The K-XRAY Rotomat KT is the first X-ray based film thickness gauge for tubular production lines. It was first presented at the K 2019 exhibition in Dusseldorf (Germany). K-XRAY, like other sensors developed by Hch. Kuendig, integrated in the Rotomat KT thickness gauge, provides rapid profile measurement, which is an important criterion, especially in the production of barrier films.
The use of the K-XRAY sensor can significantly reduce operating costs compared to beta and gamma emitters and more accurately measure the thickness of barrier films. Measuring instruments with solid-state emitters are characterized by a lengthy procedure for obtaining permits, expensive transportation and time-consuming preparatory work on site. The K-XRAY sensor eliminates these problems and is capable of measuring thin films with increased resolution. Therefore the K-XRAY Rotomat KT is the obvious choice for barrier film inspection. The most important advantages of the K-XRAY thickness over solid-state meters are:
– there are no restrictions on transportation;
– no import permit is required;
– it is much easier to obtain a permit for operation (often online registration is sufficient);
– provides a higher resolution;
– increased thickness measurement accuracy (especially for thin films);
– compressed air consumption is reduced by 70%;
– there is a temperature-controlled air cushion;
– there are no disposal costs.
The use of the K-XRAY Rotomat KT thickness gauge significantly reduces the requirements for radiation safety, since the risks of radiation exposure are sharply reduced. Many countries have specific rules and regulations for the use of X-ray emitters. Customers should clarify these requirements for their region.
Shielding and safety devices
The peak voltage of the X-ray tubes is 19 keV. This voltage occurs at the maximum energy of the X-ray beam. The average energy index is less than 15 keV, which is very small compared to medical X-ray machines, when the voltage when scanning the organs of the chest of an adult is almost 100 keV, when scanning the arms – 40 keV, and when scanning the chest – 30 keV. Since the radiation energy of the K-XRAY is low and the beam is quite narrow, protective shields are inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install. They are made of standard steel sheet with a thickness of about 1 mm and have a height of no more than 1 m, depending on the maximum distance of the radiation source from the screen. The screen has a hatch allowing easy access to the equipment for maintenance work. The hatch door is connected to the power source of the X-ray system, which automatically turns off when it is opened. Duplicate safety warning lamps (red and green), installed outside the shielded area, continuously inform the system status (on / off). Beyond the screen, the radiation dose is so small that no radiation protection or monitoring is required.
When using K-XRAY, there is no need to take into account emergency scenarios, since simultaneously with the system shutdown, any radiation disappears. When using radioisotope sources, for example, using the isotope of krypton Kr-85 or americium Am-241, it is necessary to foresee all possible emergencies in advance, therefore the enterprise must, for example, ensure that in the event of a fire or accident, reliable protection of radiation sources will be provided, and also keep emergency team ready.
Maintenance and transportation
During the maintenance of radioactive sources, maintenance personnel are usually exposed to higher radiation doses than during normal operation. During maintenance, the radiation dose can reach 10 to 20 mSv / h. With K-XRAY, the radiation source is easy to deactivate, while the rest of the system remains operational, so maintenance is straightforward. A safety lock on the service door ensures that the radiation source is shut off before it is opened. Transportation is also not a problem. K-XRAY does not require special packaging or separate shipment, since no radiation is generated without power. Radiation dose to humans Because the K-XRAY energy is low, the radiation generated cannot reach human organs, which may be susceptible to ionizing radiation. Radiation can only reach the skin and eyes. Therefore, even in the case of overexposure, the expected effective dose is low. During normal operations (operation and maintenance of the system), the radiation dose is negligible (<0.1 mSv / year) and below the official limits in Europe and the rest of the world (1 mSv / year). Costs for the enterprise are also lower. When using a solid state emitter, you must obtain permission from your local authority to operate it. This can be a lengthy process, often lasting up to six months. To operate the K-XRAY, it is enough to submit an official document to the authorities, and in some countries, permission can be obtained online. Thus, the K-XRAY thickness gauge allows you to measure the thickness of barrier films not only more accurately, but also much safer and easier.