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Radiographic Testing

Compiled for ASNT by

Bahman Zoofan
The Ohio State University

Level I
Radiographic Testing

Lesson 1
Introduction to
Radiographic Testing

1. In radiography, test objects are
exposed to X-rays, gamma rays
or neutrons, and an image is

2. Radiography is used to test a variety of
products, such as castings, forgings
and weldments. It is also used heavily
in the aerospace industry for the
detection of cracks in airframes
structures, detection of water in
honeycomb structures and for foreign
object detection.

Advantages of Radiographic Testing

1. Radiography can be used on most
2. Radiography provides a permanent
record of the test object.
3. Radiography reveals discontinuities
within a material.
4. Radiography discloses fabrication errors
and often indicates the need for
corrective action.

Limitations of Radiographic Testing

1. The radiographer must have
access to both sides of the test
2. Planar discontinuities that are
not parallel to the radiation beam
are difficult to detect.

Limitations of Radiographic Testing

3. Radiography is an expensive
testing method.
4. Film radiography is time
5. Some surface discontinuities or
shallow discontinuities may be
difficult, if not impossible, to

Test Objective
The objective of radiographic testing is to
ensure product reliability. Performing the
actual radiographic test is only part of
the procedure. The results of the test
must then be interpreted to acceptance
standards by qualified personnel, and an
evaluation of the results must be made.

Safety Considerations
Radiation can cause damage to the
cells of living tissue, so it is essential
that personnel be aware and
protected. Compliance with state and
federal safety regulations is

1. It is important that personnel
responsible for radiographic testing
have adequate training, education
and experience.
2. Guidelines are for the qualification
and certification of nondestructive
testing personnel.

3. ASNT has published guidelines for
training and qualifying nondestructive
testing (NDT) personnel since 1966.
These are known as: Personnel
Qualification and Certification in
Nondestructive Testing:
Recommended Practice No. SNTTC-1A.

4. Recommended Practice No.
SNT-TC-1A describes the
knowledge and capabilities of
nondestructive testing personnel
in terms of certification levels.

5. Per SNT-TC-1A, there are three
basic levels of qualification applied
to nondestructive testing personnel:
a. Level I.
b. Level II.
c. Level III.

1. The formal certification of a person in
nondestructive testing to a
Level I, Level II and Level III is a written
testimony that the individual has been
properly qualified.
2. Certification is meant to document the
actual qualification of the individual in a
specific nondestructive testing method.

3. Proper qualification and
certification is extremely
important in modern
manufacturing, fabrication and
inservice inspection due to the
impact on the health and safety
of the public.

Lesson 2
Radiographic Testing Principles

Penetration and
Differential Absorption
1. X-rays and gamma rays have the ability
to penetrate materials, including
materials that do not transmit light.
2. Depending on the thickness and density
of the material, and the intensity of the
source being used, the amount of
radiation that is transmitted through the
test object will vary.

Penetration and
Differential Absorption
3. The radiation transmitted
through the test object produces
the radiographic image.

Penetration and
Differential Absorption
The following figure illustrates the
partial absorption characteristics of
radiation. Thicker portions of the test
object or dense inclusions will appear
lighter because of more absorption of
the radiation.

Geometric Exposure Principles

1. A radiograph is a shadow picture of a
test object placed between the
film/detector and the X-ray or gamma
radiation source.
2. If the film/detector is placed too far
from the test object, the image will be

Geometric Exposure Principles

3. If the test object is too close to the
source, the image will be greatly
enlarged, resulting in the loss of
4. The degree of enlargement will vary
according to the relative distances of
the test object from the film/detector.

Geometric Exposure Principles

5. As shown in the following figure,
the image enlargement: Df/D0 is
equal to the ratio: df/d0.

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

1. The sharpness of a radiographic
image is determined by:
a. The size of the radiation source.
b. The ratio of the object-to-film/
detector distance.
c. Source-to-object distance.

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

2. The unsharpness or fuzziness
around an image is called geometric
unsharpness (penumbra), as shown
in the following figure.

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

3. To minimize the geometric
unsharpness (Ug) in the image, the
test object should placed as close
to the film/detector as possible.
4. Most radiographic codes
recommend the maximum
acceptable values for geometric

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

5. Geometric unsharpness can be
calculated using the following
Ug = Fd/D

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

a. Ug is the geometric unsharpness (in
millimeters or inches).
b. F is the source size (the maximum
projected dimension of the radiation
source, or effective focal spot size).

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

c. D is the distance from the source
of the radiation to the object
being radiographed.
d. d is the distance from the source
side of the test object to the

Film/Detector Image Sharpness

5. Optimum geometric unsharpness of
the image is obtained when:
a. The radiation source is small.
b. The distance from the source to
the test object is relatively large.
c. The distance from the test object
to the film/detector plane is small.

Image Distortion
Two possible causes of radiographic
image distortion are:
1. The test object and the film/
detector plane are not parallel.
2. The radiation beam is not directed
perpendicular to the film/detector plane.

X-Radiation and Gamma Radiation

1. X-rays and gamma rays are part
of the electromagnetic spectrum.
2. They have high energy and short

The conditions required to generate
X-rays are:
1. A source of electrons.
2. A suitable target for electrons to
3. A means of speeding the electrons
in the desired direction.

Characteristic X-rays: When an
electron of sufficient energy
interacts with an orbital electron
of an atom, then characteristic
X-rays may be generated.

Continuous radiation: The
generated X-rays have a continuous
energy spectrum and not entirely
dependent on the disturbed atoms

Bremsstrahlung radiation: This is a
German name for braking or
continuous radiation.

KeV (kilo-electron volts): The
unit corresponds to the amount
of kinetic energy that an electron
would gain when moving
between two points that differ in
voltage by 1 kV.

MeV (1000,000 electron volts): This
unit corresponds to the amount of
kinetic energy of electrons when
moving between two points that
different by 1MV.

Electron Source
1. When a suitable material is heated,
some of its charged negative particles
(electrons) become agitated and
escape the material as free electrons.
2. Cathode: In an X-ray tube, a coil of
wire (filament) is the source of
electrons (known as the cathode).

Electron Target
For industrial radiography
application, a solid material of
high atomic number, usually
tungsten, is used as the target in
the tube anode.

Electron Acceleration
1. By placing a positive charge on
the anode of an X-ray tube and a
negative charge on the cathode,
free electrons are accelerated
from the cathode to the anode.
2. The electron path should be in a

Radiation Intensity
1. The number of X-rays created
by electrons striking the
target is one measure of the
intensity of the X-ray beam.
2. Intensity depends on the
amount of electrons available
at the X-ray tube cathode.

Radiation Intensity
3. Keeping the other factors constant,
an increase in the current through the
tube filament will increase the
cathode temperature, causing
emission of more electrons and
consequently increasing the intensity
of the X-ray beam.

Radiation Intensity
4. Similarly, though to a lesser
degree, an increase in the applied
tube voltage will increase the
beam intensity.
5. The output rating of an X-ray tube
is expressed in volts (kV or MeV).

Inverse Square Law

1. The intensity of an X-ray beam
varies inversely with the square of
the distance from the radiation
I1/I2 = D22/D21
2. The relationship is known as
the inverse square law: where I1
and I2 are the received radiation
intensities at distances D1 and D2.

X-Ray Quality Characteristics

1. The spectrum of continuous X-rays
covers a wide band of wavelengths,
as shown in the following figure.

X-Ray Quality Characteristics

2. An increase in applied voltage in an Xray tube increases the intensity (quality
of X-rays). This produces the generation
of the higher energy rays with greater
penetrating power.
3. X-rays with higher energy (shorter
wavelengths) are called hard

X-Ray Quality Characteristics

4. X-rays with lower energy (longer
wavelengths) are called soft X-rays.
5. Variation in tube current varies the
intensity of the beam, but the
spectrum of wavelengths produced
remains unchanged, as seen in the
following figure.

X-Ray Quality Characteristics

6. Effects of changes in kilovoltage
and tube current on the produced
X-rays are summarized in
the following table.

Effects of kilovoltage and amperage

Interaction With Matter

1. Any action that disrupts the
electrical balance of an atom and
produces ions is called
2. X-rays passing through matter
cause ionization in their path.

Interaction With Matter

3. X-rays are photons (bundles of energy)
traveling at the speed of light.
4. In passing through matter, X-rays lose
energy to atoms by ionization processes
knows as:
a. Photoelectric absorption.
b. Compton effect.
c. Pair production.

Photoelectric Absorption
1. In photoelectric absorption, when
X-rays (photons) with relatively low
energy pass through matter, the
photon energy may be transferred to
an orbital electron (see the following

Photoelectric Absorption
2. Part of the energy is expended in
ejecting the electron from its orbit,
and the remainder gives velocity to
the electron.

Photoelectric Absorption
3. This phenomenon usually takes
place with low energy photons
of 0.5 MeV or less.
4. It is this absorption effect that
makes radiography possible.

Compton Effect
1. When higher energy photons (0.1 to
3 MeV) pass through matter, part of the
photon energy is expended in ejecting
an electron. The remaining slower
energy photons travel at different
angles compared to the original photon
path (see the following figure).

Compton Effect
2. This process, progressively
weakening the photon, is
repeated until the photoelectric
effect completely absorbs the
last photon.

Pair Production
Pair production occurs only with
higher energy photons of 1.02 MeV
or more (see the following figure).

Scatter Radiation
1. The major components of scatter
radiation are the low energy rays
represented by photons weakened
in the compton process.
2. Scatter radiation is low-level energy
content and of random direction.

Internal Scatter
1. Internal scatter is the scattering that
occurs in the object being
radiographed (see the following

Internal Scatter
2. It affects image definition by
blurring the image outline.
3. The increase in radiation
passing through matter caused
by scatter in the forward
direction is known as buildup.

1. Sidescatter is the scattering from
walls and the surrounding of the
object in the vicinity of the test
object that cause rays to enter the
sides of the test object.
2. Sidescatter obscures the image
outline just as internal scatter does.

1. Backscatter is the scattering of
rays from the surface or from
objects beneath or behind the test
object (see the following figure).
2. Backscatter also obscures the
test object.

Gamma Rays
1. Gamma rays are produced by
the disintegration of the nuclei of
a radioactive isotope.
2. Isotopes are varieties of the
same chemical element having
different atomic weights.

Gamma Rays
3. The wavelength and intensity of
gamma waves are determined by
the source isotope characteristics
and cannot be controlled or

Natural Isotope Sources

1. Some heavy natural elements
disintegrate because of their
inherent instability.
2. Radium is the best known and
most used natural radioactive

Natural Isotope Sources

3. Natural radioactive sources release energy in
the form of:
a. Gamma rays.

b. Alpha particles: Positively charged particles

having mass and charge
equal in magnitude
of a helium nuclei.

c. Beta particles: Negatively charged particles

having charge and mass
as of the electron.

Natural Isotope Sources

4. The penetrating power of alpha
and beta particles is relatively

Artificial Sources
1. There are two ways of manufacturing
radioactive isotopes, or so-called
a. By using the by product of
nuclear fission in atomic reactors,
like cesium-137 (Cs-137).

Artificial Sources
b. By bombarding certain elements
with neutrons to make them unstable.
Examples are:
cobalt-60 (Co-60), thulium-170
(Tm170), selenium-75 (Se-75) and
iridium-192 (Ir-192).
2. These artificial isotopes emit gamma
rays, and alpha and beta particles.

Gamma Ray Intensity

1. The activity of a gamma ray
source determines the intensity
of its radiation.
2. The measure of activity is the
curie (Becquerel) which is
3.7 X 1010 disintegrations per

Specific Activity
1. Specific activity is defined as the
degree of concentration of
radioactive material within a
gamma ray source.
2. Specific activity is expressed in
terms of curies per gram or curies
per cubic centimeter.

Specific Activity
3. Specific activity is an important
measure of radioisotopes
because the smaller the source,
the sharper the radiographic
image that can be produced (as
shown in the following figure).

Half Life
1. The length of time required for the
activity of a radioisotope to decay to
one half of its initial intensity is
called its half life.
2. The half life of a radioisotope is a
basic characteristic, and depends on
the particular isotope of a given

Half Life
3. Dated decay curves (similar to one
shown in the next slide) are supplied
by source suppliers for each
particular radioisotope and should be
used by radiographers to determine
the exact source intensity.

Gamma Ray Quality Characteristics

1. Radiation from a gamma ray source
consists of rays whose wavelengths and
energy are determined by the nature of
the source.
2. Each of the commonly used
radioisotopes has a specific application
because of the fixed gamma energy

Gamma Ray Quality Characteristics

3. The table on the next slide lists the
most common radioisotopes for
radiography and their equivalent

Gamma Ray Quality Characteristics

4. Gamma rays and X-rays have
identical propagation
characteristics, and both conform
to the inverse square law.
5. The mechanism of interaction of
gamma rays with matter is
identical to those discussed for Xrays.

Lesson 3

X-Ray Equipment
There are three basic requirements
for the generation of X-rays:
1. A source of free electrons.
1. A means of rapidly accelerating
the beam of electrons.
2. A suitable target material to stop
the electrons.

Portable X-Ray Units

In field radiography (inspection of
pipelines, bridges, vessels, and
ships), portable X-ray units are very
important. The characteristic of these
tubes are:
1. Light weight.
2. Compact.
3. Usually air cooled.

X-Ray Tube
The main components of any
X-ray equipment are:
1. Tube: Enclosed in a high vacuum
envelope of heat resistant glass or
2. Cathode: To produce free electros.
3. Anode: Target which the
electrodes strike.

X-Ray Tube
Associated with the tube are the following
1. Equipment that heats the filament,
accelerates, and controls the resultant
free electrons.
2. Equipment to remove the heat
generated by the X-rays.
3. Shielding of the equipment.

X-Ray Tube
There are many varieties in the
size and shape of X-ray tubes.

Tube Envelope
1. Tube envelope is constructed of
glass or ceramic that has:
a. A high melting point.
b. Sufficient strength.
2. For the following reasons, a high
vacuum environment for the tube
element is necessary.

Tube Envelope
a. Preventing oxidation of the
electrode material.
b. Permits ready passage of the
electron beam without ionization of
gas within the tube.
c. Provides electrical insulation
between the electrodes.

Cathode of X-ray tubes consists of:
1. Focusing cup: Functions as
an electrostatic lens.
2. Filament: A coil of tungsten
wire that produces a cloud of
electrons by flowing an
electrical current through it.

Filament Heating
1. A small flow of current through the filament
is enough to heat it to a temperature that
causes electron emission.
2. A change in the number of emitted
electrons varies with the current flow
through the filament.
3. The tube current is measured in
milliamperes (mA), and it controls the
intensity of X-rays.

Anode and Cathode

1. The anode of X-ray tube is
usually made of copper.
2. Copper and tungsten are the
most common anode materials.

3. A dense target material is
required to ensure a maximum
number of collisions.
4. Material with a high melting point
is necessary for a target to
withstand the excessive heat.

Focal Spot
1. The image sharpness is partly
determined by the size of the
focal spot.
2. The electron beam is focused so
that a rectangular area of the
target is bombarded by the

Focal Spot
3. The projected area of the
electron beam is the effective
focal spot (as seen in the
following slide).
4. The size to which the focal spot
can be reduced is limited by the
heat generated in target

Linear Accelerators
There are two types of linear
1. Standing wave linear accelerator
for energy up to 200 MeV.
2. Traveling wave linear
accelerator for energy up to 30
GeV (giga-electron volts,
billion electron volts).

X-Ray Beam Configuration

1. Once the X-rays are created, they
cannot be focused or otherwise
2. The direction of useful X-radiation
is determined by the positioning of
the target and the lead shielding.

Accelerating Potential
1. The applied potential between the
cathode and anode determines the
penetrating effect of the produced X-ray.
2. The higher the voltage, the greater the
electron velocity and the shorter
wavelengths and more penetrating
power for the generated X-rays.

Iron Core Transformers

1. The majority of X-ray equipment
for industrial radiography (up to
400 kV) use iron core
2. Their basic limitations are their
size and weight.

Heat Dissipation
1. X-ray generation is a very
inefficient process; most of the
electron energy is expended in
producing heat.
2. Heat dissipation in the X-ray tube is
done by a flow of oil, gas or water.

Heat Dissipation
3. Efficiency of an X-ray tube
cooling system is the main factor
in determining the duty cycle of
the tube.

Equipment Shielding
1. To prevent unwanted radiation,
lead is used to shield the X-ray
2. The design of this shielding varies
with different X-ray tubes, but in
all cases, it serves to absorb that
portion of the radiation that is not
traveling in the desired direction.

Control Panel
1. The control panel of an X-ray
system is designed to permit a
radiographer to set the desired
exposure parameters.
2. The control panel also provides
critical indications for tube
performance, such as cooling
system, flow of cooling oil, or water.

Gamma Ray Equipment

1. Handling and storage of gamma ray
sources are extremely important due
to the fact they cannot be shut off.
2. The United State Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) and various state
agencies recommend safety standards
for proper transportation, storage and
handling of radioisotopes.

Gamma Ray Sources

1. There are two types of gamma ray
a. Natural isotopes.
b. Artificial isotopes.
2. Most isotopes used in industrial
radiography are round wafers
encapsulated in a stainless steel

1. Radium is a natural radioactive
substance having a half life of
about 1600 years.
2. Most radium sources consist of
radium sulfate packaged in
either spherical or cylindrical

3. Because of its low specific
activity and its long half life,
radium is rarely used in industrial

Artificial Radioisotopes
1. The artificial radioisotopes used in
industrial radiography or gauging
purposes are:
1. Cobalt-60 (Co-60).
2. Iridium-192 (Ir-192).
3. Selenium-75 (Se-75).
4. Thulium-170 (Tm-170).
5. Cesium-137 (Cs-137).

Artificial Radioisotopes
2. The following table gives a
summary of the main
characteristics of the most used

Radioisotope characteristics

Isotope Cameras
1. The equipment to accomplish
safe handling and storage of
radioisotopes is called a camera
or exposure device.
2. These cameras are self
contained units, meaning no
external power supply is required.

Isotope Cameras
3. The exposure devices contain
self locking mechanisms
ensuring safety in accordance
with ANSI and ISO requirements,
in addition to NRC and IAEA

Lesson 4
Radiographic Film

1. Radiographic film consists of:
a. Base: A thin, transparent plastic
b. Emulsion coat: Coat of an
emulsion of gelatin on one or both
sides about 0.001 in.
(0.003 cm)
thick. The
emulsion coat
very fine grains of
silver bromide (AgBr).

2. Latent (hidden) image:
Exposure of radiation on the film
that cannot be detected until
chemical processing occurs.
3. Visible image: Image on the
film after developed by chemical

Usefulness of Radiographs
1. Film density: Degree of darkening
on the developed film.
2. Radiographic contrast:
Difference between two film areas.
Darker area (higher density) has
received more radiation compared
to the area of light density.

Usefulness of Radiographs
3. Definition: Sharpness of any
change in film density.
4. Contrast and definition are
important for a successful
interpretation of radiographs.

Radiographic Contrast
1. The film density D is logarithmic value
defined as:
D = log10 (I0/I)
where (I0) is the intensity of the incident
light to view the film, and I is the intensity
of the transmitted light through the film.
The higher the number, the darker the

Radiographic Contrast
2. If the intensity of light is 1000
units and the film allows only
one unit of that intensity to pass
through, the film density based
on the previous equation will be:
D = log10 (1000/1) = 3

Radiographic Contrast
3. Radiographic contrast (as shown
in the following figure) is defined
as the difference in the film
density between two selected
areas of the exposed and
developed film.

Radiographic Contrast
4. Higher contrast is better for film
5. Radiographic contrast is a
combination of:
a. Subject contrast.
b. Film contrast.

Radiographic Contrast
6. Radiographic contrast depends on:
a. Applied radiation energy
(penetrating quality).
b. Contrast characteristics of the


c. Amount of exposure (the product

of radiation intensity and

Radiographic Contrast
d. Film screen.
e. Film processing.
f. Scattered radiation.

Subject Contrast
1. Subject contrast is the relative
radiation intensities passing
through any two selected
portions of material. Subject
contrast depends on the
following factors:

Subject Contrast
a. Type and shape of the test object.
b. Energy of the applied energy
radiation wavelength, type of
c. Scattered radiation.

Subject Contrast
2. Subject contrast decreases as
the wavelength of the incident
radiation decreases.

Subject Contrast
3. Higher subject contrast can be
achieved by:
a. Larger thickness variation.
b. Use of different X-ray or
gamma ray energies.
c. Masks.
d. Diaphragms.
e. Filters or screens.

Film Contrast
1. The ability of film to detect and
record different radiation
exposures as differences in film
density is called film contrast.

Film Contrast
2. The relationship between the
amount of exposure and the
resulting film density is
expressed in the form of film
characteristic curves and is
determined by the following

Film Contrast
a. Film grain size.
b. Chemistry of the film processing
c. Concentration of the processing
d. Development time.
e. Development temperature.
f. Agitation in the developer solution.

Film Characteristic Curves

1. The following figure shows a film
characteristic curve.
a. The vertical axis is the
resulting film density.
b. The horizontal axis is
expressed in a logarithm of
relative exposure.

Film Characteristic Curves

c. The minimum point of the curve
on the vertical axis is called fog
d. Based on this curve, as the
exposure increases, film contrast

Film Characteristic Curves

2. A film characteristic curve has
two different sections:
a. A tail of lower densities.
b. A straighter portion (with
a higher slope on the curve).

Film Characteristic Curves

3. High radiographic contrast is
achieved with densities at the
straight portion of a characteristic
curve. This is the reason that
films should always be exposed
for a density of at least 1.5.

Film Characteristic Curves

4. Most radiographic codes,
standards and specifications
usually give upper and lower
density limits within a range of
1.8 to 4.0.

Film Speed
1. Film speed is an important
consideration in determining the
proper exposure time to obtain the
desired film density.
2. The next figure illustrates films with
high, medium and low speeds.

Film Speed
3. Knowing film speed is important
in film selection for each
particular radiographic testing

1. Graininess is the visible evidence of
the grouping into clumps of the silver
particles that form the image on the
radiographic film.
2. The following figure shows the effect
of grain variation on the image

3. The degree of graininess of an
exposed film depends on the
following factors:
a. Grain size.
b. The quality of the radiation.
c. Film process conditions.
d. Type of film screens.

Film Selection Factors

1. When not otherwise specified by the
customer or governing standards, the
selection of film is made by the
radiographer. Most of the time, the
selection of film is based on the following
a. Need for certain contrast and
definition quality.

Film Selection Factors

b. Thickness and density of the test
c. The type of indication or
discontinuity normally associated
with the object.
d. Size of an acceptable indication.

Film Selection Factors

e. Accessibility, location and
configuration of the test object.
f. Customer requirements.

Film Selection Factors

2. In film selection, remember that:
a. Film contrast, film speed and
graininess are interrelated.
b. Faster films need shorter
exposure time, but usually
larger grains and poor


Film Selection Factors

c. Slower films need longer
exposure time, but have finer
grain and good resolution/

Film Selection Factors

d. Film manufacturers
recommendations for film
selection are a useful tool in
selecting the proper film for a
given application.

Film Processing
1. Film processing makes the latent
image visible.
2. The following general
precautions must be observed
during film processing:

Film Processing
a. Follow manufacturer recommendations
for chemical concentrations,
temperature and processing time.
b. Use equipment, tanks, trays and
holders that can withstand the
chemical action.

Film Processing
c. Ensure tanks are clean.
d. Recommended safelights should
be used and should be checked

Film Processing
e. Maintain cleanliness in the
darkroom to avoid any artifacts
on developed radiographs.
f. Avoid any contamination of
different solutions.

Tank Processing
The arrangement of tank processing
(manual processing) unit is shown in
the next slide.

Tank Processing
1. The tanks for processing solutions and
wash water should be deep enough for
the film to be submerged.
2. The chemicals in the tanks must be
stirred and the temperature must be
checked with calibrated thermometer
before turning off the ambient light.

Tank Processing
3. All required equipment should be
arranged before turning off the
ambient light.
4. All unnecessary materials should
be kept away from the
processing area.

Tank Processing
5. Test the safe lights and arrangement
them for easy viewing. Follow the
standard recommendations for
regular checking.
6. The door to the darkroom should be
locked to prevent accidental
exposure to ambient light.

Tank Processing
7. To load the film inside the hangers, it
should grasped by its edges or corner
to avoid finger prints, bending,
wrinkling or crimping during handling.
8. Keep the loading area completely dry.
9. Follow the tank processing

Tank Processing Features

There are five separate steps in
tank processing:
1. Developing.
2. Stop bath.
3. Fixing.
4. Washing.
5. Drying.

Developing is the chemical
process of reducing silver
bromide particles in the exposed
area of the film emulsion to
metallic silver.

1. Follow the manufacturers
recommendations for developing
temperature and time.
2. Film should be agitated during
developing to obtain a uniform
development and to avoid any air
bubbles from attaching to the film.

3. Use strips of exposed radiographs
to control the developer activity
as regular quality control
4. Follow the manufacturers
recommendations to replenish the

Stop Bath
The stop bath, a solution of acetic acid
and water, serves to remove the residual
developer solution from the film.
1. Uncontaminated running water for at
least 2 min can be used as an
alternative to stop bath.

Stop Bath
2. Manufacturers directions should
be used to make the stop bath
3. A fresh stop bath solution is
yellow in color and clear under

1. Fixer, an acidic solution, has two
functions on the film:
a. It dissolves and removes the
silver bromide from the undeveloped
portions of the film
affecting the developed portion.
b. It hardens the emulsion gelatin.

2. The minimum time required for
fixing is twice the amount of time
necessary to clean the film.
3. Fixing time should not exceed 15
4. Improper fixing shortens the
archival length of the film.

5. Film should be agitated in fixing
solution at 2 min intervals.
6. The replacement of fixing
solution should be determined by
checking the acidity of the

After fixing, washing is necessary to
remove the fixer from the emulsion.
1. Each film is washed for a period
of time equal to twice the fixing.
2. Hypo clearing agent may be
used to speed up film washing.

3. Best results for washing are
obtained with a water temperature
between 65 and 70 F (18.3 and
21.1 C).
4. To avoid any water marks, film is
immersed in a wetting agent that
also aids in reducing the drying time.

The final stage of the film
processing is drying.

Automatic Film Processing

Automatic film processing
systems are used whenever the
volume of work makes them

Automatic Film Processing

1. The entire processing cycles is
completed in less than 15 min.
2. Automatic film processing units
consistently produce radiographs
of much higher quality than a
manual one.

Automatic Film Processing

3. Loading the film inside the unit
should be done in a dark
4. Properly maintaining the system
is the key for high performance
of an automatic system.

Darkroom Facilities and Equipment

Some requirements that must be satisfied in
the design and construction of a darkroom:
1. It must be lighted with suitable and
tested safelights.
2. It must be protected against
light from outside sources.
3. The walls and ceiling must be painted
with lightly-colored, semigloss paint.

Darkroom Facilities and Equipment

4. Darkroom floors are usually
covered with chemical resistant,
water-proof and slip-proof
5. Cleanliness is of great
importance during the entire film
processing procedure.

Radiographic Film
1. Radiographic film consists of:
a. Base: A thin, transparent

plastic sheet.

b. Emulsion coat: Coat of an

emulsion of gelatin on one or both sides
about 0.001 in.
(0.003 cm) thick. The emulsion
contains very fine grains of silver
bromide (AgBr).

Radiographic Film
2. Latent (hidden) image: Trace of
exposure of radiation on the exposed
film, cannot be detected by ordinary
physical methods.
3. Visible image: Image on the film after
developed by chemical processing.

Lesson 5

1. Radiographers are cautioned to
be aware of the latest effective
safety regulations.
2. Radiation safety practices are
based on the effects of radiation
on the human body, and
characteristics of radiation.

3. Personnel protection is
dependant upon detection
devices, and through the proper
use of time, distance and

4. Agreement States are the
regulations covering use, handling
and transportation of radioactive
materials approved by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC).

5. All of the safety regulations are
designed to limit exposure to the
radiographer and to provide
protection to the general public.

6. The radiographer, who is
employed by a licensee of NRC
or who is employed by a licensee
of an agreement state, must
have knowledge of, and comply
with, all applicable regulations.

Units of Radiation
Dose Measurement
1. The damaging effects of
radiation are dependent on both
the type and the level of energy
of the radiation.
2. For different types of radiation, a
relative biological effectiveness
is applied.

Units of Radiation
Dose Measurement
3. For radiation safety purposes,
the cumulative effect of radiation
on the human body is of primary

Roentgen (R)
1. The roentgen (R) or sievert (Sv) is
the physical unit measure of the
ionization of air by X-radiation or
gamma radiation.

Roentgen (R)
2. It is defined as the quantity of
radiation that will produce one
electrostatic unit (esu) of charge
in one cubic centimeter of air at
standard pressure and
temperature (STP).

Roentgen (R)
3. 1 R of radiation = absorption by
ionization of about 83 erg (unit of
work or energy in physics) of
radiation energy per gram of air.
4. For practical purpose, mR is often
used, which is:
1 mR = 1/1000 R.

Radiation Absorbed Dose (rad)

1. Radiation absorbed dose (rad) is
the unit of measurement of
radiation absorption by humans.
2. It represents an absorption of
100 erg of energy per gram of
irradiated tissue.

Radiation Absorbed Dose (rad)

3. Whereas the roentgen applies only
to X-rays and gamma rays, radiation
absorbed dose applies to any type of
4. For X-ray and gamma radiation,
exposure to 1 R results in 1 rad.

Radiation Absorbed Dose (rad)

5. The unit gray (Gy) has been
introduced as: 100 rad = 1 Gy.

Quality Factor
1. Quality factor takes into account the
biological effect of different
radiations on human body.

Quality Factor
2. Quality factor values are
determined by National
Committee on Radiation
Protection. They are summarized
in the following table.

Roentgen Equivalent Man (rem)

1. Roentgen equivalent man (rem)
represents the absorbed dose in
radiation absorbed dose (rad),
multiplied by the quality factor of the
type of radiation.
2. Radiation safety levels are
established in terms of roentgen
equivalent man (rem).

Roentgen Equivalent Man (rem)

3. Since the quality factor of
X-radiation and gamma radiation
is one, then:
1 rad = 1 rem.

International System of Units

(SI) Measurements
1. The Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, state regulations
and radiographers in the US
often still use the old English
units: curie, roentgen, rem and

International System of Units

(SI) Measurements
2. Different organizations like The National
Institute of Standards & Technology
(NIST), The American National
Standards Institute (ANSI), The
American Society for Testing and
Materials (ASTM), The Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers

International System of Units

(SI) Measurements
the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO) and The
American Society for
Nondestructive Testing (ASNT)
all support the replacement of
older units with SI units.

Becquerel Replaces Curie

1. Curie (Ci) is the original unit for
radioactivity, which is defined as: 3.7
X 1010 disintegrations per second.
2. In SI, the replace unit for
radioactivity is the becquerel (Bq),
which is one disintegration per

Becquerel Replaces Curie

3. 1 Ci = 37 GBq (gigabecquerel),
where giga = 109.

Coulomb per Kilogram

Replaces Roentgen
1. Coulomb (C) is the unit of
electrical change, where:
1 C = 1 ampere X 1 second.
2. 1 R = 258 microcoulombs per
kilogram of air (258 Ckg1 of

Gray (Gy) Replaces Rad

In the SI system, the unit of
radiation dose is the gray (Gy),
and 1 Gy =100 rad.

Sievert (Sv) Replaces Rem

In the SI system, the unit of
radiation absorbed by the human
body is Sievert (Sv), and
1 Sv = 100 rem.

Maximum Permissible Dose

1. Permissible dose is defined by
the NIST as the dose of radiation
that is not expected to cause
appreciable bodily injury to a

Maximum Permissible Dose

2. The following restrictions for the
maximum annual permissible
dose limits for classified workers
should be observed:
a. Total effective dose
equivalent being equal to
5 rem (0.05 Sv).

Maximum Permissible Dose

b. The sum of the absorbed dose
to any individual organ or tissue
other than the lens of the eye
being maximum equal to
50 rem (0.5 Sv).

Maximum Permissible Dose

c. The dose absorbed by lens of the
eye be maximum of 15 rem (0.15
d. A shallow dose equivalent of
50 rem (0.5 Sv) to the skin of the
whole body or to the skin of any

Maximum Permissible Dose

3. The maximum annual radiation
dose is limited to 5 rem (0.05 Sv).
4. The absorbed dose shouldnt
exceed 0.5 rem (5 mSv) during an
entire pregnancy.

Maximum Permissible Dose

5. Dose limits to the general public
shall not exceed 0.002 rem or
2 mrem (0.02 mSv) per hour or
exceed 0.5 rem or 500 mrem
(5 mSv) annually.

Protection Against Radiation

Safe radiographic techniques and
radiographic installation design
are achievable by applying these
1. Time: Keep the time close to
a radiation source as low as

Protection Against Radiation

2. Distance: Keep the distance
from a radiation source a high as
3. Shielding: Keep adequate
shielding for radiation source.

Allowable Working Time

1. The amount of absorbed radiation
by the human body is directly
proportional to the time that the
body is exposed to radiation.
Example: 2 rem (0.2 mSv) in
60 s = 10 mrem (1 mSv) in 5 min.

Allowable Working Time

2. Allowable working time for working with
gamma sources is calculated by
measuring radiation intensity and
substituting it in the following equation:
allowable working time in hr/week =
permissible exposure in Ci/wk /
exposure rate in Ci/h

Working Distance
1. The greater the distance from a
radiation source, the lower the
radiation intensity.
2. The inverse square law is used
is used to calculate radiation
intensities at various distances
from a radiation source.

Working Distance
I1/I2 = D22/D21
where I1 and I2 are intensities at
distances D1 and aD2,

Working Distance
3. The same principles hold for
X-radiation. The intensity at a
known distance with
predetermined current and
voltage setting (usually given by
the X-ray tubes manufacturers)
can be determined by applying
the inverse square law.

Working Distance
4. Radiation intensity at any point is
the sum of the primary radiation
and the secondary (scattered)
radiation at that point.

1. Materials commonly used for
shielding to reduce personnel
exposures are lead, steel, water and

2. Shielding cannot stop all of the
energy of X-radiation or gamma
radiation; therefore, it is practical to
measure shielding efficiency in
terms of half value layers.

3. Half value layer (HVL) is that
amount of shielding that will stop
half of the radiation of a given

4. Similarly, shielding efficiency is
often measured in tenth value
layers. A tenth value layer is that
amount of shielding that will stop
nine tenth of the radiation of a
given intensity. (See the
following tables.)

X-ray half value layers

Gamma ray half and

tenth value layers

Exposure Area
1. Exposure areas should consist of a
room with concrete or block walls,
lined with lead or other suitable
shielding materials.
2. Exposure area can be an enclosed
shielding cabinet large enough for
the test objects and with reliable
safety features.

Exposure Area
3. Controls should be located outside the
exposure area.
4. In field radiography or temporary job sites,
safe distance in relation to exposure must
be determined and be secured by:
a. Guard rails or ropes.
b. Legible radiation warning signs.
c. Sufficient shielding.

Exposure Area
5. Only monitored radiographers are
permitted in the radiation area.
6. Keeping a safe distance from the
radiation source is the simplest and
most effective safety consideration
in field radiography.

Radiation Protective Construction

1. Lead and concrete are the most
common materials used to protect
against radiation.
2. Shielding measurements are
usually expressed in terms of

Radiation Protective Construction

3. Ensuring a leak-proof shielding is
very important.
4. Sheets of lead must be overlapped,
and nails and screws in the walls
must be covered with adequate

Radiation Protective Construction

5. Pipes, conduits and air ducts
passing through the walls of the
shielding must be completely
shielded (see the following

Radiation Protective Construction

6. The thickness of lead is dependent on
two factors:
a. Energy of the radiation source.
b. Occupancy of the surrounding
7. Other than lead, structural materials
such as concrete and brick are often
used as shielding materials.

Radiation Protective Construction

8. At voltages greater than 400 kV,
concrete is used as shielding
a. Difficulty installing very thick lead.
b. Thick sheets of lead are costprohibitive.

Radiation Protective Construction

c. Concrete is the best alternative
material because of its radiation
protection property and its
construction simplicity.

Gamma Ray Requirements

1. Special radiation protection is
required for gamma radiation
based on two factors:
a. Gamma radiation cannot be
shot off.
b. Gamma radiation has
considerable penetrating

Gamma Ray Requirements

2. A combination of shielding and
distance is usually used during
gamma radiography.
3. Specially labeled storage
containers are necessary to
store gamma sources when not
in use.

Gamma Ray Requirements

4. After every use, readings with survey
meters are taken to ensure the source is
safely stored.
5. Special projectors (called pigs) or
isotope cameras containing heavy
shielding made of lead or depleted
uranium should be used for using
radioisotope sources.

United States Nuclear

Regulatory Commission
1. The NRC regulates handling,
storage and use of radioisotopes.
2. Figures 5.2 and 5.3 in the
Radiographic Testing Classroom
Training Book show NRC Form-4
and NRC Form-5, used to monitor
the occupational dose history.

Occupational Radiation
Exposure Limits
1. Limitations on individual dosage
greater than those listed in the
following table may be permitted with
the following conditions:
a. The dose for the whole body
does not exceed 5 rem (0.05 Sv)
during any calendar year.

Occupational Radiation
Exposure Limits
b. The individuals accumulated
occupational dose has been
recoded on NRC Form-4 and the
individual has signed the form.

Maximum permissible dose

Levels of Radiation in
Unrestricted Areas
The following image shows the
exposure limits in an unrestricted

Personnel Monitoring
There are different personnel
monitoring devices required for use
by radiographers and their assistants
during radiographic operations:

Personnel Monitoring
1. Film badges.
2. Thermoluminescent dosimeters
3. Optically stimulated
luminescence badges (OSL).

Personnel Monitoring
4. Direct reading dosimeters.
5. Pocket dosimeters.
6. Electronic personal dosimeters.
The last two types should be
capable of measuring exposures
from 0 to 200 mR (0 to 2 mSv).

Caution Signs, Labels and Signals

1. The radiation symbol should be
placed in:
a. Exposure areas.
b. Containers for transporting and
storing radioactive materials.
2. The words caution or danger must

Caution Signs, Labels and Signals

3. The words radioactive material
should be marked on containers of
radioactive materials and the areas
housing such containers.

Caution Signs, Labels and Signals

4. Exposure devices should have a
radiation symbol and the phrase,
Danger radioactive material do
not handle. Company
information and a 24 h phone
number must be mentioned on
the sign.

Exposure Devices and

Storage Containers
Based on the radiation regulations:
1. Exposure devices must have the name
of the company or laboratory and the
location of the office placed in a
noticeable site on the device.
2. All of the labels, signs, etc. shall be

Radiation Survey
Instrumentation Requirements
1. Radiographers should have operable
and calibrated radiation survey meters.
2. Each exposure device shall be
accompanied by a survey meter.
3. The meters shall have a range of
2 mR (0.02 mSv) per hour through
1 R (0.1 Sv) per hour.

Radiation Surveys
1. An operable and calibrated radiation
survey instrumentation should be
available at an exposure area.

Radiation Surveys
2. When working with radioisotopes, a
radioactive survey shall be made
around the camera to ensure the
source has been returned to its
shielded condition. This is known
as 360 sweep.

Radiation Surveys
3. Before storing each sealed source,
a radiation survey shall be made to
be sure that the source is in its
shielded position.
4. All these readings shall be recorded
on a radiation report survey.

Detection and
Measurement Instruments
There are different instruments that
measure the radiation based on the
ionization produced in a gas. These
instruments fall into two categories:
1. Instruments that measure total dose
2. Instruments that measure dose rate
(radiation intensity).

Instruments that Measure

Total Dose Exposure
a. Pocket dosimeter.
b. Electronic personnel dosimeters.
c. Thermoluminescent dosimeters
d. Optically stimulated
luminescence (OSL) badges.

Instruments that Measure

Dose Rate
Instruments that measure dose
rate are called survey meters.
a. Ionization chambers.
b. Geiger-mueller counters.

Pocket Dosimeters
1. The pocket dosimeter is a small
device, about the size of a
fountain pen, as shown in the
following picture.

Pocket Dosimeters
1. Its operation is based on two
main principles:
a.Radiation causes ionization
in a gas.
b.Similar electrical changes
repel each other.

Pocket Dosimeters
2. The dosimeter should be
properly charged (the indicator
on zero scale) before using.

Pocket Dosimeters
3. Pocket dosimeters are designed
with a sensitivity that permits them
to be scaled in doses from 0 to 200
mR (0 to 2 mSv).
4. Pocket dosimeters must be
calibrated annually, per NRC
regulation, and the date should be
labeled on them.

Personal Electronic Dosimeters

1. Personal electronic dosimeters
(or electronic dosimeters) have
different features:
a. Easy to use.
b. Sensitive.
c. Different dosimeter functions
can be enabled or disabled.

Personal Electronic Dosimeters

2. The electronic dosimeter provides
dose, dose rate and set point
check, and usually operates with
an AA battery.
3. The set points can be present to
definitive alarm points.
4. The pocket size monitors provide
three-digit digital display.

Personal Electronic Dosimeters

5. The energy response of the
pocket sized monitor for gamma
and X-ray is 40 keV to 1.2 MeV.
6. They should be calibrated

Film Badges and

Thermoluminescent Dosimeters
1. The film badge (shown on the
next slide), consists of a small
film holder equipped with thin
lead on cadmium filters.
2. The badge is designed only to
be worn by an individual when
working in a radiation area.

Optically Stimulated
Luminescence (OSL) Badge
1. OSL badges measure beta (b),
gamma, neutron and
X-radiation exposures.
2. The OSL is a thin strip of
specially formulated aluminum
oxide crystalline material.

Optically Stimulated
Luminescence (OSL) Badge
3. It detects energies from 5 keV to
40 MeV for photons, 150 keV to
10 MeV for beta particles, and 40
keV to 35 MeV for neutrons.
4. The dose measurements range
from 1 mrem to 1000 rem.

Ionization Chamber Instruments

1. Ionization chamber instruments
measure the radiation intensity
(dose rate) in milliroentgen per hour
or millisievert per hour.
2. Ionization chamber instruments
typically attain an accuracy of 15%,
except in low intensity radiation

Ionization Chamber Instruments

3. Radiation intensity measurements
in areas of low intensity radiation
are usually made with geigermueller counters.
4. Ionization chamber instruments
should be calibrated annually.

Geiger-Mueller Counters
1. A geiger-mueller counter is a high
sensitive radiation detection
2. Geiger-mueller counters are
typically accurate to 20% for the
quantity of radiation to which they
are calibrated.
3. They should be calibrated annually.

Area Alarm Systems

2. These systems consist of one or
more sensing elements usually
ionization chambers whose
output is fed a central alarm

Area Alarm Systems

3. The meter can be present so that
an audible alarm is sounded,
and a visual indication is given
where permissible radiation
levels are exceeded.

Electrical Safety
1. Because X-ray machines use high
voltage circuits, the radiographer
must comply with safe electrical
2. This is more serious specifically for
portable X-ray equipment, which
requires certain electrical

Electrical Safety
3. During operation or service of
X-ray equipment, the following
precautions, applicable to both
permanent and portable
installations, should be observed

Electrical Safety
a. Do not turn power on until set up
for exposure is completed.
b. Ensure that grounding
instructions are complied with.

Electrical Safety
c. Regularly check power cables for signs
of wear, and replace them where
d. Avoid handling power cables when the
power is on. The machines operational
key should be removed when not in use.

Electrical Safety
e. If power cables must be handled with
the power on, use safety equipment
such as rubber gloves, rubber mats
and insulated high voltage sticks.
f. Be sure that water and moisture is not
in close contact with power cables.

Electrical Safety
g. Ensure that capacitors are
completely discharged before
checking an electronic circuit.