Is the need for a quick oil change the only thing standing in
the way of a longer life span for CT x-ray tubes? That's what
Vivatech of Teterboro, NJ, is claiming. The company has developed
a tube maintenance program that it says can help tubes last for
up to 300,000 slices, far more than the 75,000 slices that are
the industry average.
Vivatech's x-ray tube life extension program relies on pumping
new oil into the tube's cooling system to replace old oil, without
removing the tube from the CT scanner's gantry. Old oil has reduced
insulating characteristics, which affects tube life, Vivatech
claims. The company has developed a service cart to simplify the
procedure, which should be conducted at regular intervals.
Other aspects of the program include an air trap that resolves
the problem of air and gas buildup in the tube's cooling system,
as well as a reduction of anode braking to minimize bearing wear
caused by rapid stopping of the tube's rotating anode after a
Vivatech received a patent last year for its program, which it
is offering on a lease basis to OEMs, independent service organizations,
and in-house service operations.