Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become one of the most important tools to screen humans in medicine; virtually every modern hospital is equipped with a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) tomograph. The potential of NMR in 3D imaging tasks is by far greater, but there is only “a handful” of MRI studies of particulate matter. The method is expensive, time-consuming, and requires a deep understanding of pulse sequences, signal acquisition, and processing. We give a short introduction into the physical principles of this imaging technique, describe its advantages and limitations for the screening of granular matter, and present a number of examples of different application purposes, from the exploration of granular packing, via the detection of flow and particle diffusion, to real dynamic measurements. Probably, X-ray computed tomography is preferable in most applications, but fast imaging of single slices with modern MRI techniques is unmatched, and the additional opportunity to retrieve spatially resolved flow and diffusion profiles without particle tracking is a unique feature.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| May 18 2017
Magnetic resonance imaging of granular materials
Special Collection: Focus on Imaging Methods in Granular Physics
Ralf Stannarius; Magnetic resonance imaging of granular materials. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 May 2017; 88 (5): 051806. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4983135
Download citation file: