Frequently Asked Questions

What can be x-rayed?

Just about anything as long as there is access to opposite sides of the “object of interest”. Some examples are:

• Archeological and geological analysis.
• Cement sections up to 5 feet in thickness (e.g. identifying flaws, location of rebar, post tensioning cables, piping, etc.).
• Steel sections up to 14 inches in thickness inspecting for corrosion, fractures, etc.
• Large diameter pipe valves and fittings (without removing from service).
• Rocket motors (while running).
• Jet engines (while running).
• We can even provide very high speed video of mechanical equipment while still in service.

What are some limitations?

• First and foremost is protection of human life. Performing a site survey prior to work will determine the steps necessary in order to prevent accidents.
• Depending on the material density and thickness, the necessary “human exclusion zone” is then determined. An example might be obtaining a radiograph of a cement section in a multilevel parking garage that has a populated building in close proximity. This is all taken into consideration prior to beginning work.
What does the service cost?

Determining factors include:
• Whether or not the object can be radiographed at our facility;
• If not, travel distance to the job site;
• If the job is in a different state then special permits must first be obtained;
• Number of staff required to accomplish the job;
• Any necessary specialized equipment (cranes, fork lifts, generators, etc.);
• Urgency of fast response.
How quickly can a field team respond?

• Within the USA, our team can usually be ready to deploy between 24-48 hours. This can fluctuate due to current work-load circumstances.
• Our team typically transports in U.S. Photon trucks, however, if the job is critical, the equipment can be flown to the site.
• Internationally, we can usually deploy in the same time frame. Some limiting factors can include obtaining proper permits, arranging for shipping and general logistics.

How does the Linear Accelerator (Linac) compare to other methods of detection/inspection?

• Isotope method: Our accelerator can accomplish in minutes, what an Iridium 192 system might require in hours. A major advantage is that our equipment IS NOT radioactive and does NOT require any special permits to transport on highways.
• Ultrasonic Testing (UT): While UT does not require access to opposite sides of an object and is lower in cost, our Linacs can provide much sharper images of interior features and can provide a permanent record of the “area of interest” when the job requirement demands.
• Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR): As with UT, GPR does not require access to opposite sides of the object, however, our Linac is able to reveal corrosion on reinforcing bar or tensioning cables where GPR cannot. In addition, our Linac is able to identify features within concrete sections at a greater depth than GPR.

I am an NDT company, and have an in-house Linac. Can you repair our system if required?

• Under most circumstances, yes, depending of course on the age and availability of parts.
• In limited cases, we can provide a system as a rental until yours is operational.
Can you build a custom Linac tailored to my needs?

• Absolutely. U.S. Photon specializes in Linacs and, in addition, designs and manufactures custom manipulators on which to affix the system. This includes retrofitting CT’s and gantries with new Linacs. Upon request, references will be provided.