The BAMline at the BESSY light source in Berlin and the TopoTomo beamline at the ANKA synchrotron facility in Karlsruhe (both Germany) operate in the hard X-ray regime (above 6 keV) with similiar photon flux density. For typical imaging applications, a double multilayer monochromator or a filtered white beam is used. In order to optimise the field of view and the resolution of the available indirect pixel detectors, different optical systems have been installed, adapted, respectively, to a large field of view (macroscope) and to high spatial resolution (microscope). They can be combined with different camera systems, ranging from 16-bit dynamic range slow-scan CCDs to fast CMOS cameras. The spatial resolution can be brought substantially beyond the micrometer limit by using a Bragg magnifier. The moderate flux of both beamlines compared to other 3rd generation light sources is compensated by a dedicated scintillator concept. For selected applications, X-ray beam collimation has proven to be a reliable approach to increase the available photon flux density. Absorption contrast, phase contrast, holotomography and refraction-enhanced imaging are used depending on the application. Additionally, at the TopoTomo beamline digital white beam synchrotron topography is performed, using the digital X-ray pixel detectors installed.
X-Ray Refraction Topography techniques are based on Ultra Small Angle Scattering by micro structural elements causing phase related effects like refraction and total reflection at a few minutes of arc as the refractive index of X-rays is nearly unity (1x10-5). The extraordinary contrast of inner surfaces is far beyond absorption effects. Scanning of specimens results in 2D-imaging of closed and open pore surfaces and crack surface density of ceramics and foams. Crack orientation and fiber/matrix debonding in plastics, polymers and ceramic composites after cyclic loading and hydro thermal aging can be visualized. In most cases the investigated inner surface and interface structures correlate to mechanical properties. For the exploration of Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) and other micro structured materials the refraction technique has been improved to a 3D Synchrotron Refraction Computed Tomography (SR-CT) test station. The specimen is situated in an X-ray beam between two single crystals. Therefore all sample scattering is strongly suppressed and interpreted as additional attenuation. Asymmetric cut second crystals magnify the image up to 50 times revealing nanometer resolution. The refraction contrast is several times higher than "true absorption" and results in images of cracks, pores and fiber debonding separations below the spatial resolution of the detector. The technique is an alternative to other attempts on raising the spatial resolution of CT machines. The given results yield a much better understanding of fatigue failure mechanisms under cyclic loading conditions.