Toshiba CXB-750/4A CT X-Ray Tube Cost and Maintenance
Whether you’ve purchased a new, used, or refurbished CT scan machine, your x-ray tube will require maintenance, and eventually replacement. The Toshiba CXB-750/4A x-ray tube is specifically designed to produce x-rays for the Toshiba Aquilion series of scanners. Its lifespan and cost can depend on several factors, including how well you maintain it once installed.
What is an X-ray tube and when do I need to replace it?
These tubes function by converting electrons into photons. Cathodes are the source of electrons, and the tube’s anodes act as the target of electrons and release x-rays. Both the anode and the cathode are contained in the envelope of the x-ray tube, which creates a vacuum. Other components of the x-ray tube include the tube housing, inductor stator, rotor, and the tube window, which is made of beryllium.
X-ray tubes are the heart of all imaging machines that produce x-rays. They produce the x-rays needed for imaging, as well as heat, a byproduct that wears down the integrity of the tube over time. Even with normal use, these tubes will eventually need to be replaced as the tungsten inside (that composes the anode) breaks down and accumulates within the tube.
There are several other indications that your x-ray tube needs replacement. These include a consistent humming sound during operation or noisy bearings. They could also include arcing and/or fluctuations or drops in cooling temperature. In addition, if you notice any cracks in the structure or fluid leaks anywhere in or around the tube, it needs to be replaced.
Tube Costs-New And Used
X-ray tubes like the Toshiba CXB-750/4A are available for purchase both new and used, although they’re sometimes more difficult to acquire used. If buying new, you can purchase the tube through Canon (who recently purchased Toshiba) for around $190,000, which is your most expensive option.
Used tubes can be found for around $55,000 to $80,000. The range in price is a result of variations in tube age, prior usage, and whether or not any repairs have been made to the tube in the past. Reloading and reprocessed tubes are also an option and can save significantly on replacement costs.
Reprocessing a tube describes the process of returning a tube to the manufacturer or outside parts provider and removing and replacing the oil within the tube. This is a delicate process, but when done correctly, can extend the life of the tube by 30-60%. Reprocessing is a cheaper option than buying a used x-ray tube and can be a great short-term alternative.
Damaged tubes can be returned to the manufacturer or parts specialist to determine whether or not they are eligible for repair. “Reloading” the tube, as this is called, involves a careful inspection of the “core” or the tube to determine whether or not it’s able to be repaired. If it is eligible, the tube will be repaired with a refurbished insert, filled with fresh oil, and returned to the owner for regular use.
Maintaining Your X-Ray Tube
X-ray tubes are a costly and necessary replacement, so proper maintenance is important in prolonging the lifespan of your Toshiba CXB-750/4A. It’s always important to make sure that the professionals operating the CT or other x-ray imaging equipment are properly trained and follow the directions from the operator’s manual. Beyond that, there are other actions that can be taken to make sure the x-ray tube reaches its maximum lifespan potential.
Because heat is a byproduct of the tube’s x-ray production, maintaining proper operating temperature is important. Medical imaging specialists should monitor and be aware of cooling curves, and the CT or other imaging machine should be operated in a climate-controlled room, designed for its use. In addition, the machine should be warmed up prior to use if it has been sitting in a cooled state for more than two hours prior to regular use. With appropriate moderate use, Toshiba CXB-750/4A tubes can last to up to 3 or 4 years.