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X-Ray Components Play a Critical Role in Many Important Areas of Our Lives

By October 1, 2019 No Comments

X-Ray components are custom items made by Precision Electronic Glass that may not be readily recognized by people outside the x-ray technology field. However, these odd-looking glass shapes made by PEG are critically important when it comes to the performance of this very important tool.

And ask anyone who depends on it — from a veterinarian to a surgeon, a fraud investigator to a homeland security officer, or even an expert in nondestructive inspection — x-ray technology is a lifesaver. It is an honor for our PEG team to play such an active role in manufacturing x-ray components for this field.

x-ray components

Medical team examining x-ray images.

X-Ray Components Contribute as a Trusted Tool in the Medical Field

Most of us are most familiar with x-ray as it is used in medicine for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

The first use of x-ray machines in hospitals was in 1896 to detect bone fractures. X-ray radiography today also detects certain tumors and other abnormal masses, pneumonia, some types of injuries, calcifications, foreign objects, dental problems, and much more.

x-ray components

Doctor analyzing an x-ray of the lungs.

Mammography is a radiograph of the breast that is used for cancer detection and diagnosis.

CT (computed tomography): Combines traditional x-ray technology with computer processing to generate a series of cross-sectional images of the body that can later be combined to form a three-dimensional x-ray image.

Fluoroscopy: Uses x-rays and a fluorescent screen to obtain real-time images of movement within the body or to view diagnostic processes, such as following the path of an injected or swallowed contrast agent.

x-ray components

X-ray components give security a peek inside the luggage.

X-Ray Components at Work to Identify Security Risks

Imagine the challenge that the Homeland security team would have in airports without the benefit of x-ray. From identifying the contents of luggage to clearing passengers and flight crew for boarding planes, x-ray plays a critical role in keeping travelers safe. And the work doesn’t stop there.

An increase in terrorist attacks and mass shootings over the past decade have led to the need to scan attendees at events ranging from court dates to concerts. X-ray is improving security where large crowds gather. In addition to airports, you will also see it at train stations, bus depots, large corporate offices, public buildings, schools, conferences, stadiums, arenas, museums, marathons, outdoor festivals, malls, and many more places.

pipeline x-ray robot

Pipeline x-ray robot crawls a pipe to make an inspection. Courtesy of the Duluth News Tribune

Inspecting Pipelines and Metals for Fractures

You will also find x-ray used in pipeline inspection for a huge variety of pipelines both before installation and after. X-ray radiography is one type of nondestructive inspection (NDT). It ensures the integrity of structures in the aerospace industry, for highways and bridges, ships and barges, oil rigs, refineries, and more. All of these structures have critical functions that depend on the integrity of materials, often with many lives at stake.

Goya Forgery

This portrait of Maria Isabella de Bourbon, infanta of Spain (1741-1763), thought to be painted by Goya was bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum in 1943. Although the canvas was old, and the paint bore the crackle marks of age, several scholars came to doubt the painting’s authenticity. Photo from Wiki Commons

The Role of X-Ray Components in Detecting Art Forgery

In addition, an x-ray also detects materials to recognize counterfeit art. In this case, x-ray determines whether a possible forgery is on the re-used canvas. Smart art forgers know you can’t paint an old painting on a new canvas. Looking closely at it with a microscope would reveal its true age. For that reason, forgers paint over old, less valuable art to create a more valuable fake.

Of course, reusing canvasses is an old practice in the art world. Starving artists from all periods saved money by painting over their own work or the paintings of others. In this case, the older painting will obviously be under the newer painting.

However, an x-ray of the 17th-century painting with a 19th-century painting under it is likely a fake. Furthermore, if the artist only painted new canvas when alive, the presence of any previous painting below the surface is a strong signal that a forger is at work.

industrial

How PEG Helps Those Who Use X-Ray Components

It’s always interesting to think of the different uses for products as we make the components to support them. The components made by PEG for the x-ray industry are an excellent example.

Although we can manufacture any custom glass components our customers require, the components we most often manufacture for the x-ray industry include the x-ray bulb, cathode assembly, anode assembly, and insulator. These can vary widely depending on the machine and the application.

x-ray diagram

X-Ray Bulb

The x-ray bulb holds the anode, cathode, and target that generates and emits the x-ray. As a result, this component can include just a body or a body and a neck. Most often, you find this component in medical, industrial, and security x-ray applications.

Cathode Assembly

This is a component we eventually seal into the bulb (see above). Consequently, the cathode allows electrical connections to enter the bulb.

Anode Assembly

The anode assembly is typically a neck that attaches to the bulb on-site by the customer.  In addition, when assembled by the customer, the anode assembly contains the motor that drives the target.

Insulator

The insulator is a component that insulates the x-ray tube. Therefore, these components are typically for metal CT scanner tubes. Usually, the insulator is either for the anode or cathode side of the tube.

vet radiography

Veterinarian specialist looks at the x-ray of a dog.

About PEG

PEG’s mission is to provide customized glass and quartz products and related products and services to OEMs and distributors around the world in countries where our customers operate. Our objective is to fabricate the finest precision glass and quartz components and assemblies to customers’ specifications. Working together with customers, PEG manufactures prototypes; handles small to large production runs; performs value-added assembly, and provides cleanroom processing when specifications dictate the need for it.

Utilizing standard or computer-controlled glass lathe fabrication; glass-to-glass and glass-to-metal graded seals; cutting and end finishing; and precision grinding/polishing, PEG produces a variety of components and value-added assemblies, including medical, dental, or industrial glass X-ray tubes, and CO2 or HeNe lasers. We produce all glass and quartz fabrications in facilities certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards of quality. Our commitment to quality and integrity in everything we do is reflected in our mission statement, corporate values, and quality policy.