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What Do The Colors on The X-Ray Baggage Scanner Mean?

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X-Ray Luggage Scanners enable security personnel to perform accurate and quick security inspections. It provides effective detection of potentially dangerous objects such as knives, explosives, drugs. But how do x-ray inspection devices detect these substances? Let’s examine this.

How Do X-Ray Baggage Scanners Work?

When an object is exposed to x-rays inside the x-ray baggage scanner, some x-rays pass through the object, while some cannot pass through the object and cannot exit from the other side. The factor affecting whether x-rays can pass through is the density of objects, in other words atomic weight.

Atomic structures and densities of substances can be seen in the ‘Periodic Table of the Elements’. The lower the density of a material, the lighter its image on the x-ray luggage scanner will appear. By the same logic, the higher the density of an object, the darker the image will appear. If an object is too dense for x-rays to penetrate, a completely black image will appear.

Meanings of The Colors on X-Ray Inspection System

In the x-ray baggage scanner, objects appear in 3 basic colors according to their atomic weight. Color indicates the type of object, and the brightness of the color indicates the thickness of the material.

What materials show up on x-ray? X-ray inspection system displays different types of substances in different colors. It reflects organic substances as orange, inorganic substances as blue and mixed substances as green. 

Materials such as clothing, food, paper, and wood are organic substances and appear on the screen in shades of orange according to their density. Attention should be paid to organic substances because explosive substances are also organic. If the explosive is sealed with an inorganic material, it will appear on the screen as a combination of the colors of both substances.

Examples of inorganic materials are glass, porcelain and metal objects. These items are displayed in blue, and x-ray luggage scanner operators should beware of blue objects, as many injurious tools are made of metal. Because weapons, knives, etc. objects are made of inorganic materials.

Mixed substances, which are mixtures of both organic and inorganic substances, appear green on the screen. Substances such as aluminum, silicon, glass are examples of mixed materials. Gunpowder and detonators also appear green in the x-ray inspection device.

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