Radiograhy Lessons Using the XRSIM Program
One of the education improvement projects completed
by the Collaboration for NDT Education involved the introduction
of X-ray inspection simulation program into the college classroom.
Ten X-ray inspection exercises were developed that make use
of an X-ray inspection simulation program developed by the Center
for NDE at Iowa State University. The lessons cover the following
Kilovoltage and contrast sensitivity
Milliamperage and time relationships
Creating an exposure chart
Source to film relationships
Radiographic equivalence factors
Defect composition, shape, and size
Defect shape and relationship to X-ray source
Beam divergence and image distortion
Developing a radiographic technique card
The student booklet for the lessons and the program
user instructions may be downloaded below. NDT instructors may
request a copy of the instructor's booklet by email addressed
to NDTfirstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a daytime phone number
in the email so that a member of the collaboration for NDT Education
may contact you. The instructors booklet is also free of charge.
The XRSIM program is commercially available from NDE Technologies,
on Teaching With the XRSIM Program
Using the XRSIM program, a student must perform
all of the operations required to produce a "real"
radiograph except that the film-developing step is eliminated.
First, the exposure must be set-up by loading in a CAD model
of a part, positioning the part relative to the x-ray source
and the film, and selecting the x-ray generator and film type.
The student must then adjust the generator settings and the
exposure time to produce the desired exposure. Once the part
set-up and generator setting selections are complete, the program
generates a simulated radiograph in only a few seconds compared
to twenty or thirty minutes when film developing is involved.
The student can view a number of simulated radiographs at once
so that side-by-side comparisons are possible. A densitometer
feature allows students to collect quantitative information
about the images.
One of the main advantages of the program is that
it provides a hands-on learning environment were results are
produced very quickly. This allows instructors to expose students
to a greater number and variety of problems and allows the students
to discover the effects of variables for themselves. Quick results
also reduce the many distractions unrelated to the primary learning
exercise that can confuse the results and even the purpose of
the exercise. Another advantage is that results are not complicated
by unnecessary variables such as film processing artifacts.
The simulator also records all the variables used to produce
images, which allows instructor to quickly trouble shoot any
problems that students may be having with an exercise.
Since the program uses a CAD model and does not
require a real part, inspections can be simulated that would
be impossible or too costly to develop outside of the computer
environment. Flaws of various shapes and sizes can be easily
introduced into the CAD model to produce a sample set for probability
of detection exercises. Use of the program is more cost effective
because students can make all the usual mistakes while learning
the basics of radiography, and correct them before actual exposing
film. In addition to reducing consumable costs, the use of the
simulator could reduce equipment costs since the students will
spend less time using expensive x-ray systems.