Prediction of beam hardening artefacts in computed tomography using Monte Carlo simulations

M. Thomsen, Erik Bergbäck Knudsen, Peter Kjær Willendrup, M. Bech, M. Willner, F. Pfeiffer, M. Poulsen, K. Lefmann, R. Feidenhans'l

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We show how radiological images of both single and multi material samples can be simulated using the Monte Carlo simulation tool McXtrace and how these images can be used to make a three dimensional reconstruction. Good numerical agreement between the X-ray attenuation coefficient in experimental and simulated data can be obtained, which allows us to use simulated projections in the linearisation procedure for single material samples and in that way reduce beam hardening artefacts. The simulations can be used to predict beam hardening artefacts in multi material samples with complex geometry, illustrated with an example. Linearisation requires knowledge about the X-ray transmission at varying sample thickness, but in some cases homogeneous calibration phantoms are hard to manufacture, which affects the accuracy of the calibration. Using simulated data overcomes the manufacturing problems and in that way improves the calibration. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • X-ray computed tomography
  • Beam hardening artefacts


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