3D materials characterization and quality control

Avizo Software for Materials Science

Industrial applications require stronger, lighter, cleaner and safer materials every day.
New techniques, such as additive manufacturing, require development of new metal powders and allows for the design of parts. Composite materials are used in many applications to produce stronger and lighter parts, while energy materials are developed for cleaner power production and optimized storage.

Advances in tomography and microscopy techniques now allow for creation of digital models that are suitable for materials research. For new developments or for better characterization of existing materials, Thermo Scientific™ Avizo™ Software allows for a better understanding of structure, properties and performance. No matter what modality is used to acquire digital data, Avizo Software provides optimized workflows for materials characterization. It also features image processing tools, simulation modules and capabilities for advanced defect analysis.

Avizo Software provides a reliable, fully automatable solution for both research and industrial entities, allowing them to innovate faster, reduce time to market, and produce more reliable and better performing materials.


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Characterization of porous material depends on the size, distribution, and shape of pores and possibly the channels connecting them. For other materials, such as ceramic or glass, understanding the distribution of the different particle types is of upmost importance for estimating performance of the material. Porosity, tortuosity and permeability are some of the important parameters that help characterize the material.

Avizo Software provides an advanced workflow for pore network characterization and particles analysis,  including  quantification of pores or particles in the material, their volume distribution, shape and distance, as well as computation of material physical properties such as porosity, tortuosity or permeability.

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Metallic foam analysis from micro-CT scan acquisition.
Courtesy of DR. M. Saadatfar from the Australian National University.


Transportation, energy production, machinery, building materials and consumer products require development of metals that are lighter, stronger and more durable. New manufacturing techniques such as additive manufacturing require the development of new types of metal powders.

Avizo Software helps expose the structure-property relationship in metals and alloys. It enables you to fully understand the properties of steel and alloys, in order to quantify their structure and composition, as well as possible defects such as unwanted inclusions. Its advanced set of quantification capabilities allows you to measure the quality of metal powder used for additive manufacturing or to quantify grains distribution, just to name two examples. Sphericity and size distribution of each grain can be measured to assess quality and better understand properties.

Avizo Software’s multi-modality support allows for the fusion of data coming from different EM detectors. It can merge, for example, SEM backscattered images with EDS or EBSD images of the sample, providing an even more efficient workflow from data to knowledge. Its multi-resolution support facilitates a powerful correlative workflow, from discovering areas of interest at the macro level to analyzing the sample at the nanoscale.


Composite materials are making their way into many different application areas, ranging from aerospace to automotive and construction. Their properties improve stiffness and strength and allow for design of lightweight components at a reasonable cost.

Avizo Software allows for analysis of the fibers that reinforce composite materials, computing length, orientation and density. It also detects matrix defects such as voids or foreign debris, cracking or delamination, and richness or dryness. Avizo Software can analyze pore networks for the latest micro- and/ or nano-porous composites, allowing researchers to gain a better understanding of the material properties and perform improved quality control on industrial parts made of composite material. Analysis of deformations of the material under physical constraints allows also for damage prediction of deficiencies.

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Composites, polymers and fibrous materials

Fiber length, orientation and density analysis of a 50% glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP).
Courtesy of EMS Grivory.


Data courtesy of Bruker.
Courtesy of L. Laiarinandrasana & T. Morgeneyer (Centre des Matériaux Mines ParisTech), and L. Helfen (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).
Data courtesy of Rigaku Corporation.
Courtesy of EMPA.


Recent progress in manufacturing and characterization of biomaterials has led to innovative development in tissue engineering and scaffold techniques.

Avizo Software can be used to characterize such highly porous media, while also quantifying pore distribution and size as well as high interconnectivity of the porous network. From there, mechanical strength and effective surface for cell attachment can be determined. Furthermore, Avizo Software can be used to validate experiments by generating Finite Element Analysis models and collaborating with FEA solvers, as well as performing deformation analysis from a material sample subjected to physical constraints.

Innovative interconnected porous biomaterial for tissue engineering.
Courtesy of Prof. A. Largeteau and Dr. Mythili Prakasam, Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry in Bordeaux and University of Bordeaux, France.


Battery and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) manufacturers need to refine their manufacturing process and increase product lifespan. They also need to reduce the weight and size of their energy storage devices as well as increase charge capacity while lowering production costs, ensuring safety and making the product healthier for the environment.

Thanks to advanced image processing and segmentation techniques, Avizo Software makes it possible to extract key quantitative parameters of the microstructure and macrostructure of the involved materials. At the macro level, Avizo Software can be used to assess the quality of the manufacturing process, looking into packaging, checking solder points, and detecting possible leakage or porosity and delamination. It can also examine the aging process, looking into foil, cathode and anode morphological changes or core leakage. At the microscopic level, Avizo Software allows for the estimation of the tortuosity and permeability of the porosity structure of electrode and separator; thus, effective transport parameters  can be further used in the electrochemical performance simulation. Quantification of triple phase boundary (TPB), phase distribution and connectivity further allows for characterization of the cell’s performance.


Left: Battery Cathode. Active material connectivity analysis.
Data acquisition: Thermo Scientific Helios™ PFIB DualBeam™.
Right: Li-ion cylindrical cell. Inspection of battery’s structure.
Courtesy of Paul Shearing’s group, University College London. Data acquisition: Thermo Scientific HeliScan™ microCT.


3D imaging and analysis of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC).
Courtesy of Jochen Joos, Institut für Angewandte Materialien - Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik (IAM-WET), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT).


Multi-length scale characterization and simulation in tubular SOFC anodes.
Courtesy of Dr. Xuekun Lu, University College London.


Additive manufacturing has emerged as a very promising manufacturing technique, allowing advanced design of complex industrial parts that used to require numerous sub-parts to be assembled together in the past and allowing for production of lighter and stronger innovative parts. Quality of the powder is essential to integrity of the part, and defect analysis is necessary for final quality check of a material sample or a produced part.

Avizo Software offers a complete range of tools from pre to- post printing quality control of industrial parts. Powder can be analyzed within Avizo Software to provide information such as shape and volume distribution, but also detection of pores or inclusions in the grain that can lead to important defect in the final part. Advanced automated defect detection can be applied ona sample or the final part to look for pores such as gas bubbles, inter-layers cracks, or lack of powder fusion for instance.

Additive manufacturing

Ti64 powder analysis - Grain separation, porosity and sphericity analysis. 
Data acquisition: Thermo Scientific HeliScan microCT.


The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) uses Avizo to quantify potential defects in additively manufactured samples.


Additively manufactured scaffold inspection. A common issue in 3D printing is porosity in the printed parts and deviation from the ideal shape as defined by the CAD file.A 3D printed scaffold was scanned with a Thermo Scientific HeliScan microCT and analyzed with Avizo Software to find the segment with the highest amount of porosity, for further study with a PlasmaFIB instrument. Thickness of the segments was also monitored and compared to the CAD file.


Semiconductor device manufacturers and designers routinely push the boundaries of physics. Defect detection and failure analysis, performance and process evaluation, and materials characterization are key to successful commercialization of new electronic device.

Avizo Software’s advanced 3D visualization and image processing tools allow for fast detection of defects such as issues linked to voids in the solder balls of a Ball Grid Array (BGA).



3D imaging techniques, such as X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provide insights into food structure and how it changes in various situations, including processing operations.

Avizo Software's comprehensive food and seeds analysis toolset makes it easy to perform microstructural characterization and better understand the relation of microstructure to properties needed in food engineering, chemistry, microbiology and safety.

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Corn analysis
Drying of Corn Kernels: From Experimental Images to Multiscale Multiphysics Modeling.
Courtesy of Pawan S Takhar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


The solution of choice for Materials Science

Avizo Software is an advanced application for exploring and understanding materials structures and properties, in a wide range of materials science research areas and for many types of materials.

From straightforward visualization and measurement to advanced image processing, quantification, analysis and reporting, Avizo Software provides a comprehensive, multimodality digital lab for advanced 2D/3D materials characterization and quality control.

Manchester X-Ray Imaging Facility uses Avizo Software
"A job which would take maybe a month to analyze a dataset can be done a lot quicker just using Avizo Software"
"Avizo Software has all these automated methods and is reproducible so it doesn’t matter how many people take the same dataset, as long as they have the same parameters, they will always get the same results, and in research, that consistency is a very important factor"

Tristan Lowe, PhD
Senior Experimental Officer (SEO) at the Manchester X-Ray Imaging Facility

Key features
  • Handle any modality, at any scale, of any size:
    –    X-ray tomography: CT, micro-/nano-CT
    –    Electron Microscopy
    –    Synchrotron
  • Support for multi-data/multi-view, multi-channel, time series, very large data
  • Scaling, calibration, conversion, re-sampling
  • Image enhancement, comprehensive filtering and convolution, Fourier frequency transforms
  • Artifact reduction algorithms
  • Advanced multi-mode 2D/3D automatic registration
  • Image stack alignment, arithmetic, correlation, fusion
  • Interactive high-quality volume
  • Orthogonal, oblique, cylindrical and curved slicing
  • Contouring and iso-surface extraction
  • Maximum Intensity or other types of projections
  • Vector and tensor visualization
  • Thresholding and auto-segmentation, object separation, automatic labeling
  • Region growing, snakes, interpolation, wrapping, smoothing
  • Morphological processing, including watershed and basins
  • Machine Learning-based segmentation
  • Automatic tracing of individual fibers
  • Skeletonization
  • 3D surface reconstruction
  • Grid generation for FEA/CFD
  • Intuitive recipe creation, customization, automated replay
  • Built-in measurements, including counts, volumes, areas, perimeters, aspect ratios and orientations
  • User-defined measures
  • Results viewer with spreadsheet tool and charting
  • Automatic individual feature measurements, 3D localization and spreadsheet selection
  • Automated statistics, distribution graphs
  • Feature filtering using any measurement criterion
  • Data registration, deformation, comparison and measurements
  • Porosity detection and measurement
  • Fiber analysis
  • Pre-processing for structural and flow simulations
  • Import of CAD models for actual/nominal comparison
  • Animation and video generation
  • Advanced key frame and object animation
  • Mix images, geometric models, measurements and simulations
  • Annotations, measures legends, histograms and curve plots
  • Export spreadsheets, 3D models, high-quality images

Image-to-simulation workflows:

  • Python scripting API
  • Custom C++ modules development
  • MATLAB™ bridge