X-ray tube installation and operating manuals
The most common over looked procedure for performing radiography.
We have been involved with the manufacturing and sales of medical rotating anode X-ray tubes for over thirty years. As the OEMs can make it hard to find good information on operating and installations of their new equipment. Their vision is to have them come for all service and installations. There are the private service companies that can save cost for installations on the facility imaging equipment. The X-ray technicians in the radiology departments may not have been educated in the idiosyncrasies 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. 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.
As a manufacture and reloading facility of x-ray tubes we must make a number of exposures during testing for radiation leakage and filtration test. Before these test that will take 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 much more flexible to reach high exposure levels when it is cold.
All x-ray tube manufactures recommend daily warming procedures before high KV exposures.
Always age 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. (This was a quote from a manufactures operations manual.)
We find this on all manuals from the x-ray tube equipment manufactures to our insert manufactures. Every procedure is a little different. Some are hard t understand as they may leave out some of the parameters. Like the MaS setting or time of exposure. As a reloading manufacture we reload 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 - 10 second wait between exposures - 6 exposures total
100KV @ 60 Ma - 1 second exposure time
125KV @ 60 Ma - 1 second exposure time
133KV @ 60 Ma - 1 second exposure time
If you are still getting a discharge failure you can go back and warm again at lower KV.
All units are different