You are on page 1of 14

RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

Construction Characteristics Storage and Handling

Film Construction
Base
Function - skeleton Originally glass - too fragile Cellulose-based - too flammable, 1920-60 Polyester - 1960s-present

Adhesive layer - binds emulsion to base


PROTECTIVE LAYER ADHESIVE LAYER PROTECTIVE LAYER EMULSION BASE EMULSION

Film Construction
Emulsion
Gelatin
made from cattle byproducts

Silver halide
95-98% silver bromide Silver iodide Silver chloride

Protective layer - super-coat


protects emulsion from physical damage hard gelatin

TYPES OF FILM
Construction
Single emulsion (screen) Double emulsion (screen) Non-screen film Duplication copy film

Applications
Radiography Photofluorography dental Duplication (copies) CRT/Video/ Electronic imaging

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film works!


Latent: Hidden - as the silver halide

crystals are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, they are ionized and a conversion to metallic silver is begun. This is completed in the processor.

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film Works!


Sensitization speck
Impurities/imperfections intentionally introduced to crystals during manufacturing. Found on surface of crystal Acts as electron trap, trapping electrons released during ionization of crystals. Essential for development of black metallic silver.

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film works!


The latent image is theorized as being formed in the following manner:
Radiant energy (x-ray photon or light photon from screen) Sensitivity Speck + strikes the crystal & liberates + + an electron from the valence shell of a bromide ion. +
Bromide electron

+ Silver Ion +

+ +

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film works!


This electron is then free to move about in the crystal. If it strikes a sensitivity speck, it may be trapped Bromide giving the Sensitivity electron - + Speck speck a negative charge. +
+ + + + + + -

Silver Ion

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film works!


When a positive silver ion comes within the negative field of the speck, it may be attracted to the speck Bromide & take on an Sensitivity electron + electron & Speck - + form an atom of + + Silver Ion metallic silver. +
+ + + -

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film works!


Occurs many times within the same crystal when struck by radiant energy.
Bromide Sensitivity Speck

+ - + - + - + - + +

electron

+ -

Silver Ion metallic silver

LATENT IMAGE FORMATION How the film works!


Once the film has been exposed to

radiant energy & a latent image has been formed, the film is capable of developing a radiographic image. Chemicals in the processor greatly enhance this chemical reaction converting a latent image to a visible image.

Duplication Process How copy film works!


Solarization-exposure of a silver halide emulsion to its maximum (D-Max). (latent image formation to the MAX) Once solarized, any additional exposure has the opposite effect (gets lighter). This is the nature of Duplication (copy) film. When making copies, the longer you expose copy film the lighter the copy becomes.

Sensitometry
The process of giving quantitative values

to the film characteristics of contrast, speed, latitude, and density and arranging the values into a chart or graph for analysis. Typically plotted as an H & D curve (characteristic curve)

FILM CHARACTERISTICS
Contrast - The inherent ability of the

film emulsion to react to radiation &/or light and record a range of densities.
Influences the film gray scale. The more horizontal the H & D curve, the grayer the film (low contrast) Application - select film contrast according to the part/procedure.

FILM CHARACTERISTICS
Speed - Sensitivity, indicated by location of characteristic curve along log relative exp. (x) axis. The film requiring the least exposure to produce a given density is the fastest. Function of silver halide crystal size, number of sensitivity specks, & emulsion layer thickness. Influences amount of density or blackening from a given exposure Application - select according to part/procedure.

FILM CHARACTERISTICS
Latitude - inherent ability of emulsion to record a long range of density levels
Ability of a film to record a gray scale Influences
wide latitude - uses broad range of exposures to produce

densities within diagnostically-useful range (low contrast / gray film) narrow latitude - uses limited range of exposures to produce densities within diagnostically-useful range (high contrast / black and white film)

Application indirectly indicates our margin for error in technique selection

FILM CHARACTERISTICS Also of Interest


Density the degree of blackening of an area of film Base + Fog the inherent film density, before exposure and after processing.
Blue die added to base to reduce glare Background exposure (chemical fumes, cosmic radiation etc.)

Recorded Detail our ability to see small structures in an image.


Function of crystal size (smaller crystals have better resolution). Application - Select according to part/procedure.

H & D CURVE
Graphical relationship between

amount of exposure & resultant density on film Also known as a characteristic curve
density exposure

Sensitometric Equipment for Obtaining the Information


Sensitometer electronic device that photographically exposes a reproducible, uniform optical step wedge (gray scale) on film Penetrometer - Step Wedge - series of increasingly-thick, uniform absorbers, generally made from aluminum Densitometer - instrument that provides a readout of amount of blackening (optical density) on film

Sensitometric Equipment for Obtaining the Information


Film - Use the film to be evaluated. Processor - Use the processor that will be

used to routinely develop the film when in clinical use. Processor must be operating at film manufacturers specifications. Graph paper - Use normal graph paper

Plotting an H & D Curve


Axis labels
Vertical (Y) axis - Optical Density (OD) Horizontal (X) axis - Log Relative Exposure (LRE)

Scale - Select a scale that permits you to get all points on the graph. Take readings - Read & record all steps, it is best to read two (2) strips & use average Plot points Draw curve - do not connect the points with straight lines, try to make a smooth, flowing curve

EVALUATION OF RESULTS
Parts of the curve:
Toe Straight-line portion Shoulder
Density 4

SHOULDER
3

Film characteristics
Base fog - where toe intercepts Yaxis Speed - exposure (X-axis) required to achieve an optical density (Y-axis) of 1.00

BODY

TOE
0 0.3 0 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.4 2.7 3

LOG RELATIVE EXPOSURE

EVALUATION OF RESULTS
Film characteristics
Contrast - slope (gradient) of straightline portion of the curve. By convention, this is defined as area from an OD of 0.25 + BF & 2.00 + BF. Latitude - range of exposures that produces densities within diagnosticallyuseful range.
4

Density

0 0.3 0 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.4 2.7 3

LOG RELATIVE EXPOSURE

EVALUATION OF RESULTS
The characteristic

curves of two or more different films can be plotted on the same chart for comparison.
A B

Film Storage and Handling

Film Storage and Handling


Temperature
Store film at 40 70 degrees F. Exceeding recommendations generally causes overall increase in film density Film stored at cold temperatures not permitted to reach room temperature prior to use frequently exhibit a blotchy appearance

Humidity
Store film at 50 65% humidity Low humidity promotes static electricity High humidity causes emulsion to swell & soften, making it prone to scratches & sticking

Film Storage and Handling


Light
Exposed film is especially sensitive to light

exposure (even the safelight)


Causes increased density of exposed

portions of film
Normal room light is not a problem with

unopened boxes of film


Will cause increased density with opened

or damaged boxes

Radiation
Exposed film is especially sensitive to even

small exposures of radiation


Causes increased density Film must be shielded from all radiation

exposure (both exposed and unexposed)

Film Storage and Handling


Handling
Exposed film should be handled as little as possible prior to processing A variety of handling artifacts can occur from incorrect handling:

Safelight fog Scratches Finger prints Pressure artifacts Static electricity Crease (crinkle) marks

Film Storage and Handling


Gasses/Fumes
Avoid prolonged exposure to chemical vapors
No more than a 2-3 week supply of film should be stored in darkroom Can cause increased density on film

Do not store near cleaning supplies or other chemicals


These can also cause increased density on the film

Film Storage and Handling


Pressure
Boxes should be stored on end Do not lay flat & stack Do not cram boxes on shelf or pressure artifacts may result

Film Storage and Handling


Expiration date
Expired film exhibits an increase in density and decrease in contrast (increase Base + Fog reading) Expired film can give inconsistent results Maximum storage time
Check expiration date on box Most institutions order a 6-8 week supply to

avoid any problems


Rotate stock-use oldest film first

The Rest of the Story Paul Harvey


Intensifying Screens
Purpose Parts

Cassettes
Purpose parts

Intensifying screens
Purpose
Used to absorb x-rays and emit light
Numerous light photons per x-ray photon

Allows less radiation to be used in the

production of a radiographic image


Mounted on the inside of the cassette
Can be single or double screens to match single or double emulsion film

Intensifying Screens
Parts
Backing (Base) A rigid layer of

Active layer

polyester plastic providing support for the active layer (phosphor layer) Reflective Layer a thin layer of glossy material such as magnesium oxide or titanium dioxide that reflects light back toward film. Protective layer
Reflective layer Backing

Intensifying Screens
Parts
Active Layer made up of the

phosphor and a suspension material.


Phosphors material capable of absorbing x-rays and emitting light photons in response.
Gadolinium oxysulfide rare earth phosphor, green light emitter (Kodaks Lanax / 3Ms Trimax) Lanthanum oxybromide rare earth phosphor, blue light emitter (can be extended to green) (Du Ponts Quanta III)

Intensifying Screens
Parts
Protective (abrasion) Layer layer

of plastic that protects the phosphor layer Edge Seal chemical sealing agent applied to the edges of the screen to keep out moisture and cleaning agents.

Cassettes
Purpose
Device to contain the film for exposure.

Should be sturdy, durable, light weight, and easy to open and close. Purpose is to protect the film from white light and provide good screen/film contact when closed.

Cassettes
Parts
Front Plate - thin, radiolucent material
Usually Bakelite Can be plastic or carbon fiber

Back plate heavier material


Usually aluminum Can be stainless steal or plastic Curved to provide firm, even pressure for film screen contact.

Cassettes
Parts
Spring latch and hinges provide for

easy open and helps provide film/screen contact Backing material covers inside of both plates.
Screens mounted on this Made of felt or foam rubber Helps with film/screen contact Helps protect film from white light (seals cassette)

Care of Screens and Cassettes


Screens
Clean regularly with proper screen cleaner. Allow to dry completely after cleaning.

Cassettes
Do not open fully Handle with care