Daily Seasoning (Warming)
The most common over looked procedure when performing daily radiography.
Ray-Pac has been involved with the manufacturing and sales of medical rotating anode X-ray tubes for over thirty five years. The Original Equipment Manufactures can make it hard to find good information on operating and installations of their new equipment. Their hopes are to have them come for all service repairs and installations.
There are private medical equipment service companies that can save you money for installations and repairs of your facilities imaging equipment. The X-ray technicians in the radiology departments may not have been educated in the daily warming procedures of their new equipment.
All X-ray tube manufactures recommend that all new X-ray tubes or new X-ray tube inserts in a new housing be seasoned (break in period). Seasoning can be expressed in a few words, aging, warming or break in time. The heart of the x-ray tube in most medical radiography is done with a rotating anode insert (tube) in the lead lined aluminum housing. Not only do the bearings need break in time from the first installation but the filaments need aging also for best performance and longest life.
Ray-Pac as a manufacture and reloading facility of x-ray tubes we must make a number of exposures during FDA testing for radiation leakage and filtration test along with initial filament break in. Before we can test the new insert to it's highest recommended exposure levels the new installed insert must be seasoned (properly broken in, aged and warmed up). Once the new x-ray unit is properly seasoned at the manufacturing facility it is more flexible to reach high exposure levels when it is cold.
All x-ray tube manufactures recommend daily warming procedures in their operating manuals before 100 KV or higher exposures are initiated.
(This was a quote from a manufactures operations manual.)
Always age (warm) the x-ray tube unit before starting radiography. In particular, if x-ray tube voltage is set to over 100 kV, warm-up should be done on a daily basis.
Performing radiography without warming up the x-ray tube unit may cause an electrical discharge.
Ray-Pac finds this statement in all manuals from the x-ray tube equipment manufactures to our insert manufactures. Every warming procedure is a little different depending on the design and usage of the tube. Some manuals can be hard to understand as they may leave out some of the parameters. Like the MaS setting or time of exposure during warming.
As an X-Ray Tube manufacture we load many different inserts used at different exposure levels. From low powered small units to high powered larger units. They all respond differently and it is up to the operator to find the best method for best performance and longest operating life.
Some common generic warming procedures by X-ray tube manufactures.
80KV @ 60Ma - 1 second exposure time - 15 second wait between exposures - 6 exposures total
100KV @ 60 Ma - 1 second exposure time - one exposure before raising - 15 second wait
125KV @ 60 Ma - 1 second exposure time - one exposure before raising - 15 second wait
133KV @ 60 Ma - 1 second exposure time
If you are still getting a discharge failure or error code ( F14 with Shimadzu units) you can go back and warm again at lower KV. All units are different.
We have found that the Shimadzu and Fuji machines and operating systems begin to fail at higher KV levels. Replacing the X-Ray tube is usually the technicians first response.
Please feel free to call or email Ray-Pac for tech support.