X-ray technology: A refractory metal innovation for every system.

Plansee has made a name for itself as a reliable, neutral development partner for refractory metals in the field of medical engineering. Let us show you some examples.

Long gone are the days when the only thing an X-ray machine could do was to reveal fractured bones. Scanning the entire body in a matter of seconds, creating a sharp image of a beating heart or identifying the chemical composition of a kidney stone from the X-ray image – these are just a few of the astonishing fields of application for modern CT scanners. Each area of application presents a different technical challenge for the X-ray equipment, and hence for the products Plansee manufactures for them. These include components such as shield packs, collimators, flat emitters, stationary anodes and, above all, X-ray targets for generating the X-ray radiation. Our products are used across the entire range of X-ray systems from leading manufacturers. Our innovative technology, design and materials have a great deal to do with this success. A few examples:


The key issue for many of our customers is the stability of components under conditions of greatly fluctuating thermomechanical stress. Modern high-end CT scanners achieve gantry speeds of up to 4 revolutions per second. This generates huge forces that also act on the components in the X-ray tube and the detector. Here, for instance, bonding technologies are of crucial importance. And so Plansee has developed their own soldering processes that allow various metals and graphite to be permanently bonded. This applies to high-performance graphite anodes, for example.


Alongside reliability and stability, the service life of the focal path of the X-ray target and a high dose yield across the entire service life are important issues for many customers. In order to meet these requirements, we have developed special tungsten alloys that we apply to the basic component to form a focal path by pressing, sintering and forging or even vacuum plasma spraying.

And even for "weightwatchers", we are the right people to talk to. After all, the weight of the components is a factor in many X-ray systems. To put it simply: the lighter the component, the longer the service life. And so we develop lightweight component solutions. When we develop products such as these, we are supported by our in-house FEM team, which is able to make use of a wide range of simulation techniques to accurately predict the subsequent real-life behavior of new designs.


Another field in which Plansee provides innovative products for the latest systems is that of shield packs and collimators. Our "metal extrusion molding" process allows us to manufacture particularly thin and workable tungsten heavy alloy sheet. And Plansee is also a world leader in the manufacture of molybdenum and tungsten components using "additive processes". These are better known as "3D printing processes". This manufacturing technique opens up new dimensions in terms of shaping and makes it possible to produce extremely intricate structures.


"These examples show how wide-ranging our developments are, and our team is constantly working on tailored products and solutions that meet or exceed our customers' requirements. Our ambition is to provide a tailored Plansee innovation for every type of system!" explains Dr. Wolfgang Glatz, who heads up the "X-Ray Technologies" market unit at Plansee.


And our developers in the fields of simulation, materials science and bonding technology have always recognized the value of close collaboration with leading universities and research institutes. Plansee has made a name for itself as a reliable, neutral development partner for refractory metals in the field of medical engineering. Our expertise and our extensive technological facilities mean that we are able to manufacture any component, from the most intricate and delicate up to the most complex. From prototype to series and from powder to end product, all the various stages of development and processing are done in-house.