X-ray film

Last revised by Peerzada Mohammad Iflaq on 17 Feb 2022

X-ray film displays the radiographic image and consists of emulsion (single or double) of silver halide (silver bromide (AgBr) is most common) which when exposed to light, produces a silver ion (Ag+) and an electron. The electrons get attached to the sensitivity specks and attract the silver ion. Subsequently, the silver ions attach and clumps of metallic silver (black) are formed 1,2.

The silver can be reclaimed from old x-ray film, in a process known as silver recovery.

Layers
  • base: cellulose triacetate or polyester for support
  • substratum: an adhesive layer containing gelatin and solvents that bind emulsion and base
  • emulsion: silver halide and gelatin, with some hardening agents is the main layer where latent images are stored
  • protective layer: gelatin, protects emulsion from damage

The total thickness of the film is about 0.25 mm.

Types
  • screen type films: faster when used with intensifying screen
    • conventional
    • orthochromatic (green sensitive)
  • direct exposure type: used for dental exposures

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