The South Eastern Applied Materials (SEAM) research centre at South East Technological University (SETU) has been awarded over €2m in funding through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure Fund to secure an exclusive high-power, high-resolution CT scanner, the first of its kind in Ireland, in a major boost to Irish industry.  

The X-ray Microcomputed Tomography (XMT) scanner provides non-destructive 3D imaging of the interior of products and components. The enhanced x-ray power capabilities of the new system – up to 450 kilovolts – will allow larger denser samples to be analysed in Ireland, when previously such analysis had to be conducted abroad.  

This new equipment will be a significant addition to SETU as it will cement SEAM as the centre of excellence for X-ray Tomography applications in Ireland, resolving current unmet analysis and inspection needs of various user groups, both industrial and academic.

For industry, the XMT scanner can be used to address a wide range of quality challenges such as tolerance issues, component warpage, assembly problems, failure analysis, weld inspection, porosity analysis, reverse engineering and more.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, recently announced a €53.3 million investment in 33 research infrastructure projects through this SFI programme, and SEAM was delighted to be one of the successful projects.  

“I am thankful to Science Foundation Ireland as this funding to procure the state-of-the-art high power CT scanning system will be a big benefit not only for industrial sectors in Ireland but also for researchers in the Advanced Manufacturing field. Furthermore, this equipment will bolster SEAM's existing capabilities and solidify its position as the leading centre for X-ray analysis in the country,” said Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director.

Commenting on the importance of winning R & D infrastructure grants such as this, Dr Mark White, Vice President for Research Innovation and Graduate Studies, added “Investment in and access to cutting edge equipment and technology is absolutely essential if SETU, our academic staff, researchers and learners are to compete with our regional industry partners at home, in Europe and across the globe.”

SEAM is an ISO 9001:2015 accredited industry-focused applied research and development facility. It provides innovative materials engineering solutions for research and industrial partners seeking assistance on materials related issues that cannot be solved. 

SEAM holds an impeccable track record of executing over 3800 direct funded industry projects since its launch in 2009. SEAM’s unique strength lies in its ability to anticipate, understand, and respond quickly and professionally to industry needs by providing competitive customised solutions.