X-ray microtomography of ceramic artifacts

J. H. Dunsmuir, P. B. Vandiver, R. R. Chianelli, H. W. Deckman, J. H. Hardenbergh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper we describe the analysis of ceramic artifacts with a new type of three dimensional x-ray microscopy which can have micron spatial resolution. The x-ray microscopy is based on a microtomographic technique which reconstructs the three dimensional structure of millimeter sized specimens from high resolution digital radiographs of the specimens taken from several hundred different view angles. When the high resolution radiographs are taken with a monoenergetic x-ray beam from a synchrotron source, each volume element (voxel) in the reconstructed data set is quantitatively the x-ray opacity of the equivalent volume in the specimen. Typical reconstructed data sets contain more than 106 voxels and are rendered using computer visualization techniques. Specimens can be nondestructively analyzed so long as they are small enough to fit into the area of the x-ray beam imaged by the detector. We have applied x-ray microtomographic analysis both to a shard specimen taken from a Jun bowl and to a modern ash glaze and show examples of the structure of glazes on these ceramics; interfaces between the glaze and underlying ceramic bodies; and the porosity of ceramic bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the 1994 Conference on Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology IV - Cancun, Mex
Duration: May 16 1994May 21 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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