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Q:   What are the benefits of using Gamex and Rentex programs in NDT lab?

A:   There are three main benefits:
  1. Reduction of time and effort during preparation of radiographic techniques
  2. Optimization of exposure times for boosting productivity of radiographic teams
  3. Reduction of incorrectly exposed radiographs and, as a consequence, numbers of reshots and inspector complaints

Q:   What are the advantages of Gamex and Rentex programs over radiographic sliding rulers and exposure charts?

A:   Except of the obvious convenience of using computer program instead of sliding ruler or paper chart the principal advantage of Gamex/Rentex programs is their adaptability to working conditions in the user's laboratory. All conventional tools have fixed exposure calculation algorithm established for a certain set of testing/processing conditions (film brand and type, thickness of Pb screens, type and parameters of processing, type and brand of chemicals used, etc.). The actual working conditions in the user laboratory often deviate from these standard conditions and, as a result, calculated exposure times are not correct. Radiographers often try to compensate for these errors by using more or less accurate correction factors.

In Gamex and Rentex programs calculation of correction factors is accurate and automatic. It is based on feedback data from test radiograph shot by the user. The data are steadily gathered in the program database and used in intelligent way when calculating exposure times for similar testing conditions. The user can decide to use the standard exposure calculation algorithm or to apply one of the matching correction factors.


Q:   Why, when calculating exposure times with the Gamex program, do we have to select the type of radiographic technique as a single or double wall? It was not necessary when using sliding rulers or exposure charts.

A:   In conventional exposure calculations the attenuation of radiation by the material is determined solely on the basis of total penetrated thickness. It is simplification valid only for the unscattered primary radiation. In real testing conditions considerable amount of radiation reaching the film is the radiation scattered in the tested material. Its intensity heavily depends on the distance between scattering material and the film. The scattering geometry is different for the single and double wall exposure techniques and the program takes it into account when calculating exposure times. It is especially important for double wall exposures of thick-walled pipes where conventional calculations often lead to unacceptable errors.


Q:   In Rentex program we have to introduce exposure parameters for each model of X-ray tube used in our laboratory. Is it possible to omit this step and make exposure time calculations just on the bases of kV and mA setup?

A:   Radiation dose rates produced by different X-ray tubes depend not only on the kilovoltage and miliamperage setup but also on many constructional details of the tubes. For example on the target material, the focal spot size, high voltage characteristics, radiation filtration etc. To take this into account you must introduce to the program exposure chart data specific to the particular tube model. It normally takes not more than half an hour and you have to do it once for every tube model.


Q:   Is there a Gamex version for mobile phones? It would help us to use the program in field conditions.

A:   Not, there isn't and it is not planned. The Gamex and Rentex are quite complex programs not easily transferable to the mobile phone platform. They need some computing power, make extensive use of internal databases and require some screen space for user interface. We see these programs not as a simple replacements of sliding rulers but rather as the advanced software tools supporting industrial radiography in many aspects and meeting requirements of most demanding users.

In typical working conditions of NDT labs the radiographic techniques can be prepared in the office and RT crews be provided only with printouts of basic parameters of the planned exposures. In rather rare cases, when exposure parameters must be established at site, the crews may be equipped with small laptops with installed Gamex or Rentex programs.


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