Altair Technologies develops a new X-ray Target Surface Finishing Process
Altair has been making turnkey target assemblies for the x-ray and accelerator fields for almost 20 years. Target materials are typically Tungsten, but can also be Rhodium or other suitable metals. Target surface finishes can be on the order of 2 to 8 microns, which is typically achieved by lapping or polishing by hand or by a manual process. The final surface finish appeared almost mirror-like, would pass the surface finish requirement via a profilometer measurement, but when examined under magnification and incident relatively intense light, stray scratches or striations could be seen leaving a less than perfect uniform appearance, which led to less than desired performance. A development effort was underway and the outcome is an automated process that uses no foreign matter or polishing compounds but achieves both the desired surface finish and near-perfect uniformity.