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New Toray Technology Boosts X-Ray Scintillator Panel Durability

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Apr. 7, 2021

Toray Industries, Inc.

Tokyo, Japan, April 7, 2021 – Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that it has developed a technology that makes X-ray scintillator panels (see note 1) more durable. Another prospective benefit is lower running costs for X-ray detectors in radiography systems with panels employing this technology. The company has begun shipping samples. Production employing the new technology will start in July 2021 at the Shiga Plant in Otsu, the production base for scintillator panels.

X-ray detectors in radiography equipment generally comprise scintillator panels that convert X-rays to visible light and photosensor panels that transform visible light into digital images. Irradiation degrades the brightness of conventional scintillator panels. The degradation is especially significant on the panels of industrial X-ray imaging systems. That is because they run continuously and require regular X-ray detector replacement owing to high irradiation doses.

Toray found after assessing that situation factors that causes the degradation owing to X-ray irradiation. The company successfully developed a highly durable X-ray scintillator panel by drawing on the materials engineering and manufacturing process technologies that it has amassed over the years. Accelerated X-ray irradiation testing in-house confirmed that this panel’s brightness degraded just 2%, compared with 30% for conventional panels.

Medical X-ray imaging applications commonly employ scintillator panels, and Toray has supplied X-ray scintillator panel products for medical use. It uses its new technology to develop an industrial scintillator panel that helps reduce X-ray imaging equipment running costs. The company looks to deploy this technology at food, electronic components, energy industries including battery components and hydrogen storage tank, and other factories where quality assurance by nondestructive test is required to detect contamination and void.

Toray is also developing products that combine this new technology with its proprietary pixelated X-ray scintillator panels (see note 2) for high resolution and its high-speed technology to suppress image blurring. The company will respond to market needs by providing X-ray detectors that enhance performance and accuracy as well as extended service lives. It will help expand X-ray imaging applications in renewable energy-related industries contributing to decarbonization and other social infrastructure areas that demand outstanding quality.

Toray will keep striving to develop revolutionary materials that transform societies in keeping with its commitment to innovating ideas, technologies, and products that deliver new value.

After measuring initial brightness, Toray irradiated the scintillator panel at 60 kilovolts and 1.1 milligray (assumed average dose rate for two years of operations) and thereafter checked brightness changes.
X-ray scintillator panel configuration (left) and brightness change comparisons (right)

  1. An X-ray scintillator panel is an X-ray imaging device component containing phosphor materials that scintillate when excited by X-rays or other radiation.
  2. A pixelated X-ray scintillator panel with barrier ribs with photosensor pixels. Phosphor materials fill cells separated by barrier ribs that prevent phosphor light from diffusing into adjacent cells so very sharp X-ray images can be obtained.