Modular Aluminium RF MRI Cages

Modular Aluminium RF MRI Cages

Our Rigid Modular Aluminium Design

At Imaging Solutions, we pride ourselves on the quality of our products, and for the absolute best in the industry we use high grade aluminium materials to construct our unique modular cages. This provides our cages with inherent strength, flexibility, and longevity.

Sections of our RF cage structure, with exception of the floor, can be easily dismantled and reinstalled without compromising the integrity of the RF cage. Future upgrades, such as magnet replacements, can be facilitated with comparative ease as a result of the product’s modular design.

High strength, low weight aluminium extrusions and sheets make our RF cages ideally suited to minimise the loading weight of the room while the structure remains rigid, robust, and completely self-supporting. The mechanical pressure fit joints ensures the cage easily exceeds the minimum required attenuation levels of all leading equipment manufacturers. The RF attenuation performance integrity is key to ensuring optimum diagnostic image quality. The construction process allows for easy introduction of additional wave guides and alterations when the equipment is upgraded.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI is a relatively new form of diagnosis using powerful magnetic fields and radio waves producing images of internal organs with a much greater soft tissue contrast than that offered by conventional CT scanners and diagnostic devices.

Intensive research of MRI as a diagnostics medical tool shows no evidence to suggest any danger exists to patients or associated clinical staff from the electromagnetic radio frequency waves emitted by MRI scanners. This contrasts with the evidence related to ionising radiation used in conventional X-Ray processes.

MRI RF Shielding

The requirement for electromagnetic shielding, commonly known as RF shielding, blocks external radio frequency interference which will adversely affect the diagnostic quality of images produced by a MRI scanner. This is in the form of a six sided box, known as an RF Cage, constructed from electrically conductive materials and serves two purposes; to isolate the MRI scanner from outside interference and to prevent radio frequencies produced by the scanner from interfering with equipment outside the room.

The magnetic shielding contains the magnetic fringe field within the room, minimising risk to staff and patients and to avoid disturbances to sensitive medical equipment. This type of shielding is achieved using low carbon silicon steel or any other suitable ferrous material as specified by the OEM. However, the extent and thickness of magnetic shielding involves detailed calculations based on the strength and position of the magnet within a room, the size of the room, and an assessment of any potential outside interference. Reports are available from the equipment manufacturers and are calculated on a case-by-case basis.

General Specifications

An Imaging Solutions MRI RF cage is constructed of high-grade aluminium. The specialist design of the individual components which makes up the shielding structure provides a unique modular aluminium system. 

The self supporting aluminium structure is designed, manufactured and installed under strict quality control measures. Each cage is manufactured and custom designed to suit the host room and local site conditions and requirements. The rigid modular construction of Imaging Solutions RF cages means they can be easily adapted to overcome any unexpected modifications in size and specification on site. Installation and retrofitting at time of commissioning or retrofitting of additional electrical filters or wave guides and ancillary components is simple and does not effect the compliance and integrity of the RF attenuation offered by the cage.

The finished product easily surpasses the attenuation levels specified by all major equipment manufacturers. Our designs are regularly revised and updated as new products are introduced into the market place.

The standard thickness of the walls and ceilings is approximately 50 mm, excluding any internal finishes. Floor thickness, including the final floor covering and 2mm base insulation membrane, is approximately 37 mm.

Our cage is produced from a series of single and multiple extruded certified, high-grade aluminium tube sections interlocked together to form a rigid frame which stands on an insulated membrane. The interlaced floor panels are laid with a self-levelling adhesive compound to infill gaps between floor and frame, thus providing a firm mounting platform for the magnet.

Additional supporting pads for the magnet can be introduced if required by the equipment vendor. It can also be strengthened to meet the load bearing requirements of any size magnet and can incorporate in-floor cable ducts if specified.

The internal surface of the self supporting frame is then lined with 1.6 mm certified, high-grade aluminium sheet, the edges of which are buffed, cleaned, and face fixed with an extruded aluminium cover bar via 304 grade stainless steel 10 gauge screws at 60 mm spacings.

This unique system gives a double overlap of the material at each panel joint for the maximum level of performance, attenuation integrity and electrical conductivity. This construction process eliminates any problems of structural stressing and flexing through building movement or varying coefficients of expansion. It also eliminates the inherent weakness of timber framework, thinner shielding materials and the problems associated with other forms of clamping mechanisms.

NB: See specifications for minimum floor level variance / tolerance per technical reference manual guidelines.

Construction

Competition has arrived in the form of Imaging Solutions

The MRI speciality has been undergoing rapid change during the last 5 years which is continuing to intensify. The range of diagnostic applications developed for the MRI environment has exponentially increased and continues to grow rapidly. The medical market today is sensitive and accordingly very aware of radiation dose issues associated with CT and general x-ray. Accordingly, both public and private radiology centres are moving away from traditional radiation dose dependent and intensive solutions.

Historically the MRI RF cage market was dominated by a very select group who provided the market with limited choice and, due to a lack of competition, prices were astronomically high in comparison to today’s far more realistic and affordable project costs. Imaging Solutions has played no small part in bringing competitive tension to the market and delivering the significant downward pressure on pricing which has halved and in some cased reduced RF cage costs by a third of the costs previously charged. Only one thing has changed and that is competition has arrived.

Save time and money with a modular design

The Imaging Solutions RF cage is strong, simple and easy to install. Typically the installation time line for the RF cage is 4-5 days followed by a further 5 days to fit out the interior of the RF room. This short, sharp and clinically precise and efficient process means it’s possible to be ready to take delivery of your new magnet within the same week. Once the magnet is safely installed a day is required for the RF cage closure and approximately 5 days for the internal fit out or lining,  lighting and electrical. This means the entire construction process can in fact be collapsed down into a compressed 2 week period. This also means disruption to your productivity, and the time it takes to return to normality in terms of workflow and patient throughput are minimised.

Typical RF Cage being constructed

 

Auxillary Components

Each MRI vendor requires individual auxillary components to be installed to meet the customers site. Items such as a Quench Pipe, Filter/Pen Panel, Assorted Waveguides, Medical Gases waveguides and Electrical Filteres are mounted within the RF cage lining and positioned to suit site requirements.

Electrical Filters

Housed within the RF cage paneling these electrical filters are required to pass all auxillary power and lighting to the internal workings the cage. Especially designed to handle the current loading of these circuits these filters are required in groups of pairs per electrical circuit.

 

Filter Panels

These panels are dependant on the MRI vendor and are used to pass all interconnections between the magnet and the external environment. A special adaptor plate is mounted within the RF Cage lining to suit these individual panels supplied by the vendor.

Quench Pipes

Quench Pipes are made from stainless steel tube with the purpose of venting the Helium liquid/gas within the magnet to atomsphere and are designed and installed after consultation with all parties involved to produce a product that meets strict site specifications.

Assorted Waveguides

Both air-conditioning and pressure relief wave guides are constructed of two layers of high grade aluminium honey comb material sealed into a support frame designed for mounting into RF cage panels ready for air conditioning duct adaption. These wave guides are positioned as required by the mechanical services contractor.

 

Our modular construction design ensures an easily removed and re-fitting of wall/ceiling panels to allow magnet access during initial installation and in the event of an equipment upgrade. Sound insulation can be incorporated into the framework of the walls during assembly in addition to our standard acoustic internal lining.

 

 

Additional Information

Product Categories Design and Construction
MRI Equipment and Accessories
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