cylinder lock

A typical cylinder lock that we bought from the DIY hardware store, imaged with neutrons: despite the low intensity of the neutron beam and the medium resolution of the detector, this example does demonstrate what the particular capabilities are of the future FISH neutron imaging station: the interior mechanics (including the key coding levers and even the springs) are visualized without taking the lock apart.

Neutron imaging at low intensity and low resolution can already reveal the interior of a door lock. FISH will do this 10 times faster at higher resolution.

Neutron imaging at low intensity and low resolution can already reveal the interior of a door lock. FISH will do this 10 times faster at higher resolution.

This non-invasiveness of the technique can be beneficial in solving many scientific and technological questions. As an example we show a short movie, starting with a ‘clean lock’ and then spraying some WD-40 lubricant (also bought from the DIY shop) in the ‘key entry’. The lock is place vertically in the beam (one lock entry on top, one on the bottom) and with time, you see some of the lubricant flowing to the bottom. Again: non-invasive. Inner lubrification using even tiny amounts of very very viscous WD-40 is visible.

Redistribution of lubricant over 5h30m in 10sec steps:
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Redistribution of lubricant over 3hm in 10sec steps, starting from a clean cylinder:

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