Digital Radiography (DR)

Digital radiography is a form of x-ray imaging, where digital x-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film.

Principal advantages over film radiography include:

  • Reduced exposure strength
  • Significantly smaller exclusion zones
  • Faster shot speeds
  • Elimination of film and chemicals
  • Digital files that can be delivered via email
  • Versatile software exposure and interpretation tools


PrinciplesDigital sensors are used in place of traditional radiographic film. The digital sensors record the radiographic image and make it available as a digital file that can be presented for interpretation and saved as part of the inspection record.
How is it used and for what purpose?Used as an advanced alternative to film radiography for volumetric inspection of parts, structures, and raw materials.
Applicable Codes and StandardsASTM 2007-00 Standard Guide for Computed Radiography
ASTM E1936-03 Standard Reference Radiograph for Evaluating the Performance of Digitization Systems
ASME Code Case 2476 Radiography Using Phosphor Imaging Plates
ASTM E07 DDA under development
ASTM E2422 First Digital Catalog, Light Alloy Casting
Form of reportPermanent record in digital form that can be printed, saved electronically, and distributed for review.
AdvantagesNo chemicals
No film storage
Fast image acquisition
DR images are immediately available
Wide dynamic range allows variation in exposure times and higher productivity
Post processing software allows extensive ability to improve image after it is acquired
LimitationsHigher initial cost of equipment
Delicate electronics, exposure plates
AlternativesRT, PA, CR
Technician certification
Rope access applicable?Yes