Do You Know What Materials Are Used For Shielding Against Radiation?

Radiation shielding is very important for those people who are working in an environment where there is exposure to β particles, γ radiation, or x-ray radiation. Such exposure for a longer duration is a matter of serious concern in the following places:

  • Nuclear power facilities
  • Hospitals where an x-ray system is used
  • Radioisotope projects
  • Works related to the particle accelerator

If people working in such places do not use any protection like lead glass or any other such material then it can cause physical harm to them. The organization must consider preserving human safety from such radiation exposure and use proper shielding material.

The degree of radioactive rays penetration may vary according to the type of radiation is involved.  People who use radiation should be adequately trained about radiation safety, physics, various biologic effects, and injury prevention for ensuring patient safety.


Few different shielding materials


There are different kinds of material used for protection from different kinds of radiation. Let us try to know about them here.

1.  Beta shielding

While protecting against beta particle radiations, the density of the material is more important than the material thickness. Using any leaded glass from Lead Glass Pro may not serve your purpose here because lead can also produce secondary radiation while passing through such elements.


Beta shielding


Instead of that plastic will be more preferable to form a much efficient barrier to deal with very high-energy beta radiation. As the negatively charged particles of beta rays hit any high-density material, like tungsten, then electrons will be blocked. Beta particles having the highest energies and can travel more than 2 meters.

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     2. Neutron shielding

For blocking any neutron radiation too, leaded windows may not be suitable as neutrons remain uncharged that can pass through even dense materials. Any materials that are composed of elements having a low atomic number will be preferable.


Neutron shielding


Hydrogen or any hydrogen-based materials like water can form very efficient neutron barriers besides being relatively much inexpensive shielding substances. The low-density materials however may emit gamma rays while blocking neutrons, hence neutron radiation shielding will be most active when it will incorporate elements of atomic numbers both low and high.

   3.  Gamma and X-ray shielding

Mostly, high-density materials will be more effective rather than low-density alternatives to block or reduce the intensity of X-ray and gamma radiation. The low-density materials can, however, compensate for its disparity with more thickness that is as good as density.


Gamma and X-ray shielding


You can use x-ray glass or lead for reducing the effect of such rays because lead is having a higher atomic number. The atomic number will refer to the protons number within an atom.

These electrons can block particles of x-ray and gamma rays that may enter the lead wall, and the protection will be compounded by thicker shielding barriers. You must however understand that there is room for some rays to enter through the x-ray window and an absolute barrier in many situations may be impossible.

Inadequate protection against various types of radiation may lead to serious health concerns and people working in such an environment must be very careful about having adequate shielding for them.

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