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Analogic designs better CT-scan systems

Courtesy of Analogic Corp.

Analogic Corp., Peabody, MA, whose data acquisition systems are found in approximately three quarters of the world's Computed Tomography (CT) equipment, depends on CFD analysis to handle the unique thermal problems posed by its CT applications. In its latest design, the company used Coolit CFD thermal and flow analysis software from Daat Research Corp. to select and size the appropriate forced air device, design a baffling configuration and equalize airflow across multiple data acquisition boards.

The 200 watt data acquisition system consists of 17 boards riding on the CT's rotating gantry. With the gantry rotating at 90 rpm, there is sufficient centrifugal load to adversely affect the cooling fan bearings. To maximize bearing life, the fan is mounted in the direction of board travel and the air is funneled back onto the boards through a series of baffles.

Initially the thermal engineer felt multiple blowers would outperform fans in this application, but the Coolit models proved the reverse was true and that only one fan would be required.

Since air exiting the baffling was not equally distributed across the boards, the engineer used CFD to determine an effective vent pattern to equalize air distribution. If the design had been created using manual calculations with a repetitive cycle of prototype testing, design modification and testing again, it would have taken months to complete. Using Coolit CFD thermal and flow analysis, Analogic developed designs for two different CT models in less than a week at a cost savings that amount to thousands of dollars.

A typical CT unit.
Coolit model of a data acquisition board.

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