Beryllium Window Tubes

– Hi I’m Rich Cisek and I’m here with today’s installment
of quick tips with Rich. Your x-ray and vision inspection
resource on the internet. Today we’re gonna get technical. We’re gonna talk about imaging
performance of x-ray tubes and what kind of things you need to know as a purchaser of x-ray systems to understand what vendors
are communicating with you. So one of the most fundamental things about the design of x-ray tubes is they’re basically light bulbs. See the light bulb, and that light bulb is
encased in like a vacuum and then there’s some
outlet to the outside world and then you have your product over here. So what we’re gonna focus
on in today’s session is what’s this sort of window
into the outside world. So this is the aperture or
passageway for the x-ray energy out of the tube into your inspection zone. So these types of apertures are made from two types of material. One is glass, and then there’s a
material called beryllium. We call it Be in our industry. Beryllium is the lightest
metal in the atomic table and there are extremely
different characteristics of x-ray tubes depending on what type of aperture sealant you have. And so let’s go through that a little bit. If you think about x-ray energy, x-ray energy looks like a distribution and the distribution is
essentially energy of photons. So if you think of this as
like the number of photons and this is like the energy
level and this is the number. Let’s say you’ve got an x-ray
tube that’s rated at 70 kb. So we’re gonna have some
photons that have more energy and some photons that have less energy. So what does that really mean? That sounds kinda technical. Let’s simplify it. Low energy photons are
photons that are less likely just to pass through something without causing the detector to see them. Well what kinds of things are those? Well they’re low density
things like plastic, bone, and some stones. So if you’re trying to find these things, a beryllium window x-ray tube
is superior to a glass one because what happens with the glass tube is it’s gonna filter out
all these low energy photons because that’s what glass does. It’s a filter and sometimes we put an additional metal filter on top of this to further attenuate this stuff, but if you wanna get
those low energy photons, you need the beryllium window tube. So when you’re buying a machine and you’re interested
in getting certain types of contaminant detection, it’s really important to appreciate the value of beryllium window tube. They’re not offered by all manufacturers. We offer them on every
machine that we make and there are some other
technical constraints that I won’t get into today that govern how well this works. But if you imagine a picture of a chicken breast with a
bone in it with a glass tube you’re gonna see this. Nothing. With a beryllium tube, you’re gonna see that bone
with a lot more clarity and that’s the difference. That’s the imaging difference. The other thing to appreciate which is probably kind of
intuitive that we’re talking about is beryllium window tubes
are more expensive to make. They’ve got special metals in them and the way that they’re built
is a little bit different. But again their performance for certain kinds of
applications is superior. So if your application can
use a beryllium window tube, we highly recommend you talk to an expert about installing one in your system because that’s gonna make
the difference between finding something and
just having a blank box. I hope this was helpful. Thank you for tuning in and if
you’d like more information, please click on the link
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  1. Love the whiteboard. Adds a whole different level of interactivity. Nice job. Maybe a link for some case studies in the description. Very nice work.

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