Properties and Uses of Lead Shielding

Properties and Uses of Lead Shielding

Lead is highly effective in providing protection from various sources of radiation. It is used as the primary material for radiation shielding. Its high density makes it one of the preferred materials for high energy radiation applications like x-rays, gamma rays and other nuclear radiation.

Since lead has an extremely low level of neutron absorption and practically no gamma radiation, it cannot become radioactive. Even after long exposure to neutrons, lead emits an insignificant amount of radiation due to activation.

Lead may not be the densest metal, but it is the standard used in radiation shielding because it is readily available, easily fabricated and its cost is lower than other high density materials.

Properties of Lead for Radiation Shielding

Lead is an excellent shielding material because of its following properties:

  • It has high density
  • It has a high atomic number
  • It has a high level of stability
  • It is easy to fabricate
  • It has a high degree of flexibility in application
  • It is readily available

Lead is primarily used as a radiation shield for:

  • Containers for radioactive materials
  • X-ray machines
  • Nuclear plants
  • Laboratories
  • Military equipment

Personal shielding includes:

  • Lead aprons
  • Thyroid shields
  • Lead gloves

Medi-RayTM, Inc.

Medi-RayTM has been providing customers with over 35 years of metallurgy expertise in custom and precision lead shielding products produced with proprietary equipment. For all your radiation shielding needs, call us at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740 or email us at sales@mediray.com.

Types of Radiation Shielding Materials

Types of Radiation Shielding Materials

Radiation shielding materials are used in a variety of radiologic applications. Using radiation in diagnosing and treating patients has significantly advanced the field of medicine and saved or extended countless lives. Radiation, however, comes with risks. Those who use radiation must be adequately trained in radiation safety, radiation physics, the biologic effects of radiation and injury prevention to ensure patient safety. Lead shielding is often used in a variety of applications including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, and nuclear and industrial shielding.

Lead Electrolytic Shielding

Lead is a soft, malleable and corrosion-resistant material. The high density of lead makes it a useful shield against X-ray and gamma-ray radiation. Lead, in its pure form, is brittle and cannot be worn as apparel. To transform pure lead into a wearable radiation shielding material, it is mixed with binders and additives to make a flexible lead vinyl sheet. The lead sheets are then layered to the desired thickness to achieve the required lead equivalency and incorporated into the radiation shielding garment.

Lead Composite Shielding

Lead composite shielding is a mixture of lead and other lighter weight metals. These lead-based composite blends are a proprietary mixture of lead and other heavy metals that attenuate radiation. Lead-based composite blend radiation shielding garments are lighter than regular grade lead, and are available with the same lead equivalency protection levels.

Non-Lead or Lead Free Shielding

Non-lead and lead-free shielding materials offer the same protection levels as lead-based composite shielding. Non-lead shielding materials are manufactured with additives and binders mixed with attenuating heavy metals and fall into the same category of materials as lead that also absorbs or blocks radiation. These metals include tin, antimony, tungsten, bismuth and other elements.

These core radiation shielding material options have their own unique benefits and features. There are several factors you will want to consider when choosing your shielding option, like the specific procedure being performed, the length of the procedure and its frequency.

Medi-RayTM, Inc.

Whether you are shielding radioactive materials, X-Ray, CT, MRI or PET scanning equipment, or the rooms that house them, Medi-Ray has the shielding components you need: sheet lead and foils, adhesive backed and coated lead materials, and custom components and lead stampings. Medi-RayTM has been providing customers with over 35 years of metallurgy expertise in custom and precision lead products produced by proprietary equipment. For all your radiation shielding needs, call us at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740 or email us at sales@mediray.com.

Lead Shielding for Radiation Protection

Lead Shielding for Radiation Protection

Many applications require radiation shielding to protect workers and members of the public from harmful radiation. Lead provides effective radiation shielding against gamma rays and x-rays because of its high molecular density, high atomic number and high level of stability. It can be used for installing radiation shielding in medical facilities, as well as research facilities in industries, universities or in the military. Lead shielding products are available in various forms to suit different applications.

  1. Lead bricks
  2. Lead bricks are used where maximum protection is required. Interlocking lead bricks provide maximum radiation shielding due to its tongue and groove design. They are made in different sizes, thicknesses and shapes. Lead bricks are ideal for adding radiation shielding to existing rooms. However, lead bricks can be customized in a new construction to reduce wall or ceiling thickness in order to save space. Lead bricks are often mounted to steel frames or other structures such as lead-lined cabinets for increased structural integrity. They do not require mortar or other additional shielding materials. Apart from radiation shielding, lead brick is also used in radioactive isotope creation, counterbalances and ballast weights.

  3. Lead plates
  4. Lead plates can be used for radiation shielding on walls, window frames and doors. It can also be used as a sound barrier. Lead plates are manufactured to consistent standards in a variety of thicknesses and sizes, and can also be made in custom sizes and shapes.

  5. Lead foil
  6. This is a form of sheet lead that can be easily cut, bent and shaped for use in many applications. It is commonly used in the construction of walls, doors and frames. The lead sheet can also be installed on lead-lined walls to stop radiation leakage from cut-outs and penetrations.

  7. Lead glass
  8. High density lead glass provides protection in areas where both radiation shielding and a clear view are necessary for the diagnostic or manufacturing activities involved. It can be installed on walls, window or doors. Lead glass is installed on lead-lined frames.

  9. Lead wool
  10. Lead wool consists of thin strands of lead. It is used as a caulk to seal joints between lead and steel fittings.

  11. Lead powder
  12. Lead Powder is placed within plastic sheets in some protective clothing such as lead aprons.

  13. Lead clothing
  14. Lead clothing provides protective clothing for workers whenever there is a need for radiation shielding. Lead clothing shielding comes in many forms including lead aprons, lead thyroid shields, lead-lined gloves, and eyewear containing leaded glass, lead sleeves and moveable lead shields. Protective clothing should conform to requirements specified by the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP).

Contact Medi-RayTM, Inc. for effective radiation shielding.

Medi-RayTM, Inc. produces a wide range of lead materials for the shielding of nuclear medicine facilities and x-ray rooms. Contact our consultants at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740 or fax us at 914-337-4620. You can also email us at sales@mediray.com.

Lead Extrusion

Lead Extrusion

Lead extrusion is the process of creating an object through a die of the desired cross section. It has the ability to create very complex cross sections and to work materials that are brittle because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses.

Pure Lead Products produce lead extrusions in your desired length, width and shape. Extrusions are produced by using hydraulic pressure to force lead through a die. In this type of process, you can produce an end product in your desired shape. This allows you to customize everything from lead wire to heavy lead bars in your exact specifications.

Applications of Lead Extrusion:

  • It can produce an object with very complex cross sections.
  • In a vertical extrusion process, molten lead may also be used in place of billets. Large tubes of up to 300 mm in lead alloys can be extruded over liquid metal.
  • Lead and lead/tin pipes, pressure tubes (copper lead) and cable sheathing are typical products and applications.

Medi-RayTM, Inc. provides customers with over 35 years of metallurgy expertise in producing custom and precision lead products using proprietary equipment. Our entire operation accomplishes metal fabrication in an environmentally friendly facility. To speak to our consultant, contact us at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740 or email us at sales@mediray.com.