X-ray tube, also known as a Roentgen tube, functions as a specific energy converter that receives electrical energy and converts it into heat (99%) and x-radiation (1%). The primary function of an X-ray tube is to create x-ray photons from electric energy transmitted by the x-ray generator. As per Inkwood Research, the global X-ray tube market is forecasted to rise with a CAGR of 3.81% during the projected years of 2022 to 2030. Their widespread usage across applications, such as material and structure analysis, CT scanners, X-ray crystallography, and airport luggage scanners, among others, play an essential role in surging the demand and adoption of X-ray tubes worldwide.
X-Ray – An Incredible Contribution to Human Health
The discovery of the X-ray in 1895 provided physicians with an effective, non-surgical tool to analyze the inside of the human body. Moreover, following the development of the ‘Coolidge tube’ in 1913, which continues to remain the model that present-day X-ray tubes are patterned after, the scientific and medical usage of X-rays spread rapidly across Europe and the United States.
Accordingly, some of the top applications of X-ray tubes, predominantly in the field of medicine, include the following –
- Surgical therapy
- Dental applications
- Treatment of bone fractures
- Identifying injuries or abnormal masses
- Detection of internal diseases and various cancers
In the present scenario, the rising expenditure on cancer treatments is set to play an integral role in driving the adoption of X-ray tubes and machines. While cancer diagnostics require X-ray tubes for detection, a crucial application of X-ray tubes entails radiation therapy, which utilizes beams of intense energy for the elimination of cancer cells.
Besides, as per the estimations by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), globally, 1 in 5 people develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1 in 11 women, as well as 1 in 8 men, die from the condition. As a result, a significant increase in medical conditions necessitating the use of X-ray technology for diagnostic purposes is anticipated to raise the demand for X-ray tubes, thus contributing to the notable growth of the global X-ray tube market.
X-Ray Tube Market – Applications Transcending the Field of Medicine
Although X-ray tubes are mainly used in the healthcare industry, some of their leading applications extend beyond the field of medicine, as well. For example –
- Manufacturing – Production environments in the manufacturing industry require high levels of efficiency as well as integration into different manufacturing management systems. In this regard, X-ray tubes are graded as simple power supply technology, with imaging technologies at the forefront, in order to assure improved efficacy and throughput. In addition, the need for quality control in the manufacturing industry across production lines further fuels the adoption of X-ray equipment, primarily for the purpose of detecting internal cracks. Accordingly, these factors also play an essential role in positioning manufacturing as the dominating end-user over the forecast period, 2022 to 2030.
- Aerospace & Defence – X-ray tubes are mainly utilized in the non-destructive testing (NDT) process of various military equipment in the aerospace & defense sector. In this regard, for non-destructive testing, computed tomography (CT) systems are designed to meet the most critical aerospace and defense standards, which ensure the safe and reliable inspection of aircraft parts and manufactured materials. As production and testing continue to witness higher levels of automation, the need for NDT and quality assurance is expected to propel the demand for X-ray tubes over the upcoming years.
- Food & Beverage – The food & beverage industry is emerging as a lucrative application for X-ray tubes on account of the rising need for product quality checks. Moreover, food manufacturers are increasingly relying on product inspection equipment in order to minimize the risk of expensive product recalls, detect foreign objects, safeguard brand reputations, and comply with safety regulations as well as retailer guidelines. For example, Varian Medical System’s X-ray tube features an air-cooled stationary anode metal ceramic design occupying an extensive line of industrial X-ray tubes. The device fulfills the purposes of non-destructive imaging, food inspection, thickness gauging, and security applications.
- Security & Screening – Courthouses, airports, businesses, and prisons utilize X-ray screen systems in order to detect objects such as explosives, concealed weapons, and other contraband for security reasons. For instance, X-ray tubes are the major components for the generation of X-rays in the full-body scanners used in airports in the United States. Moreover, the technology also provides safety personnel with detailed images while eliminating the need for manual physical inspections.
Scanning the Optimistic Future of Radiology | Portable & 3D Color X-Rays
Since the initial discovery of X-ray tubes, notable developments have been undertaken to meet various requirements, such as multiple repetitive exposures, enhanced tube life, and the capacity to accept heavy loads. In this regard, the development of low-energy X-ray systems has considerably increased their application in numerous areas, including baggage and personal scanners for object detection.
Silimarly, one of the most recent developments in the field of X-ray tubes is the introduction of portable X-rays. Portable X-rays, including home X-rays, help patients avoid potentially hazardous trips to the hospital. Furthermore, the growing trend toward smaller as well as more densely populated electronics components, coupled with the emergence of micro-optoelectromechanical systems (MOEMS) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), have resulted in the development of nanofocusing X-ray technology, as well.
In addition, with the first 3D color X-rays of the human body created in the year 2020, the novel bio-imaging technique’s capabilities indicate a brighter future for the medical industry as a whole. And collectively, these factors are expected to provide the global X-ray tube market with lucrative growth opportunities during the forecast period.
What are rotating anode tubes?
A rotating anode X-ray tube is defined as an X-ray tube in which the anode, capable of generating X-rays when hit by an electron beam, rotates. Through rotation, heat can be dispersed, and the tube current can be increased in order to raise the intensity of X-rays.
Which are the leading players operating in the global X-ray tube market?
Lafco India Scientific Industries, Dunlee (Philips Company Group), Oxford Instruments Plc, Malvern Panalytical Ltd, etc., are among the leading players operating in the global X-ray tube market.
Which region is expected to dominate the global X-ray tube market?
North America is expected to dominate the global X-ray tube market, with the highest revenue share of 34.93% by 2030. The significant market growth of the region is attributed to the increasing demand and adoption of X-ray tubes in the healthcare as well as the manufacturing industry.