IPCH Conservation Lab installs state-of-the-art digital X-ray room

North wall of x-ray room with lead shielding in place
December 22, 2014

As part of the new IPCH Conservation Lab, a digital x-ray system is being installed. This system, which has an x-ray tube that operates between 5 and 300 kV, will have the capacity to penetrate deeply into large, three-dimensional materials including large fossils and marble sculpture. In order for the system to operate safely, a room had to be constructed with sufficient lead shielding to prevent any x-rays from penetrating surrounding spaces. Tammy Stemen, Yale’s Radiation Safety Officer, assisted by Emma Bahroos and Kevin Charbonneau, calculated the lead shielding necessary.  The room was tested recently with the new x-ray tube with the lead shielding in place, but before the walls of the room were finished. This was done in order to avoid expensive retrofitting should further shielding be found to necessary once the tube is permanently installed.  The shielding was found to function well with only very minor adjustments needed.  The IPCH Conservation Lab will be completed early in 2015.