Scan of the Month January – an ancient manuscript!

Blog, Computed Tomography, X-ray and CT Inspection

January is National Book Month and therefore we focused our scan of the month on something related to reading. We decided to scan a manuscript from ancient book belonging to a colleague fascinated by old books and texts. The scan was done by Sergei Kolobov, applications Engineer X-Ray & CT specializing in XTV systems. The manuscript is written on two sides and contains both black and red ink. We took a closer look on the page and found some fascinating details on the surface of this old page.

Due to the content difference, the red ink is much more visible for X-Rays although we can still differentiate the black ink letters as well.

Figure 1: Black and red ink density difference

Zooming closer on the part itself, we can see some micro cracks being visible inside the ink pattern.

Figure 2: cracks in ink         

Figure 3: A view inside the machine

To get an idea about the layered structure, we decided to perform an X.Tract (Laminography) scan on the manuscript high density part.

The X-ray X.tract scan was acquired at a voxel resolution of 8µm while using 50kV potential and 15Watts X-ray power at a large 60° viewing angle. The scan was acquired using a Nikon XTV, which houses a Nikon 160kV microfocus X-ray source with an integrated generator, coupled with a large Varex 2520DX-CT flat panel detector.  For this scan, the detector acquired 360 projections with 16 frames per projection at an exposure of 2000ms, using Nikon’s acquisition and reconstruction algorithms to construct the 3D model and Volume graphics to visualize the pigment of the ink.

Figure 4: red pigment 3D visualization

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