X-ray propagation-based phase-enhanced imaging is a powerful new technique that uses the x-ray beam coherence to greatly improve the image contrast. With the high x-ray beam brilliance (or alternately, good beam coherence) available at third-generation synchrotron sources, such as the Advanced Photon Source (APS), propagation-based phase-enhanced imaging can be easily accomplished. The power of this technique lies in its simplicity — it is an in-line geometry and requires little or no beam manipulation, and it works over the entire range of accessible energies (10–100 keV). Unlike conventional radiography, its contrast mechanism is mostly due to Fresnel diffraction and not absorption. The technique works for soft biological samples, as well as thick (several millimeters) stainless-steel samples. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of this technique to study several fuel injectors and compare the results with conventional absorption radiography. The possibility of extending this technique to time-resolved imaging studies on the fuel injector will be discussed.

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