CT Scanning, Computed Tomography, X-ray tomography, X-ray microscopy, MicroCT, Industrial CT, 3D scanning … all terms to describe the limitless capabilities of this amazing technology we offer to you as a service. As a CT Scan service provider, our aim is to provide a high-quality 3D imaging and analysis service. We welcome clients from both academia and industry from all over South Africa, as well as international clients.


Managing the Facility

Miss Carlyn Wells is an Analyst at the CT Scanner Unit of Central Analytical Facilities. She has a Honours degree in Geology. She started at the facility in 2019 as an NRF intern and is now a full-time analyst.


CAF Website: Central Analytical Facilities


NEW: Applications notes

Tech note 1: Porosity / inclusion analysis in metal castings CT tech note 1
Tech note 2: Additive manufacturing part inspection CT tech note 2
Tech note 3: metal powder analysis CT tech note 3
Tech note 4: coordinate measurement CT tech note 4
Tech note 5: Coating analysis CT tech note 5
Tech note 6: Cracks and failure analysis CT tech note 6
Tech note 7: Surface roughness by CT – CT tech note 7


X-ray CT System

General Electric Phoenix VTOMEX L240. This system is integrated with Phoenix Datos acquisition and reconstruction software. For more details, go to:


CT data analysis

We extensively and almost exclusively use Volume Graphics VGSTUDIO MAX 3.5 with all available advanced modules. For more details, please refer to their website.

More details: MicroCT data analysis and reporting


Academic users

It is mandatory for academic users to cite our facility paper.

Click here to see our facility description paper

We also gladly assist as co-authors, especially when you require us to provide insight, write parts of the paper, or make custom analysis. For more information please see this document: MicroCT data analysis and reporting

YouTube channel

For tutorials on CT data and the use of the free viewer (myVGL) to view your results.



Review us

Satisfied clients, please take a minute to review us on google: Please add review on google

We are proud members of

IntaCT – International Association of Computed Tomography, for which we are a national contact point for South Africa and Africa:

South African Institute for Nondestructive Testing: SAINT

For commercial non-destructive testing we use ASTM standard E1570-11:

Additive manufacturing is a special topic of expertise at our facility, and we are associated with Wohlers Associates, see here for their website:

Brochures (1 page overviews)

Manufacturing industry brochure: Manufacturing Brochure
Drill core analysis brochure: Marketing brochure drill cores 2013_final

Old news and events

09/2014: The latest is the addition of a nanoCT scanner, see a video introducing the instrument here:

02/2015: Also see a recent article in Mining Weekly: 53203_mining_weekly_6_february_2015

Background to CT

The Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner is an x-ray inspection machine that allows 2D x-ray inspections of materials as well as 3D CT Scans of materials, to investigate and analyse the inside of any object non-destructively and at high resolution and contrast. The measurement principle is similar to medical CAT scanners. An object is exposed to collimated x-rays and the absorbed radiation is measured with a sensor on the opposite side. This procedure is repeated from different angles around the object which allows a full 3D reconstruction. The technique is used to detect small differences in density and atomic number of the scanned sample. CT scanning provides state of the art non-destructive analysis of material properties for a wide variety of materials. Shown below are the machine itself, and a schematic illustrating the measurement principle.

Phoenix VTomeX L240CT Schematic Phoenix

What is it used for?

CT can be used to measure accurate distances, for example inside mechanical components, can be used to check porosity of materials, can be used to identify cracks, transitions or inclusions in materials, can be used to study the density variations within a sample, can be used to make a 3D CAD surface or volume data sets of the scanned object (eg. for reverse engineering). Standard 2D or 3D inspection reports are available, batch processing of large numbers of samples is possible, data can be provided in various formats such as jpg image slices, image stacks (this allows you to scroll through your object virtually in thin slices), dicom stacks (medical format), stl files (surfaces), or volume files (for self analysis of large volume data). Further analysis and high-end processing hardware and software is also available in our facility.

For students who use our facility, the generic experimental description is provided below with typical parameters (fill in your own parameters, details can be found in the PCA file with your data):

X-ray micro computed tomography (microCT) was used in this study. A General Electric Phoenix V|Tome|X L240 / NF180 was used. X-ray settings were 160 kV and 100 microA, 2000 images were acquired in a full rotation at image acquisition time of 500 ms per image, with no averaging and no skipping of images. Detector shift was activated to minimize ring artefacts. Background calibration was performed and the scan time was approximately 40 minutes per scan. Reconstruction was done with system-supplied Datos reconstruction software. Analysis was performed with Volume Graphics VGStudio Max 2.1 or Visualization Sciences Group Avizo Fire 8.0 commercial 3D analysis software packages.

Sample size