Metals can break either in a ductile or brittle manner if a static or dynamic load is applied to the same material. This depends on a variety of factors, such as the manner in which the load is applied, the shape of the mechanical part, the operating conditions, the nature and structure of the metallic material, and the working temperature. If subjected to variable loads, metallic materials break due to what is called fatigue. The microscopic analysis of fracture surfaces is currently carried out by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We have proposed, for the first time to our knowledge, a new method to analyze fracture surfaces, using a low coherence interferometry technique, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) [Gh. Hutiu, V.-F. Duma, et al., Surface imaging of metallic material fractures using optical coherence tomography, Appl. Opt. 53, 5912-5916 (2014); Gh. Hutiu, V.-F. Duma, et al., Assessment of ductile, brittle, and fatigue fractures of metals using optical coherence tomography, Metals 8, 117 (2018)]. The present paper presents the way we have demonstrated that OCT can replace the gold standard in such assessments, i.e. SEM, despite the fact that OCT has a resolution of 20 to 4 μm (in our investigations), while the SEM we employed has a 4 to 2 nm resolution. A few examples are given in this respect–for different types of fractures. The advantages of OCT versus SEM are discussed. This development opens the way for in situ investigations, for example in forensic sciences, where OCT can be applied (including with handheld scanning probes. as we have developed). In contrast, SEM, TEM, and AFM are lab-based techniques, more expensive, and they require trained operators.
To determine the roughness is an important aspect in both industrial and biomedical applications. We propose and utilize for roughness evaluations, a non-destructive evaluation methods, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). For the metallic surfaces investigated from this point of view, the Ra and Rz parameters are utilized, according to ISO 4287/1988. Also, according to ISO 4280 and ISO 3274 standards, the measurements have been made on 12.5 mm portions. In order to accommodate such evaluations with the specific OCT field-of-view, four consecutive OCT images have been made for each sample, and an appropriate processing of the data collected from the surface profiles has been made. A validation of the results obtained with OCT has been completed with the gold standard for such evaluations, using a contact mechanical method, with a Mitutuyo profiler.
Forensic in situ investigations, for example for aviation, maritime, road, or rail accidents would benefit from a method
that may allow to distinguish ductile from brittle fractures of metals - as material defects are one of the potential causes
of such accidents. Currently, the gold standard in material studies is represented by scanning electron microscopy
(SEM). However, SEM are large, lab-based systems, therefore in situ measurements are excluded. In addition, they are
expensive and time-consuming. We have approached this problem and propose the use of Optical Coherence
Tomography (OCT) in such investigations in order to overcome these disadvantages of SEM. In this respect, we
demonstrate the capability to perform such fracture analysis by obtaining the topography of metallic surfaces using OCT.
Different materials have been analyzed; in this presentation a sample of low soft carbon steel with the chemical
composition of C 0.2%, Mn 1.15%, S 0.04%, P 0.05 % and Fe for the rest has been considered. An in-house developed
Swept Source (SS) OCT system has been used, and height profiles have been generated for the sample surface. This
profile allowed for concluding that the carbon steel sample was subjected to a ductile fracture. A validation of the OCT
images obtained with a 10 microns resolution has been made with SEM images obtained with a 4 nm resolution.
Although the OCT resolution is much lower than the one of SEM, we thus demonstrate that it is sufficient in order to
obtain clear images of the grains of the metallic materials and thus to distinguish between ductile and brittle fractures.
This study analysis opens avenues for a range of applications, including: (i) to determine the causes that have generated
pipe ruptures, or structural failures of metallic bridges and buildings, as well as damages of machinery parts; (ii) to
optimize the design of various machinery; (iii) to obtain data regarding the structure of metallic alloys); (iv) to improve
the manufacturing technologies of metallic parts.
We present some of our recent investigations in Dental Medicine using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Time Domain (TD), Spectral Domain (SD), and Swept Source (SS) OCT in-house developed systems are being used, for both ex vivo and in vivo investigations in the oral cavity. We study ex vivo the interface between the tooth and the dental sealant and demonstrate the limitations of the X-rays investigations that are now the gold standard for such procedures. Using OCT, defects in the interface that cannot be identified in radiographs can be determined both as position and magnitude. The drilling process of teeth can also be characterized in real time using OCT, to monitor the remaining dentin thickness (RDT) in order to avoid opening the pulp chamber. We demonstrate in this respect that an RDT of 0.5 mm is the minimum value to assure the integrity of the dentin wall between the drilled cavity and the pulp chamber; at an RDT of 0.3 mm or less a fracture is initiated, the dentin is punctured and endodontic treatment must follow. In vivo OCT investigations in the oral cavity were also performed (i.e., for metalloceramic prostheses and for ceramic inlay tooth interfaces), with the low cost, light weight and versatile handheld probes with 1D galvoscanners that we have developed and applied for a range of in-house developed OCT systems, in various clinical applications. They are briefly discussed, as well as some of our current and future work in the field, including for studies of soft tissue in the mouth.
We present the handheld scanning probes that we have recently developed in our current project for biomedical imaging in general and for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in particular. OCT is an established, but dynamic imagistic technique based on laser interferometry, which offers micrometer resolutions and millimeters penetration depths. With regard to existing devices, the newly developed handheld probes are simple, light and relatively low cost. Their design is described in detail to allow for the reproduction in any lab, including for educational purposes. Two probes are constructed almost entirely from off-the-shelf components, while a third, final variant is constructed with dedicated components, in an ergonomic design. The handheld probes have uni-dimensional (1D) galvanometer scanners therefore they achieve transversal sections through the biological sample investigated - in contrast to handheld probes equipped with bi-dimensional (2D) scanners that can also achieve volumetric (3D) reconstructions of the samples. These latter handheld probes are therefore also discussed, as well as the possibility to equip them with galvanometer 2D scanners or with Risley prisms. For galvanometer scanners the optimal scanning functions studied in a series of previous works are pointed out; these functions offer a higher temporal efficiency/duty cycle of the scanning process, as well as artifact-free OCT images. The testing of the handheld scanning probes in dental applications is presented, for metal ceramic prosthesis and for teeth.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) applications can be divided into biomedical and industrial, the latter covering non-destructive testing of non-reflective materials (e.g. optical glass) or for profilometry of metallic surfaces. Irrespective of the areas mentioned above, it is important to translate the technology from lab to clinical and industrial environments, depending on the case. This paper presents handheld probes with 1D galvoscanners developed in our groups to achieve this goal. These probes have been designed to be as simple, light weight, and low-cost as possible. Their optomechanical construction is described in different variants. Advantages regarding galvoscanners use are discussed, as compared to probes equipped with MEMS. The optomechanical aspects are completed with a discussion on optical design and on other scanning systems that may be utilized in such probes. Several applications of the probes developed are presented, such as in optical metrology.
As part of the ongoing effort of the biomedical imaging community to move Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) systems from the lab to the clinical environment and produce OCT systems appropriate for multiple types of investigations in a medical department, handheld probes equipped with different types of scanners need to be developed. These allow different areas of a patient’s body to be investigated using OCT with the same system and even without changing the patient’s position. This paper reviews first the state of the art regarding OCT handheld probes. Novel probes with a uni-dimensional (1D) galvanometer-based scanner (GS) developed in our groups are presented. Their advantages and limitations are discussed. Aspects regarding the use of galvoscanners with regard to Micro-Electro- Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are pointed out, in relationship with our studies on optimal scanning functions of galvanometer devices in OCT. These scanning functions are briefly discussed with regard to their main parameters: profile, theoretical duty cycle, scan frequency, and scan amplitude. The optical design of the galvoscanner and refractive optics combination in the probe head, optimized for various applications, is considered. Perspectives of the field are pointed out in the final part of the paper.
We present our efforts in establishing a Research Pole in Photonics in the future Arad-Timisoara metropolitan area projected to unite two major cities of Western Romania. Research objectives and related training activities of various institutions and groups that are involved are presented in their evolution during the last decade. The multi-disciplinary consortium consists principally of two universities, UAVA (Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad) and UMF (Victor Babes Medicine and Pharmacy University of Timisoara), but also of the Arad County Emergency University Hospital and several innovative SMEs, such as Bioclinica S.A. (the largest array of medical analysis labs in the region) and Inteliform S.R.L. (a competitive SME focused on mechatronics and mechanical engineering). A brief survey of the individual and joint projects of these institutions is presented, together with their teaching activities at graduate and undergraduate level. The research Pole collaborates in R&D, training and education in biomedical imaging with universities in USA and Europe. Collaborative activities, mainly on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) projects are presented in a multidisciplinary approach that includes optomechatronics, precision mechanics and optics, dentistry, medicine, and biology.
We present our experience regarding the establishing of an interdisciplinary group with Optics as one of its main topic at the Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad (UAVA) – linked with the improvement through research of our educational activities. The 3OM Group (in Opto-Mechatronics, Optical Metrology, and Optics and Mechanics) is described in its evolution from optomechanics to photonics, the latter with a focus on OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) – with the national and the international collaborations established, with universities from Romania, Europe and USA. While the research directions of the 3OM Group are presented, they are linked with the educational components implemented in the various subjects we teach, for both undergraduate and graduate students, both in Mechanical and in Electrical Engineering. The main effort is to integrate education and research, to move teaching beyond the classical aspects to put the stress on hands-on-experiments, as well as on research-based activities – even with undergraduates. The main goals of this approach are to obtain an early orientation towards innovation and discovery, with a taste for novelties and with a clear focus on international standards. While this account is only one of many, it offers our experience in passing through the difficulties of developing both research and education in Optics in a young university in an emergent economy in Eastern Europe.