The AEC , also called phototimer AEC measures the actual amount of radiation exposure incident on IR and terminates the x ray production when required amount is obtained.


  •  kVp
  •  mAs
  •  Focal spot
  •  Filtration
  •  Focus-film distance
  •  Collimation
  •  Table-top attenuation
  •  Grid


kVp stands for kilovoltage peak.

It is a peak potential applied to the x ray tube which accelerates the electron from cathode to the anode resulting in the production of the x ray photons

The quality of x ray beam depends on the energy of x ray (kVp)

Higher the kVp greater the quality of x ray. It also effect the intensity of x ray beam.


mAs stands for milliampere second

The number of photons in the beam per unit energy is describe the quantity of x ray

Increase the current to the filament of x ray tube increase the number of photons and increase the quantity more electrons means more x ray production

Product of ma & second is called mAs

More mAs result in more radiation dose .

Focal spot

The area of target with in which the electrons are absorbed and x rays are generated is called focal spot

Focal spot is also called focal area

If the focal area is very small, penumbra will be lesser, and the picture sharpness will be good , but heat removal is difficult.

 On the other hand

If the focal area is large , heat will be removed quickly , penumbra is larger and the picture sharpness is bad

Usually , focal spot is defined in two ways namely, actual and effective focal spots. The actual spot size is the area on the anode that is struck by electrons. The effective focal spot size is the length and width of the emitted x ray beam


Filters are thin sheet of material (Al,Cu,Mo), which offer high attenuation for low energy photons.

The purpose of using filter is to reduce patient exposure at the skin level

Filters alter both the quality and quantity of x rays by selectively removing the low energy photons in the spectrum

Unit is mm AL equivalent

X rays are polychromatic ( with different energy)

Low energy photons get absorbed because it increase patient dose and reduce image quality

Focus-film distance(FFD)

The distance between the x-ray tube and the film. Increasing or decreasing this distance will have an effect on radiographic density

Increasing film-focus distance(FFD) from the traditional 100cm has been shown to be an effective method of reducing dose and image quality maintain

Also know as source-image distance(SID)


A collimator is a metallic barrier with an aperture in the middle used to reduce the size of the x-ray beam , thus, the volume of irradiated tissue within patient is also reduced.

Collimator is made from lead

Maintains the quality of image

Main Functions

Collimators adjust the size and shape of x-ray beam

Reduces the patient dose


1.Parallel-hole collimator

2.Pin-hole collimator




Various materials and thickness are used in the construction of the radiolucent top of the x-ray couch that supports the weight of the patient.

Since different designs vary in the amount of attenuation they impose on the x ray beam, radiographing a patient through different couch tops introduces an additional exposure variable which the radiographer may wish to consider.

Current thinking favours the use of carbon-fibre technology, which reduces beam attenuation and helps to minimize the radiation dose to the patient (Hufton & Russell,1986).


Grid are placed between the patient and the x-ray ray film to reduce the scattered radiation reaching the detector and thus improve image contrast .

The radiographic grid consists of lead foil strips. Invented by Dr.Gustave Bucky in 1913 Most effective way of removing scatter radiation from large radiographic fields The interspaces of grids are filled with aluminium or some organic compound

GRID RATIO-Ratio between the height of the lead strips and the distance between them Grid Ratio=t/d

Types of grid

1.Stationery grid:-

a. Parallel grid

b. Focussed grid

c.Crossed grid

d.Linear grid

2.Movable grid/potter bucky grid

Parallel grid

1.The lead strips are mounted parallel to each other

2.All lead strips are straight up and down

3.Less commonly grids only reduce scatter in the direction of the grid lines

4.Used for short fields size and long distances 2.Focused grid

focused grid

a.Focused grid is made up of the lead strips that are slightly towards the focal spot

b.A focused grid may be linear or crossed

c.The grid lines are angled to match the divergence of the beam

Crossed grid-

Crossed grid are very efficient in removing scatter radiation

Linear grid –

The lead strips are parallel to each other in their longitudinal axis

Movable grid/potter bucky grid

a It was invented by Dr. Hollis potter in 1920 so it is called a potter bucky grid

b.A moving grid is a device, in which the grid oscillates while the x ray is being taken

c.The moving grid moves continously by the electric motor during the exposure



Amount of exposure(R) per unit area of the film required to produce a desired optical density


The thickness of a material, usually called an absorber, needed to reduce the intensity of radiation to half its initial value is known as half value thickness.


SFD-source-to-film distance –is the distance between the radiation source and the film in radiographic testing, as measured in the direction of the beam


a.OFD-object to film distance=is the distance between the radiation source and the radiation side of the test object, measured along the central axis of the radiation beam

b.SOD-source to object distance= is the distance between the radiation side of the test object and the film surface, measured along the cental axis of the radiation beam


Each isotope has a half life- a length of time by which half (50%) of the radioactive isotope has decayed into a stable element –two half-lives mean the source has only 25% of its original strength, three half-lives 12.5%

RHM-Roentgen(unit of exposure) per hour at 1 meter for the source being used

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