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Publication numberUS3359423 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date19 Dec 1967
Filing date18 Nov 1964
Priority date18 Nov 1964
Publication numberUS 3359423 A, US 3359423A, US-A-3359423, US3359423 A, US3359423A
InventorsHarry E Koerner, Everett W Vaughn
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Panographic X-ray tubehead with a projecting anode rod mounted for manual movement about two mutually perpendicular axes
US 3359423 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1967 H. E KOERNER ETAL 3,359,423


INVENTORS Hor ry E. Koerner 8 Everett W.Voughn Y United States Patent PANOGRAPHIC X-RAY TUBEHEAD WITH A PRO- JECTING ANODE ROD MOUNTED FOR MAN- UAL MOVEMENT ABOUT TWO MUTUALLY PERPENDICULAR AXES Harry E. Koerner, Catousville, and Everett W. Vaughn, Ellicott City, Md'., assignors to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, East Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Nov. 18, 1964, Ser. No. 412,056 3 Claims. (Cl. 250-91) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE X-ray apparatus in which a cylindrical panographic X-ray tubehead is mounted in a tubehead support member turnable 360 about a horizontal axis perpendicular to and intersecting the longitudinal axis of the tubehead, and which tubehead support member is carried by a vertically-shafted hinge means which permits 180 of turning movement of the tubehead about a vertical axis; both movements being attainable by exertion of manual eflfort applied to the tubehead. A gear-and-pinion arrangement provides for Vernier adjustment of tubehead-support-memher-movement about the horizontal axis.

Panographic X-ray tubeheads are commercially available which have an elongated generally-cylindrical tubeenclosing housing having at one end a high voltage cable and having at the other end an axialWise-projecting anode rod for extension into a body opening, such as the mouth of a patient, to produce an outwardly-directed Wide angle X-ray beam for recording an X-ray image on an X-ray film wrapped around the patient at the site of beam emanation.

Adjustable support and positioning means for such panographic X-ray tubeheads as heretofore employed have comprised a semicircular gimbal in rotary support for turning about a vertical axis at its upper end and having downwardly extending vertical arms pivotally supporting the panographic X-ray tubehead at opposite sides of its generally-cylindrical tube-enclosing housing portion. By such prior gimbal support arrangement the tubehead could be turned up to 360 in a horizontal plane and less than 90 in a vertical plane, in accord with the limited length of the vertical arms of the gimbal. The rotary support for the gimbal was at the end of a horizontal support arm carried by a vertically-adjustable column.

The above support arrangement can be satisfactory for dental use, but cucumbers a broader general use in other areas.

It is a prime object of the present invention, however, to provide panographic X-ray apparatus employing a panographic tubehead of the type herein involved which is suited for a broader field of radiographic use extending beyond dental use, and involving positioning of the anode rod thereof in other natural body openings, as Well as in surgical openings, and under body protuberances, etc.

In accord with the above object, a general aspect of the present invention resides in the realization that such broader use has been discouraged by the prior art mounting arrangements and can be aiforded in a simple manner by relocation of the axis about which 360 of freedom is afforded for turning of the panographic tubehead. By the mere repositioning of the previously-employed gimbal, for example, from its vertical-support-arm-position to a position in which its arms extend horizontally and its turning axis is horizontal, the full, unobstructed, 360 of vertical tilting freedom, as well as 360 of horice izontal angulating freedom by inverting the tubehead, results in such positionability of the anode rod of the radiographic tubehead as conveniently permits its effec tive positioning, not only in the patients mouth, but within other natural and surgical body openings, as well as under, beside, and between the patients limbs and body protuberances While the patient is standing, sitting, or recumbent on an X-ray table.

Another object of the invention resides in the provision of a panographic X-ray tubehead and adjustable support assemblage particularly suited for such broadened use, which is compact and enables the anode rod thereof to be positioned with relative ease, convenience, and precision.

-In accord with this object, a preferred form of the invention as illustrated herein comprises, in general, the generally-cylindrical panographic X-ray tubehead secured for support in lengthwise extension across a front face of a rotary mounting member which is turnable in a vertical plane about the axis of a horizontal support shaft to provide for the unobstructed 360 tilta'bility of such tubehead in a vertical plane about a horizontal axis which perpendicularly intersects the longitudinal axis of the tubehead intermediate its ends at a longitudinal balance point thereof; together with a gear-and-pinion arrangement coupled to such rotary mounting member to turn some for final precision adjustment in vertical tilt position of the tubehead; adjustable friction drag means to yieldably hold a selected vertical tilt position of the tubehead; a vertically-shafted hinge means carrying the horizontal support shaft for the rotary tubehead-mounting member which permits up to 180 horizontal turning movement of such member and the tubehead thereon to afford 360 of horizontal positionability of the tubehead by swinging it to positions about the horizontal axis with the anode rod to left or right during swinging about the vertical axis; and a means for locking the hinge means in any of its angular positions which may be selected.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention, when taken in connection with the following drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is an end elevation view, partly in outline and partly in section, of a panographic X-ray tubehead and adjustable support assemblage embodying a preferred form of the invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are front and top outline views, respectively, of the assemblage of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a view, with partial cut-away, taken along the line IV IV in FIG. 1, showing details of the aforementioned adjustable friction drag means.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 of the drawings, the panographic X-ray tubehead 10 to which the present invention relates comprises an elongated, generally cylindrical housing 11 containing an X-ray tube (not shown) of a panographic type such as shown and described in US. Patent 2,946,892, for example, and available commercially under the trademark Panoramix. A high voltage cable 12, FIG. 2, extends centrally into one end of the housing 11 for energization of such X-ray tube, and an anode rod 13 enclosing a tapered target of the X-ray tube and extends centrally from the opposite end of the housing 10, coaxially with respect thereto. The targetcontaining anode rod 13 is approximately one-half inch in diameter, about three to four inches long, and is capable of radiating from its projecting end an X-ray beam within an angular space 14 of 270, for example, which fans out omnidirection-ally except for a conical zone within an angular space of such as for example, in the direction of projection of such rod. In dental use or in examination of facial bones, the projecting end of the anode rod 13 is positioned a reasonable distance within the patients mouth for radiation of the wide-angle beam outwardly therefrom to an X-ray film in a flexible cassette, not shown, wrapped about the patients face from ear-to-ear. ()ther areas of examination include: shoulder bones, with the anode rod .13 disposed in the patients armpit and the film wrapped over the shoulder; the coccyx, with the anode rod extended into the arms and the film at the base of the spine; the joints of the fingers, with the hand holding the rod and the film wrapped about the fist; the pituitary, with the rod in the mouth and the film on top of the head; and surgical pyelography, with the rod extended into the incision and the film on the opposite side of the kidney under study.

In accord with novel features of the present invention, the panographic X-ray tubehead 1G is secured to a rotary mounting member 17 in extension across a front face 13 thereof through the medium of a bracket having arms 19 and 20 which extend half-way around the cylindrical tubehead housing 11 and are removably aflixed thereto at their projecting ends by machine screws 22 and 23 along a line which perpendicularly intersects the axis 24 of such tubehead at a center of gravity location of the tubehead as including the anode rod 13. The rotary mounting member 17 is secured to a central support shaft 25 which extends in a horizontal direction to permit 360 of rotary movement of such mounting member and tubehead in a vertical plane about the axis 26 of such shaft. The mounting member 17 is circular in form, with a circular front wall 27 which forms the front face 18 to which the bracket arms 19 and are attached and to an inner surface of which the shaft is attached, as by integral formation therewith. The axis 26 of the shaft 25 is offset longitudinally of the tubehead 10 with respect to the location of the support brackets 19 and 20 so as to intersect the tubehead axis 24 at a longitudinal balance point of such tubehead, so that the tubehead 10 will tend to remain in any tilted position about axis 26 to which it may be rocked, save for a certain slight degree of unbalance which may be introduced by the high voltage cable 12 extending from the one end of the tubehead.

The shaft 25 is journaled in a hub 30 which forms a part of a mounted member 31 of a vertically-shafted hinge means 32, which mounted member 31 includes a flange 34 extending radially outward from the hub 30 into close proximity at its outer periphery with an inner peripheral edge of an annular lip 36 extending inwardly from a short cylindrical section 38 of the rotary mounting member 17 to define a thin cylindrical-shaped gear chamber 39 therein behind the front wall 27.

By exerting manual effort against the housing 11 it may readily be tilted, together with arms 19 and mounting member 17, about the axis 26 of the tubehead it to an approximate desired angular attitude in a vertical plane, while the mounted member 31 is constrained against corresponding movement by the hinge means 32 and other support means (not shown), such as a horizontal shaft adjustably supported on the upper end of a verticallyadjustable column, or a pantograph arm arrangement such as employed in dental X-ray equipment. For final precise angular location of the tubehead 10 and, more importantly, the anode rod 13, a gear-and-pinion assemblage is provided in the gear chamber 39. Such assemblage includes a thin annular gear 42 held centered by and extending radially outward from one end of the hub 30, part of the mounted member 31 of the hinge means 32, and removably secured in place by screws 44 on the ends of a plurality of posts 45 attached to the inner face of flange 34 and projecting into chamber '39. In meshing engagement with the teeth on the outer periphery of the gear 42 there is a pinion 47 which is disposed in the chamber 39 and carried on the end of a shaft 49 which is rotatably mounted in and extends through a box-like enclosure member 50 which is attached to the front wall 27 of the mounting member 17 and extends forwardly of the front face 18 thereof to' a position beneath the tubehead housing 11 as viewed in the position in which it is shown in the drawing. The shaft 49 extends forwardly of the tubehead 1t) and is provided with a knob 52 on its projecting end for turning such shaft and thereby the pinion 47 to cause same to travel around the gear 42 and carry the mounting member 17 and tubehead 1t therewith about the axis 26 of the support shaft 25; the shaft 49 being journaled in suitable aligned bores, not shown, in the front wall 27 of such mounting member and in an end plate 54 attached to the front of the box-like enclosure member 50. By virtue of such gear-and-pinion arrangement operated by the knob 52, it will be appreciated that a precise or vernier type of adjustment in angular position of the tubehead 1t and its anode rod 13 relative to the turning axis 26 may be effected following gross and rapid adjustment by exertion of manual tilting effort against the tubehead directly, which latter adjustment results in rolling the pinion 47 around the gear 42 by the turning imparted to mounting member 17 from the tubehead and the consequent turning of pinion 47 and shaft 49 by such gear.

To act in behalf of imposing a slight resistance to turning movement of the tubehead 10 about the axis 26, as well as to act to hold such tubehead in a selected vertically tilted attitude about such axis, the apparatus comprises an adjustable friction drag means 56 disposed in the enclosure member 50 and affiliated with the shaft 49. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, such friction drag means comprises a rigid flange member 58 which is secured to the shaft 49. The Washer member 58 is biased by a pair of helical compression springs 59, one of which is shown, through the medium of a thrust plate 60 into rotary sliding frictional engagement with an annular friction pad 62, of a material such as leather, which is glued to the face 18 of front wall 27. The springs 59 encircle respective machine screws 64 which extend with clearance through openings in the front wall 27 of mounting member 17 into the enclosure 50, past opposite sides of the friction pad 62 and the flange member 58, through openings in the thrust plate 60 and into screw-threaded attachment with a rectangular spring seat member 66 which is supported thereby. The shaft 49 is free to slide axialwise relative to the mounting member 17, and the thrust plate 60- and seat member 66 are movable along such shaft, so that the force exerted by the compression springs 59 will urge such thrust plate against the flange member 58 on such shaft, which in turn will urge such flange member into rotary frictional contact with the washer pad 62 to impose a degree of restraint on rotation of such shaft, and hence on rotation of the mounting member 17 which is torque coupled thereto via the gear 42 and pinion 47. By turning the screws 64, the spring force may be adjusted to regulate the degree of such friction drag.

To permit horizontal angulation of the tubehead 10 to the extent of 180, the apparatus comprises the vertically-shafted hinge means 32 which includes the aforementioned mounted member 31 as well as a mounting member 70 which is coupled to the mounted member through the medium of a vertical pin 72 and interfitting vertically-abutting relatively-turnable portions of the mounted and mounting members which are retained in such relationship by the presence of such pin. The axis 74 of the pin 72 is vertical and intersected at right angles by the axis 26 of the shaft 25, and by exertion of manual effort against the tubehead 10 or against the mounting member 17, such tubehead can be swung horizontally in either direction from the position in which it is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, irrespective of its vertical tilt attitude within the 360 range.

To lock the tubehead 1i] and its mounting member 17 in any selected horizontal angular position within the available range, the hinge means 32 is provided with a locking means comprising a horizontal plate 76 attached at a forward edge to the flange 34 part of the mounted member 31 of the hinge means, and a vertical lock screw 77 which is in screw-threaded cooperation with a portion of the mounting member 70 of the hinge means to exert a clamping force against the plate 76 adjacent to an outer edge thereof to thereby obtain a high degree of constraint against rotation of member 17 about the pin 72 without undue turning effort applied to the lock screw. For convenience, the screw 77 extends downwardly to a level below the bottom of the member 17 and is provided with a lock-control turning knob 80. The lock plate 76 is rounded at its rear edge to minimize the edge clearance required to accommodate its turning, the mounting member 70 of the hinge means is slotted to permit travel of such plate past a stop surface 81 in member 70 located above the plate and in alignment with the end of the lock screw 77 to serve as reaction backup for the screw force exerted against the lock plate, thereby obtaining the clamping action which locks the plate in any of its horizontal positions which it may occupy.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that the assemblage including panographic X-ray tubehead and support therefor enables the anode rod 13 thereof to be positioned in any desired direction both horizontally and vertically. It can be tilted with 360 of freedom about the horizontal axis 26, and while in any such vertically-tilted position be swung with 180 of freedom about the vertical axis 74, which, considering that the tubehead can be tilted to position the anode rod 13 either to left or right of the axis 26, gives also 360 of horizontal positionability of the tubehead.

While there has been shown and described in the foregoing an illustrative embodiment of the invention, modifications thereto may readily occur to those skilled in the art. It is not desired, therefore, that the invention be necessarily limited to the specific details shown and described, and it is intended that the appended claims cover all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

We claim as our invention:

1. X-ray apparatus comprising an elongated cylindrical panographic X-ray tubehead having an anode rod projecting from one end thereof; a rotatable tubehead sup port member supporting said tubehead and turnable, by manual efi'ort exerted on said tubehead, about a horizontal axis perpendicular to and intersecting the longitudinal axis of said tubehead, with 360 of angular freedom; and a vertically-shafted hinge means for said tube head support member which permits manual movement thereof together with said tubehead horizontally about a vertical axis with of angular freedom.

2, X-ray apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said apparatus further comprises pinion-andgear means torque-coupled to said support member for fine-adjust turning thereof about said horizontal axis while permitting independent gross-adjust turning thereof about such axis by aforesaid manual effort exerted on the tubehead.

3. X-ray apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said vertically-shafted hinge means comprises relativelyturnable members, a fiat horizontal plate secured to turn with one of said members and extending past a shoulder in the other member, and lock screw means on such other member operable to clamp said plate against said shoulder for locking the two members in relative angular positions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,818,510 12/1957 Verse 250-91 2,946,892 7/1960 Bas-Taymaz 25099 WILLIAM F. LINDQUIST, Primary Examiner.

RALPH G. NILSON, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2818510 *22 Jul 195431 Dec 1957Philips CorpDiagnostic x-ray device
US2946892 *2 Oct 195826 Jul 1960Foerderung Forschung GmbhArrangement for controlling and correcting the location of the focal spot produced by a cathode-ray on the target of a roentgen-tube
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3891856 *21 Nov 197324 Jun 1975Picker CorpMount for ceiling supported X-ray tube
US3906235 *26 Sep 197416 Sep 1975Fischer HeimbertDental X-ray photographic device
US4104532 *29 Jun 19771 Aug 1978Thoro-Ray Inc.Dental and medical X-ray apparatus
WO2011082738A1 *27 Nov 201014 Jul 2011DüRR DENTAL AGCassette for a storage film, storage film for use with said cassette, device for reading a storage film, examination device comprising said type of cassette and method for capturing panographic images
U.S. Classification378/38, 378/197
International ClassificationA61B6/14, A61B6/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B6/4429, A61B6/145
European ClassificationA61B6/44J, A61B6/14B