Benefits of digital radiography

Being one of the most modern advanced methods of non-destructive testing, digital radiography can offer a considerable number of benefits both for the inspection company and the project owner:

1. Enhanced efficiency: Digital Detector Array (DDA) systems provide much faster image acquisition and processing compared to conventional X-ray films or Computed Radiography (CR) with phosphoric plates and scanners, leading to increased productivity in radiographic inspections. The digital format also allows for immediate image analysis, reducing the time required for the expert report.

2. Cost-effectiveness: over time, digital radiography systems prove to be times more economical than using even cheap X-ray films. The digital nature of the images eliminates the recurring costs associated with film development, storage and disposal, contributing to long-term savings. High detector’s sensitivity also saves the X-ray generator resource by minimizing the required exposure time. And no more consumables!

3. Improved image quality: DR provides high-resolution images, resulting in improved visibility of defects, details and finer structures. This enhanced image quality can be crucial for accurate analysis in various applications, such as golden welds of pipelines or the smallest components used in the aerospace industry. In addition, modern detectors grant the possibility to analyze a much broader thickness range on a single image.

4. Greater adaptivity: portable digital detectors offer increased flexibility in terms of positioning and maneuverability. They are easily transportable, allowing for on-site inspections and a broader range of operation compared to the more cumbersome process of handling X-ray films, which requires a dark room, drying cabinet and film viewers. The technology also opens new areas of application, such as wall thickness measurement (profilometry), determination of the defect's depth, etc.

5. Real-time monitoring: DDA systems enable instant image quality evaluation during the shooting process. Operators can immediately assess the quality of the captured image, ensuring that the inspection meets the required standards and making adjustments as needed. The price of the mistake strives to zero.

6. Convenient digital storage and retrieval: the images captured by digital detectors can be easily stored, archived, searched and presented when needed. This facilitates efficient record-keeping and allows for seamless integration with other digital systems for further analysis, sharing, or long-term documentation.

7. User-friendly interface: DR systems often come equipped with easy-to-understand software, making them more accessible to operators with varying levels of expertise. This contributes to a smoother transition for organizations adopting this technology. Moreover, the use of this advanced NDT method removes the need of Level 2 RT specialist presence on-site.

8. Data protection: the use of DICONDE format as per the ASTM standard reliably secures the radiography image, making any kind of result manipulation impossible, while automatic digital tags can provide additional information to the final client for even improved transparency of inspection.

9. Care for personnel: reducing the X-ray or Gamma source exposure time minimizes the radiation dose absorbed by the staff and people around. Withal, higher sensitivity of digital detectors makes it possible to use low-activity isotopes, which can be crucial in some production facilities. And, of course, the work with DR systems provides striking comfort compared with lamps and magnifying glasses used in conventional radiography.

10. Environmentally friendliness: the shift from traditional X-ray films to DDA technology reduces the environmental impact associated with film processing chemicals and waste. The digital approach eliminates chemical usage as well as the need for film utilization, aligning with modern sustainability practices.

In summary, the numerous benefits of portable digital detectors over X-ray films and CR cassettes collectively make the technology a compelling choice for modern radiographic inspection across different sectors. DR systems are gaining continuously increased popularity every year in most countries of the globe making the transition to modern solutions inevitable.