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What is Computed Radiography?

In this blog post, you’ll read:Digitization enters every sector. We find uninterrupted advancements in technology to improve the quality of manufactured products. Have you ever wondered why computed radiography is highly recommended nowadays? This article will highlight the importance of computed radiography in the inspection of manufactured products.

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Digitization enters every sector. We find uninterrupted advancements in technology to improve the quality of manufactured products. That is how there is an advancement from the use of film X-ray devices to computed radiography, especially in the quality inspection sector.


Have you ever wondered why computed radiography is highly recommended nowadays? This article will highlight the importance of computed radiography in the inspection of manufactured products.


What is Computed Radiography?


Computed Radiography is a type of non-destructive testing method used to inspect the internal structure of any given part for defects.


Computed Radiography (CR) replaces conventional X-ray film radiography digitally by providing more benefits for inspection. It uses a phosphor imaging plate to obtain digital images. Computed radiography is otherwise called ‘film replacement technology’ or ‘filmless technology’.


The invention of the computed radiography since the early 1980s has put an end to the use of consumables. At the same time, the duration of image production got reduced significantly. Moreover, the evaluation and reporting are completely digitalized that can be exchanged or archived.


With the help of computed radiography (CR), it is possible to view and analyze more details because of its increased dynamic range, wider exposure latitude, and limited exposure. Hence, compared to film radiography, the workflow of computed radiography is simple, chemical-free, eco-friendly, and safe to work for operators.


What are the features of computed radiography?


Here is the list of the features of computed radiography:

  • The complete field of view
  • Better spatial resolution
  • Superior resolution in contrast
  • Elimination of special handling system
  • No need for specialized focal spots
  • Elimination of custom radiation containment enclosures


What are the components in computed radiography?


Computed radiography involves three components:

  1. Imaging plates available in different sizes, shapes, and resolutions
  2. High-resolution imaging plate scanner for non-destructive testing applications
  3. X-ray inspection software that helps in image acquisition, evaluation, report generation, and data import/export


What are the steps involved in the computed radiography technology?


The computed radiography technology involves six steps:

  1. As a first step, the film is replaced by an imaging plate made of phosphor
  2. This imaging plate is exposed to X-ray or gamma rays.
  3. The scanner digitalizes the imaging plate.
  4. It is then wiped out for reuse right away.
  5. The final digital image is shown on a computer screen
  6. This image is evaluated, and the results are reported using specialized software.


computed radiography


How does computed radiography works? 


When you expose the phosphor imaging plates to X-rays or gamma rays in computed radiography, the energy of the incoming rays gets stored in a special phosphor layer. 


There is a specialized scanner in the computed radiography to deliver the underlying image from the imaging plate. And this is however possible by accelerating with a precisely focused laser ray. 


When accelerated, the imaging plate releases blue light with intensity proportional to the quantity of received radiation during the exposure. A highly sensitive photomultiplier (PMT) detects this light and converts it to a digital signal with the help of an analog-to-digital converter (ADC).


You can view and evaluate this emitted digital X-ray image on a computer screen. Once the imaging plate is read, a high-intensity light source wipes it away and can be reused right away. 


Usually, an imaging plate can be used nearly 1000 times or more according to the application.


What should you consider while using computed radiography?


Here is the list of considerations one should pay attention to while using computed radiography in determining the final image quality:


  • In computed radiography, imaging plates are available in different quality that has varied exposure times. Hence, the quality of imaging plates plays a vital role.
  • Scanner settings, especially the resolution ability (spatial resolution or SRb)


What are the benefits of digital images of the computed radiography?


There are 9 benefits of digital images in the computed radiography:

  • Precise magnification of minute details. Hence it is easy to detect small defects
  • Optimized high quality image with special filters can improve flaw determination 
  • Annotation with drawing tools
  • Adjustment of histograms for an optimized view
  • Easy report generation
  • Specialized analysis such as the measurement of wall thickness
  • Standard data exchange through the DICONDE structure
  • Digital archiving and data exchange globally through the internet or an intranet
  • Backup for a long duration
  • Quicker results

The benefits of this computed radiography technology include good speed, less cost, easy flexibility, and ease of storage. No battery changes or darkroom technicians are required for this technology. It rarely needs any construction. Just a single day is enough for its implementation. 


What is the difference between film and computed radiography?

FeaturesFilm RadiographyComputed Radiography
Exposure mediumFilm only Reusable imaging plate
Storage of the resultant imageFilmStored in various digital formats and shared with anyone
Dose efficiencyNilDose efficient in order to produce a final high-resolution image
ProcessingRequire chemicals and dark room conditionNo need for chemicals and dark room condition
Processing time8 minutes1-3 minutes according to the scan resolution
ViewFilmComputer screen 
AnalysisNot possible Possible with analysis software
ArchivingFilm archive room (temperature and humidity controlled)Cloud, remote networking server, or personal computer
AvailabilityJust a single master copyMake multiple copies with easy access from any region
SafetyThe operator should take safety precautions while working on the Film radiographyVery safe to work for the operators
Cost with reuse possibilityOnly one film can be used to produce one unique image. So, it proves costly.Economical since the same imaging plate can be erased and used nearly 1000 times 
Status of final X-ray image over timeProne to degradation in visual quality over timePermanent record in excellent condition. No degradation in visual quality
DetectionX-ray film can show only the limited dynamic differences including light and dark areasComputed radiograph shows intricate nuances in dark and light shades
Tweaking possibility in the final imageNo tweakingCan be tweaked easily by trained personnel


What is the difference between computed radiography and digital radiography?


Digital radiography


Digital radiography (DR) and computed radiography (CR), unlike film radiography, uses digital technologies that depend on computer networks. Digital radiography is the advanced form of the computed radiography. However, there are few differences between computed radiography and digital radiography.


FeaturesComputed RadiographyDigital Radiography
Exposure mediumCassette-based phosphor storage plate (PSP)Flat panel detectors
Initial investmentJust a lower investment is enoughRequire more initial investment
InstallationCan be fitted to the existing setupRequire all-new installation
PortabilityMore portableLess portable
Flexibility in size and positioningMore flexible to the position since it uses cassettes of varied sizesNot flexible to take difficult views
Replacement costComparatively less expensive to replaceComparatively more expensive. So, no rough handling.




Here is the upshot. The application of the computed radiography is highly recommended for all manufacturers due to its ease of use, reliability, and improvement in productivity.


Are you looking out for customized computed radiography that can develop high-resolution image quality with an automated result?


Don’t forget to contact UNI X-ray company who is well-known for manufacturing reliable hi-tech computed radiography equipment to determine the defects precisely and quickly! Our UNI X-ray company can globally meet the manufacturing beat of most organizations.