How To Care For And Clean A Phantom
by Monica Jaszczak
Proper Phantom Maintenance
How to clean your phantom
Are you wondering how to keep your medical imaging phantom or product clean? Have no fear, DSC is here! Below is a helpful outline of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” when it comes to the proper care and maintenance of your phantom. Make sure to take your time as you review the information because proper phantom maintenance is key!
How to properly clean your phantom
At DSC, we recommend that you occasionally clean your phantom to remove any water residue build-up. For this purpose, use only a mild soap solution. If the phantom is not going to be used for a few weeks, it is best to use a chlorine and water solution to clean the product. We recommend a very low concentration of chlorine and water to clean the product.
- A chlorine/water solution of less than five (5) parts per million (as determined with a pool chemical test kit, for example) may be used to retard bacterial or algae growth within the phantom.
- We also recommend that the phantom be completely drained and dried.
Proper O-Ring Maintenance
Apply small amounts of silicone grease or a commercially available O-ring grease when the O-rings feel or appear “dry”. Silicone grease is available in the plumbing department of any home improvement store. We recommend using only silicone grease on O-rings. Acceptable products are as follows:
- “Silicone Lubricant” often referred to as, “Special silicone lubricant with PTFE” is an acceptable product for O-Ring Maintenance.
- Gunk Plumber’s Silicone Grease is another acceptable product. The Gunk part number is GR2V. You can find more information about this product at http://www.gunk.ca/prodsht-en/gr2.pdf.
- DSC Helpful Hint: We found Gunk Plumber’s Silicone Grease in local hardware stores and the plumbing department of home improvement companies (such as Lowes and Home Depot). It may also be available at plumbing supply companies and auto part dealers.
- At DSC, we do create a single use tube of O-ring lubricant. For more information, contact us at (919) 732-6800.
Please note that you should NOT use any petroleum containing product, which includes petroleum jelly (sometimes called “petrolatum”).
Phantom Maintenance: What NOT to do!
- NEVER use any of the following products to clean your phantom
- chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., methylene chloride, ethylene dichloride, methyl ethyl ketone, etc…)
- kerosene or benzene (these products could etch, or even dissolve, the acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)) or could erode the bonds holding the phantom together)
- DO NOT use any mechanical tools when tightening filler plugs. Hand tighten the filler plugs, otherwise, you may damage the phantom if using pliers or other tools. While the acetyl co-polymer (AKA-acetyl) or nylon filler plugs are tough, they can still be damaged by misuse. We recommend that you do not over-tighten the filler plugs.
- NEVER replace nylon or “plastic” parts such as screws with metal equivalents. Nylon screws and bolts have been provided so that they will “give” when a certain amount of pressure has been applied to them. Generally, it is much preferred that if something has to break, it should be inexpensive parts, such as screws, rather than the phantom itself. Metal replacement parts could damage or destroy your phantom, so if you need replacements, please be sure to use parts equivalent to the original ones.
- We repeat: Do not use Vaseline ®, petrolatum, or petroleum jelly on O-rings, for it will damage the product.
A gentle reminder
Though it might seem obvious, we remind you that the phantom should not be dropped on the floor. Its size and shape might lend itself to being accidentally dropped, but bear in mind that the Limited Warranty will be voided if Data Spectrum Corporation determines that the phantom has been physically damaged by the user. Handle the phantom and inserts with care. Each component is precision and custom-made. Avoid dropping or striking since acrylic is brittle and relatively fragile.
Want more information about our products?
Take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page. The page touches upon most of the most commonly asked questions when dealing with our products or phantoms. If your question is still not addressed on our FAQ Page, feel free to contact us at (919) 732-6800 or visit our website at www.spect.com
If you would like to learn more about our products or want to talk with someone about proper phantom care and cleaning procedures, feel free to call us at (919) 732-6800 or submit an inquiry at spect.com/contact-us/