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Automatic Film Processing

 Film Transport
 Water System
 Recirculation
 Replenishment System
 Developing
 Fixing
 Washing
 Drying
Film Transport

 A system of rollers that

moves the film through
the developer, fixer,
washing and drying
sections of the
 Also acts as a squeegee
action to remove excess
chemicals from the film.
Make up of the Transport System

 Entrance roller or detector roller

 Vertical or Deep racks (transport racks)
 Crossover assembly
 Squeegee assembly
Entrance roller or detector roller

 Contains the Entrance rollers and guide shoes

which moves film into the developer tank
 Also contains a micro switch which turn on the
replenishment pump
Vertical or Deep racks (transport

 Moves film into and through solutions and

 Uses a turn around assembly at the bottom of
the tank to turn film direction upward.
Crossover assembly

 Moves film form developer to fixer tank and

from the fixer to the wash tank
 Forces solutions from film back into the tank it
is coming from.
Squeegee assembly

 Moves the film from the wash tank to the dryer

 Squeegee action removes excess water from
the film.
Water System

 Washing the film

 Temperature control
Circulation or Recirculation or
Filtration System

 Agitates developer solution

 Removes reaction particles by the use of a filtration
 Helps stabilize developer temperature.
– Agitation and circulation
– Agitation keeps solutions in contact with a heater element in
the bottom of the tank and prevents layering of chemicals
– Maintains developer temperature
– Heating element is controlled by a thermostat
Replenishment or Regeneration

 Responsible for replenishing processor

solutions that are used during processing
 Consist of a series of umps, plastic tubing and
plastic storage tanks.
 Replenishment is based on the length of the
film processed.
Types of Replenishment

 Volume Replenishment
– A volume of chemicals are replaced for each film
that is processed.
 Flood Replenishment
– Periodically replenishes chemicals regardless of
the number of films processed.

 Changing the latent

image of film to a visible
image (manifest image)
composed of minute
clusters of silver.
Components of the Developer

– Solvents
– Developing agents
– Accelerators
– Preservatives
– Restrainers
– Hardeners
Solvents of the Developer

 Water is the solvent in the developer

 Water dissolves and ionizes the developer
 Film emulsion also absorbs water, causing it to
swell. This allows the dissolved developing
agents to penetrate the emulsion and to reach
all the silver halide crystals.
Developing or Reducing Agents

 This component oxidizes the silver and

converts the latent image into the manifest
 Two Components of Reducing Agents
– Hydroquinone - Slowly builds black tones for
– Phenidone – quickly builds gray tones
Accelerators or Activator

 Composed of :
– Sodium or potassium carbonate
– Sodium or potassium hydroxide
 Increase the rate of chemical reaction, converting
exposed silver halide grains into metallic silver at a
more rapid rate.
 Swells and softens the emulsion so that the reducing
agents may work more effectively.
 Provides an alkaline medium for reducing agents
Accelerators or Activator

 Must have a pH of between 10 and 11.5

 Must be alkaline
Preservatives of the Developer

 Sodium or potassium
 Help maintain the rate of
development and
prevent staining of the
film emulsion layer
 Also helps protect the
hydroquinone from
Restrainers or anti-foggers

 Potassium bromide
 Potassium iodide
 Protect unexposed silver
halide grains from the
action of the developer,
minimizing film fog.
Hardeners of Developer

 Glutaraldehyde
 Prevents excessive swelling of the gelatin and
damage to the film as it passes through the

 Clearing of undeveloped crystals before

washing to prevent discoloration of the film with
age or exposure to visible light.
Fixer Components

– Solvent
– Fixing agent
– Preservative
– Hardener
– Acidifier
– Buffer
Solvent of the Fixer

 Water
 Diffuses into the
emulsion, carrying with it
the other dissolved
chemicals of the fixer.
Fixing or Clearing Agent

 Sodium thiosulfate and ammonium thiosulfate

 Dissolves and removes the undeveloped silver
halide grains from the emulsion.
 This allows the unexposed areas of the film to
go from a milky-white appearance to a
transparent appearance.
Preservative of the fixer

 Sodium sulfite
 Prevents decomposition
of the fixer
 Makes the fixer able to
recycle back into a fixer
Hardener or Tanning Agent of the

 Aluminum chloride, aluminum sulfide, or

potassium alum.
 Prevents the gelatin of the emulsion from
swelling excessively.
 Also prevents softening by the wash water or
by warm air drying.
 Shortens the drying time.

 Acetic acid
 Accelerates the action of other chemicals
 Neutralize any developer that may be carried
over from the developer tank.

 Chemical compounds that maintain a constant

pH of the solution during the fixing process.
 Maintain pH of Fixer
– Should be between 4 and 4.5

 Removes the last traces

of processing chemicals
and prevents fading or

 To dry the radiograph

after being processed.
 A blower supplies heated
air to the dryer section of
the film processor which
consist of tube like
rollers. Most of the air is
recirculated. The rest is
vented to prevent
buildup of excessive
humidity in the dryer.