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A two-million-volt X-ray generator has been developed which is not very much larger than a household refrigerator and which is so light that maneuvering it presents no problem in installations requiring the inspection of heavy objects. The penetrating power, sensitivity, and latitude of two-million-volt X-radiation can now be utilized more advantageously by virtue of a flexible mount. In addition, the definition obtainable from a focal spot smaller than the head of a pin permits more definitive radiography of complex objects. The need for such an instrument for the non-destructive testing of bulky, immovable objects has been voiced repeatedly. The Van de Graaff generator, introduced to the Navy by Massachusetts Institute of Technology a few years ago, has been developed to answer this need. New techniques in high-voltage X-ray tube construction, improvements in electrical designs, simplified controls, and auxiliary equipment have all contributed to the ultimate compactness of this type of X-ray source. With its size and weight reduced to reasonable figures for mobility, the two-million-volt generator can be easily adapted to existing load-handling techniques. Several Van de Graaff generators have already been built for use in cancer therapy, installed in a mounting arrangement which allows vertical movement and tilting in one plane from horizontal to vertical. This paper describes the generator and its flexible mount, both readily adaptable to industrial radiography. In addition, the design of a mobile unit for shipyards, foundries, and other similar establishments is discussed.
Burrill, E. Alfred
High Voltage Engineering Corp., Cambridge, Mass.