Can 3D laser scanning services change the way we keep nuclear power plants safe?
Engineering with safety in mind
What do 3D laser scanning services and nuclear power plants have in common? A nuclear power plant creates electricity by splitting atoms of uranium. This process releases huge amounts of energy, but they are so hot that it would be dangerous to put significant numbers in the walls of the building where the electrical generators are located. Therefore, the uranium is kept in a separate area, and the heat is transferred to the generators by way of pipes. If the pipes are not sealed properly, or if they have any cracks in them, then the radiation could escape from the plant and contaminate the surrounding area.
Nuclear power is a great thing. Unlike coal or natural gas, it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases that will cause global warming. It has been a popular alternative to fossil fuels for over forty years, and there are hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world.
However, many of these plants have experienced problems over the years. Cleanup projects at several facilities have revealed cracks in some of the pipes going from the uranium area to the electrical generators.
How 3D laser scanning services help engineers design power plants
3D laser scanning services involve a process that creates a 3D model of an object by taking a series of pictures from different angles. These pictures are then used to create a 3D rendering of the object. 3D scanning services can be used for many different purposes. 3D scans of teeth, for example, are used to determine what kind of work will need to be done at the dentist’s office. 3D scanning can also be used by engineers to analyze the shape and size of different objects without having to physically handle them.
Engineers who design nuclear power plants use 3D models all the time. They 3D print the 3D models using 3D printers and then create physical mockups of their designs. 3D scanning can be used in a similar way to 3D print the 3D models, but they will not cost nearly as much because 3D scanners use computers instead of 3D printers.
3D scanning services help with safe operation
If nuclear power plants were built with 3D scanning services in mind, they would likely be safer. 3D scanners can take precise measurements of objects, including the 3D models of nuclear powerplant pipes that were created from 3D scans. If a pipe is out-of-specification or has been damaged, these 3D scanned models will reveal the problem. 3D scanning services will make it possible for engineers to resolve 3D scanning issues before they become major issues.