Mottling in Radiography film may disguise you!!!

Dark spots in the radiography film of the weld may not be always indication of porosity or segregation, it may be because of scattering of the rays, have a close look on it next time you observe.

A special form of scattering caused by x-ray diffraction is encountered occasionally. It is most often observed in the radiography of fairly thin metallic specimens whose grain size is large enough to be an appreciable fraction of the part thickness. The radiographic appearance of this type of scattering is mottled and may be confused with the mottled appearance sometimes produced by porosity or segregation. It can be distinguished from these conditions by making two successive radiographs, with the specimen rotated slightly (1 to 5 degrees) between exposures, about an axis perpendicular to the central beam. A pattern caused by porosity or segregation will change only slightly; however, one caused by diffraction will show a marked change. The radiographs of some specimens will show a mottling from both effects, and careful observation is needed to differentiate between them.

A relatively large crystal or grain in a relatively thin specimen may in some cases “reflect” an appreciable portion of the x-ray energy falling on the specimen, much as if it were a small mirror. This will result in a light spot on the developed radiograph corresponding to the position of the particular crystal and may also produce a dark spot in another location if the diffracted, or “reflected,” beam strikes the film. Should this beam strike the film beneath a thick part of the specimen, the dark spot may be mistaken for a void in the thick section

The mottling caused by diffraction can be reduced, and in some cases eliminated, by raising the kilovoltage and by using lead foil screens. The former is often of positive value even though the radiographic contrast is reduced. Since definite rules are difficult to formulate, both approaches should be tried in a new situation, and perhaps both used together.

Reference: Radiography in Modern Industry

Keep reading, Happy welding

Thank you,

KP Bhatt

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