Image credit @wdbgroup
In the field of NDT, the implementation or adoption of computerized radiography has totally revolutionized the way radiographic examinations are performed. Computerized radiography (CR) systems also successfully replaced the conventional film-based methods and have a lot of advantages to offer such as increased productivity, improved quality of the image, and better data management.
However, implementing computed radiography technology in non-destructive testing processes needs detailed planning and compliance with best practices in order to ensure optimal outcomes and maximize the usefulness of this progressive imaging method.
This specific article aims to explore the best practices for implementing computerized radiography in non-destructive testing processes, covering important aspects such as quality control, training, system selection, and data management. By pursuing these best practices, organizations can harness the full possibility of computerized radiography technology and attain incredible efficiency and accuracy in their radiographic examinations.
What Is Meant By Computed Radiography (CR)?
Computed Radiography, also known as CR, makes use of photo-stimulated luminescence in order to store the X-ray exposures. First & foremost, a phosphor imaging plate is parked exactly behind the object and is then exposed to the penetration tradition directly.
After that, this particular plate is scanned to develop a digital picture of the exposure by catching sight of the luminescence from the photostimulable luminescent phosphor of the plate.
Computed Radiography helps in creating a picture similar to the traditional X-ray technique, but it uses distinct equipment, which is then scanned into a computer device as a digital library.
How Does Computed Radiography Work?
A computed radiography process makes use of barium fluoro bromide which further utilizes europium just like an activator. Barium fluoro bromide tends to absorb the X-ray energy to develop a latent image.
The emission of light or the process of photostimulable luminescence is utilized to disseminate the latent image into the computer. Now, the red light elicits the stored latent image and then it is transferred via the imaging plate to let it break out as a blue-colored light.
So, the blue light proceeds to get on a parabolic mirror or pentaprism, and the light energy is then redirected to a photomultiplier tube, which obtains the light.
There is a photocathode, which is a scintillating component placed in front, which helps the blue light to be converted into electrons immediately. Next, the electrons rotate down to the photomultiplier tube through gating systems, known as dynodes.
And these dynodes further collect the electrons altogether and deliver them to an ADR (Analogue Digital Reader), which begins to develop a picture on the digital screen.
Advantages Of Computed Radiography Over Traditional Radiography
a) Computed radiography makes use of the traditional x-ray room and companies that have an existing traditional x-ray set-up do not require to possess different x-ray rooms.
b) There is a substantial reduction in the times of exposure in various cases, yet the energy required is exactly the same as traditional RT.
c) Plus, there is a huge reduction in re-shots as disapproved of traditional radiography, because the technician obtains quick feedback from the shot.
d) Imaging plates here can be reused as opposed to traditional film, which must be stored or discarded.
e) The final outcome is images of high resolution which can be shared digitally among your colleagues, customers, and companies.
f) Conventional film can be a little slow to create and when it comes to archiving film, it is truly a problematic thing in terms of long-term storage. On the other hand, computed radiography does create a digital archive that is extremely easy to share and maintain.
Thus, this one investment needs no to less maintenance when compared to the traditional radiography which needs the film development tool.
Best Practices For Implementing Computed Radiography
Implementing CR or computerized radiography in non-destructive testing methods can eventually help in enhancing the productivity, accuracy, and efficiency of the processes. We have listed down some of the best practices that must be considered when implementing computed radiography in NDT methods, let's check them out:
1) Selection Of Equipment
One must select computed radiography systems that are highly suitable for specific non-destructive testing applications and the atmosphere in which they will be utilized. A lot of factors such as image quality, exposure range, resolution, ease of utilization, and portability. Ascertain that the computed radiography equipment fulfills pertinent industry standards & regulations.
2) Training, Knowledge & Familiarization
One needs to ensure that NDT technicians must receive comprehensive training to brush up their skills on CR equipment, which includes the process of imaging systems, interpretation of outcomes, and managing digital images. Also, make them familiar with the computed radiography workflow and best practices to reduce errors and maximize the advantages of the specific technology.
3) Radiation Safety
Always give priority to radiation safety practices in order to protect the NDT technicians and also the environment. Make sure that the personnel who are managing CR equipment are well-trained in radiation safety processes and must have the necessary certifications as well. Try to implement proper warning signs, shielding, and access controls in the areas where computed radiography is conducted.
4) Image Processing & Analysis
NDT technicians must receive proper training on image processing and analysis procedures explicit to computed radiography. Use applicable software tools for the enhancement of images, annotation, measurement, and comparison. Implementing standardized techniques for image interpretation, classification, and defect detection.
5) Quality Assurance & Calibration
Establishing a powerful quality assurance program in order to assure the accuracy and reliability of computed radiography results is one of the best ways. Also, conduct routine calibrations, quality control tests, system checks, etc., to substantiate the overall performance of the CR equipment. Don't forget to keep records of all these activities and traceability must be maintained as well.
6) Image Acquisition
Adhering to appropriate techniques and processes for image acquisition can be beneficial. Make sure that the component being examined is parked, aligned, and secured appropriately. Also, follow suggested exposure settings, collimation, and source-to-detector distances in order to accomplish optimal image quality. Try to minimize the factors that can bring up artifacts or degrade the quality of the image such as scatter radiation or motion blur.
7) Data Management & Archiving
Create a systematic approach in order to manage as well as archive digital pictures. Verify protocols for storing data, backup, and retrieval to make sure long-term accessibility and availability. Always consider implementing a document management system or secure database to stimulate efficient retrieval and sharing of computed radiography images as well as reports.
Always remember that the best practices mentioned above might vary sometimes depending on a specific industry, standards & relations, and specific requirements of the non-destructive testing applications. It is quite necessary to have a proper consultation with the industry standards, guidelines, and experts in this specific field for further direction. However, for any queries or more such articles, visit OnestopNDT right now!