Understanding the Basic Components of a CT Scanner

by | Jan 4, 2021 | CT

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A CT scanner is a life-changing product of technology that made health checking more convenient. Through its use, examining the body for any internal injury and making medical, surgical, and radiation diagnoses is now possible and easy to do. In a single scan, the machine can quickly produce a detailed image of the internal body. It is a machine that any clinic, health care offices, and related business should invest in. 

However, not all CT scanners work the same. Although their purposes are somehow similar, different manufacturers produce machines with variations. If you plan to get one for your clinic soon, you need to understand how each machine works, so using and maintaining it will be easier for you. 


The Basic Parts of a CT Scanner

CT scanning systems may work differently, but they have a lot of common parts. Here are the integral components that you should know about CT scanning machines:


1. Gantry

The ring-like entryway where the patient is placed is called the gantry. It is a rotating scan frame and the largest part of the system where all components for production and detection of the x-ray are safely mounted. 

This part of the scanner is where you will see the x-ray tube and detector spinning rapidly to do a scan. It also houses other equipment related to the patient, such as the positioning couch, patient support, scanner housing, and mechanical support. 

Manufacturers produce the gantry in various sizes, but the usual aperture range is between 70 and 90 cm—and they can be tilted too, to accommodate the needs of each patient. The tilting angle also differs based on the manufacturer, but the standard is between 15 to 30 degrees. 

On the gantry’s opening is where you will find the control panel that the radiologic technologists use to manage the whole system. They can change the table movement, align lights, and tilt the entire gantry through these control buttons.


2. Slip Rings 

The older CT scanner designs used to have recoiling system cables that made the gantry frame rotation possible. However, due to all the wires needed, it limited the CT scan machine in many ways. The old design restricted the scanning to a step and shoot method. It also put a limit to the number of rotations the gantry can do!

Newer machines now utilize “slip rings.” These are electromechanical devices that enable perpetual electrical power and electronic communication while the gantry is continuously rotating. There is no need to straighten twisted cables with the slip rings’ help. They paved the way for the machine to have new scanning modes for even better image-taking capacity. 


3. Cooling System 

All the scanning procedures put a lot of work into the entire machine, making it heat up. Cooling systems take care of that situation! They are placed in the gantry and take in many forms. 

The cooling system is comprised of machine blowers, filters, and other components that ensure there is a decent oil and air heat exchange inside. Their job is to ensure that the machine will not be affected by any temperature inconsistencies.


4. Generator

X-ray machines require a high voltage of energy for them to work, and that is where the generator’s role comes in. Every CT scanner comes with a small generator located in the gantry. These generators produce high voltage electricity and transmit it to the x-ray tube. 



To understand how the whole machine works, you first need to know the purpose of each feature. This article showed you the four crucial parts of a CT scanner and how valuable they are to the entire system. By knowing the basic components, you can better understand how to troubleshoot your scanner in the moment it malfunctions!

Instead of purchasing a whole new system, simply buy your needed parts with a reliable supplier. If your machine needs CT parts, we can help you out! DirectMed Parts is the most trusted and knowledgeable source for medical imaging parts and services in the country. We are available 24/7 to assist you! Get in touch with us today, and let us handle your CT scanner.


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