Liquid metal bearing tube technology delivers big benefits for CT systems

 

While only one component of your CT system, liquid metal bearing tubes have an outsized impact on benefits for your customers. The technology they employ contributes to enhanced clinical workflow, dose reduction and patient comfort – all topics of interest to hospitals worldwide.

Enhanced clinical workflow


In LMB tubes, the sleeve of the tube glides on the liquid metal bearing without direct contact that creates friction and the resulting heat. Large surfaces of the bearings and a gap filled with metallic liquid guarantee excellent heat conduction as well as conduction of tube current. Because the tube doesn't heat up as easily as metal bearing tubes, there is no need to wait between exams for the tube to cool down, even in demanding applications that require many scans or ultra-high image quality. In addition, liquid metal bearing tubes are ready instantaneously, because the anode is rotating continuously throughout the day. Anode rotation for ball bearing tubes is started prior to a scan and stopped when finished, requiring preparation time for the tube.

 

For your customers, the ability to run continuously without overheating translates to higher throughput and the ability to conduct long, complex exams. Immediate start-up means that they can begin scanning as soon as they turn the system on, further supporting throughput and making it easier to accommodate emergency department patients.

Dose reduction

 

LMB tubes have large anodes to enable hard X-ray filtering for dose savings. In ball bearing tubes, the desire to decrease warm-up time can limit anode size, which limits the X-ray output, making hard X-ray filtering infeasible.

 

For your customers, hard filtering means they can do complex procedures with minimum x-ray dose.

Patient comfort

 

With ball bearing tubes, the metal interlayers and metal ball bearings make noise when they come in contact. Because LMB tubes don't use solid metal bearings, there is no audible noise.

 

For your customers, this means they can offer patients a quieter exam, increasing patient satisfaction.

Long life

 

LMB tubes can last three times longer than ball bearing tubes. The liquid metal bearing of a rotating anode X-ray tube typically has four individual load-carrying components to take radial forces and gyroscopic moments and thrust loads. The liquid metal fills a thin gap between stationary shaft and rotating sleeve. As soon as the rotor drive overcomes sticking friction, the rotation of the sleeve forces the liquid to separate the members. Capillary forces prevent leakage into vacuum. The bearing members touch each other for only seconds during start and landing. Because there is no wear caused by contact between metal surfaces, bearing failure, which often is the cause of tube failure, doesn't exist.


For your customers, this means less downtime caused by tube failure or waiting for tube replacement.

Patient comfort

 

With ball bearing tubes, the metal interlayers and metal ball bearings make noise when they come in contact. Because LMB tubes don't use solid metal bearings, there is no audible noise.

 

For your customers, this means they can offer patients a quieter exam, increasing patient satisfaction.

Dunlee offers LMB tubes with CoolGlide technology in a range of technical specifications

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About Dunlee

Dunlee is a brand of the Philips Company Group and distributes all products, solutions and services for the third-party imaging business. The product portfolio includes CT, MR and X-ray solutions for OEMs, CT replacement tubes and 3D printed tungsten products.
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