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Keywords:

  • diffraction contrast tomography;
  • X-ray diffraction;
  • polycrystalline microstructure;
  • grain mapping;
  • synchrotron radiation;
  • nondestructive testing;
  • X-ray imaging;
  • diffraction imaging

Diffraction contrast tomography is a near-field diffraction-based imaging technique that provides high-resolution grain maps of polycrystalline materials simultaneously with the orientation and average elastic strain tensor components of the individual grains with an accuracy of a few times 10−4. Recent improvements that have been introduced into the data analysis are described. The ability to process data from arbitrary detector positions allows for optimization of the experimental setup for higher spatial or strain resolution, including high Bragg angles (0 < 2θ < 180°). The geometry refinement, grain indexing and strain analysis are based on Friedel pairs of diffraction spots and can handle thousands of grains in single- or multiphase materials. The grain reconstruction is performed with a simultaneous iterative reconstruction technique using three-dimensional oblique angle projections and GPU acceleration. The improvements are demonstrated with the following experimental examples: (1) uranium oxide mapped at high spatial resolution (300 nm voxel size); (2) combined grain mapping and section topography at high Bragg angles of an Al–Li alloy; (3) ferrite and austenite crystals in a dual-phase steel; (4) grain mapping and elastic strains of a commercially pure titanium sample containing 1755 grains.