanoindentation module are available in the Berkovich tip.

Published content with equipment:​​

Multi-scale Surface Scanning: ATOS II 3D Surface Scanner

ATOS uses advance measuring and projection techniques to produce high quality data and precision accuracy for full-object dimensional analysis. It can measure shiny surfaces and complex component with pocket and/or fine edges. 3 high quality optical cameras capable of 16 million points per scan (PPS) work independently for maximum data collection and minimum number of scan, thereby reducing overall measurement time. Narrow band blue light technology improves the scanning of dark or coloured surfaces, also enables precise measurements to be carried out independently of environmental lighting conditions, thereby reduces heat development. Interchangeable measuring volumes and various configurations allow for project versatility.

Published content with equipment:​​

Material Fabrication: ExOne Innovent Particulate Printer

The ExOne particulate printer uses an additive manufacturing process that selectively bind thing layers of particulate, ranging from metals to sand, to make a near-net shape object. Rock analogues can be printed and cured in short amounts of time, mimicking real pore structures and pathways, allowing realistic reproductions of rock samples. Being able to produce medium-strength sandstones in prescribed shapes and geometries, the ExOne Innovent particulate printer aids in investigating the role of internal fractures and defects in rock mechanical testing.

Precision Delivery Syringe pumps: Vindum VP-Series

The VP-series pumps available at our labs are able to pump at a large range of high pressures at very precise flow rates. Dual cylinder pumps allow continuous delivery without interruption in flow, and with an external reservoir, is able to provide unlimited volumes of viscosities up to ~200,000cps. A hastalloy housing allows us to delivery highly saline solutions as well, making a large range of possible experimental conditions. The two cylinders can also maintain pressure in a continuous manner, and produce a self-balancing pressure circuit in a pulse-free delivery manner governed by easily tuned PID controls.

Published content with equipment:​​

Computation: NVIDIA DGX Station

The NVIDIA DGX Station is a powerful computer that packs server-grade hardware into a workstation for high performance computing. The highlight of the system is that it is equipped with 4 state-of-the-art 32 GB Quadro V100 GPUs with NVLink. Addtionally, it is equipped with an Intel Xeon 20-core CPU and 256 GB of system memory. Due to the nature of FDEM, it is an extremely computationally expensive task. With this workstation, we are able to run much larger models due to the higher GPU memory, and finish simulations much faster due to the powerful computational architecture of modern GPUs.

Computation: NVIDIA Titan XP GPUs

Thanks to NVIDIA and their NVIDIA GPU Grant program, the Geomechanics group were donated two Titan XP GPUs (2017 and 2018) as a part of NVIDIA’s Higher Education and Research initiatives. This has been instrumental in increasing the Finite-Discrete Element Method (FDEM) modelling capacity of our research group. The use of GPU accelerated FDEM modelling in Geomechanica’s highly realistic Irazu software requires equally powerful parallel processing power. With incoming projects requiring complex, fully coupled hydro-geomechanical simulations, the Titan XP GPUs vastly increased the simulation speed and complexity of the work in our research group.
Published content with equipment:​​

Trilion Digital Image Correlation (DIC) setup

Digital image correlation (DIC) is a non-contact measurement technique that uses images acquired during mechanical tests to measure displacement and strain fields of the deforming materials over time. The custom-made system made by Trilion is a stereo-camera system with two Basler acA2500-60um cameras with a resolution of 2590×2048 px (5 megapixels) with a maximum frame rate of 60 fps. The Trilion Snap software is also capable of capturing timelapse stereo-images over long periods of time. A National Instruments USB-6002 DAQ device can be coupled with the Trilion Snap software that allows for simultaneous data logging and image acquisition. Speckle-sprayed samples or circular reference points are imaged over time which are subsequently analyzed with the GOM Correlate Pro software after testing. Through the shared GOM Metrology calibration resources used for the ATOS, the DIC system is capable of measuring volumes as small as 5 cm and as large as 2 m with a strain measurement sensitivity of 0.1%.
Published content with equipment:​​

Micro-CT: Phoenix v|tome|x micro-CT

Phoenix v|tome|x micro-CT is a versatile high-resolution system for 2D X-ray and 2D computed tomography, equipped with an open directional high-power microfocus X-ray tube. The Phoenix v|tome|x is capable of generating images with voxel size down to 5 microns and a maximum 3D scanning sample size up to 260mm x 420mm (diameter x height) and 10 kilograms. 6-axes (x, y, z, rotation, tilt, and detector shift) CNC provides accurate and stable sample positioning that gives reproducible precision 2D and 3D imaging.

Published content with equipment:​​