Liquid cooling enables self-contained industrial X-ray scanners

February 09, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Laird has designed a range of customised self-contained liquid cooling systems (LCS) that provide precise temperature control to enable more compact, self-containded industrial X-ray scanning equipment.

Industrial X-ray scanning equipment is used in a wide variety of applications ranging from non-destructive test for materials/manufacturing defects and contaminants to scanning trucks or baggage to ensure safety and security. LCS offer higher efficiencies compared to air-based heat transfer mechanisms, which translates into higher reliability, reduced field maintenance and greater system availability.

These X-ray inspection systems can be used for both process and quality control in automated assembly lines, but only a small portion of the energy generated by these systems is emitted as X-rays; the balance is released as heat. Industrial X-ray systems, which can generate several kilowatts of heat during operation, require cooling of the anode to dissipate this heat for optimized performance and a longer operating life. 

"Customers expect an LCS lifespan that equals that of the scanner," said Anders Kottenauer, Senior Vice President of Laird's Thermal Systems Business. "If an X-ray system goes down, it can shut down the entire manufacturing, inspection or security check process. This can significantly impact production and incur large manufacturing costs, or back-up security screening causing massive delays. An LCS should combine ruggedness, reliability and high performance with cost efficiency and must be easy to service in order to minimize system downtime and maintenance costs."

The temperature stabilisation and precise temperature control comes from the liquid cooling systems recirculating coolant to a predefined set-point temperature. Laird's liquid cooling systems offer many advantages over conventional air-cooled systems by providing higher heat pumping capacity, better ability to direct the heat away from the X-ray tube, more rapid cool down time, and lower noise operation. In addition, LCS is more reliable and requires less maintenance.

Depending on the industrial scanner's application, three different types of liquid cooling systems can be used, from liquid-to-air and liquid-to-liquid to chiller-based systems. Liquid cooling systems feature precise temperature control, variable coolant flow rate, coolants with corrosion inhibitors and coolant filtration, as needed. LCS are available in various sizes and