The X-ray is an essential piece of equipment used in conservation. X-ray examination of objects allows increased understanding of their construction and may identify previous repairs.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has two X-ray systems. A 140kv tube is used for the radiography of low-density objects such as paintings on canvas and wooden panels. A more powerful 220kv set is able to penetrate sculptures and metalwork.
Both systems are incorporated in enclosures that comply with the Ionising Radiation Regulations and are monitored for safety on a regular basis.