Standard Active Last Updated: Jan 28, 2021 Track Document
ASTM E1165-20

Standard Test Method for Measurement of Focal Spots of Industrial X-Ray Tubes by Pinhole Imaging

Standard Test Method for Measurement of Focal Spots of Industrial X-Ray Tubes by Pinhole Imaging E1165-20 ASTM|E1165-20|en-US Standard Test Method for Measurement of Focal Spots of Industrial X-Ray Tubes by Pinhole Imaging Standard new BOS Vol. 03.03 Committee E07
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Significance and Use

5.1 One of the factors affecting the quality of radiologic images is the geometric unsharpness. The degree of geometric unsharpness is dependent on the focal spot size of the radiation source, the distance between the source and the object to be radiographed, and the distance between the object to be radiographed and the detector (imaging plate, Digital Detector Array (DDA) or film). This test method allows the user to determine the effective focal size of the X-ray source. This result may then be used to establish source to object and object to detector distances appropriate for maintaining the desired degree of geometric unsharpness or maximum magnification for a given radiographic imaging application, or both. Some ASTM standards require this value for calculation of a required magnification, for example, Practices E1255, E2033, and E2698.


1.1 The image quality and the resolution of X-ray images are especially sensitive to the characteristics of the focal spot. The imaging qualities of the focal spot are based on its two dimensional intensity distribution as seen from the detector plane.

1.2 This test method provides instructions for determining the effective size (dimensions) of standard and mini focal spots of industrial X-ray tubes for focal spot dimensions from 100 μm up to several mm of X-ray sources up to 600 kV tube voltage. Smaller focal spots down to 50 µm could be evaluated with less precision. This determination is based on the measurement of an image of a focal spot that has been radiographically recorded with a “pinhole” technique. An alternative method with a plaque hole IQI may be found in the Annex A, which covers the same focal spot sizes.

1.3 Smaller focal spots should be measured using Test Method E2903 using the projection of an edge.

1.4 This test method may also be used to determine the change in focal spot size that may have occurred due to tube age, tube overloading, and the like. This would entail the production of a focal spot radiograph (with the pinhole method) and an evaluation of the resultant image for pitting, cracking, and the like.

1.5 Units—Values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 03.03
Developed by Subcommittee: E07.01
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.1520/E1165-20
ICS Code: 19.100