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.

Considerations for Lead Shielding

A certified professional radiation health physicist must calculate the proper amount of lead shielding required based on certain considerations. It will depend on the source of radiation—the type of machine used and where it is located. The following information helps in understanding what factors determine lead shield requirements for diagnostic imagining and radiation therapy. The goal is to ensure that the maximum radiation protection is achieved.

Lead shielding requirements are calculated and determined based on the following considerations:

  1. Energy potential: The energy potential of the machine will determine the lead shielding requirement—the higher the output of the machine, the higher the lead shielding required.
  2. Workload: The exposure per week, month or year must be determined, as well as the maximum patient volume growth, as radiation is cumulative and overexposure causes biological damage on the cellular level. Check the local governing health and safety law and codes for current compliance requirements.
  3. Orientation/Direction: Wall lead shielding is calculated by a physicist in relation to the primary beam target. The direction where the radiation is aimed and will scatter.
  4. Distance: Radiation will dissipate more as distance increases. The closer a partition is to the radiation/x-ray source, the higher the shielding requirement.
  5. Occupancy: A very important part in your calculation is the amount of time, per day, a surrounding room similar to the x-ray room (source or radiation) will be occupied by personnel or public. The lead shielding on wall and floors increases with the level of occupancy.
  6. Type of material: The type of construction material used for wall, partition and floor may reduce the requirement for lead shielding. Heavy density materials such as concrete, steel and plaster can shield radiation to some level.

All lead shielding requirements should be calculated by an expert.

Contact Medi-RayTM, Inc.

Medi-RayTM, Inc. specializes in lead shielding solutions. We design and provide various radiation shielding products.

Lead Shielding And The Medical Industry

For many years it has been thought that lead is a very dangerous material that should be avoided or removed from peoples’ homes. Nobody ever expected that lead would be used for something good, something that could save lives. Today lead is used to make protective shields. Lead shielding has many uses in a variety of different industries. However, its most common and important purpose is to create a protective shield for patients undergoing X-Ray testing or radiation treatment. If you or someone you know is in need of lead shielding, or is interested in learning more about it, contact Medi-Ray™ today. We have the professional knowledge and experience to make sure that our customers are completely satisfied with their safety material.

Due to lead’s high density, it is the perfect material for blocking gamma rays and x-rays that can be harmful to the body, as they can tamper with DNA and even cause cancer. However, with the protection of lead shielding, harmful rays are absorbed in the lead and never even make it to the body.

Lead shielding comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. For example, lead shielding can be found in the form of an apron for patients to wear in an x- ray testing room, to cover sensitive organs in the body. Lead shielding can also be found in the laboratory itself, in structures such as walls comprised of lead bricks, as well as thick containers with a lead base, used for transporting hazardous radioactive materials.

If you or someone you know is in need of lead shielding or would like to learn more about it, contact Medi-Ray™ today. Our experienced team of professionals will stop at nothing to make sure that our customers are satisfied and that all their needs are met.

Medical Isotope Generators Are Essential for Nuclear Medicine Market

In the nuclear medicine market medical isotope generators are used to produce many regular used imaging isotopes. Gallium-68 and Technetium-99 generators are extremely radioactive and need to provide shielding, which is generally composed of either lead or tungsten. Without proper shielding these radioactive generators cannot be shipped or used in their applications.

Which Metals Are The Best Shielding Solutions

Radioactive generators require shielding, which is usually composed of either lead, tungsten or a combination of both metals to provide the best shielding solutions.

Tungsten, Lead or a Combination?

  • Density wise, tungsten has a higher density than lead. Lead has a density of 11.34 g/cc; tungsten has a density of 17.3 g/cc.
  • The cost of tungsten is around 25 times the price of lead because of the material difference and the processing needed.
  • Tungsten is a tougher shield than lead.
  • A hybrid or a combination of both the metals along with some other materials is the best option, as they prove to be more functional and produce cost effective results.

Are you looking for quality shielding of medical isotope generators? Contact Us!

If you are in need of a shielding container or generator shield for nuclear medicine material and are looking for quality shielding of medical isotope generators, call Mediray, Inc at 877-898-3003/914-979-2740 or email:sales@mediray.com.

Counterweights

Overview

Counterweights are required in many types of equipment to allow the system to work properly. They can be simple steel plates or can be designed with complex geometrics because of the compartments in which they need to be placed. There are many factors that need to be considered when you are designing a product that requires counterweights.

  • How much counterweight will you need?
  • Is the counterweight going to be a freestanding part or will it be inside a compartment as one assembly?
  • How much space does the application have?
  • Are there benefits to reduce the space or size of the counterweight?
  • What are the mechanical properties needed of the counterweight and what environment is it going into?
  • Are there benefits to add more weight to the counterweight compartment?
  • Will the counterweight(s) need to be removed or will trim balancing be needed?

Counterweight Options

There are many options for counterweight designs in geometry and material. Although steel is a good option, in many instances it alone cannot attain the goals, so other metals such as lead must be used. Lead is 31% more dense than steel.

Lead Counterweights- A Good Option

Since lead melts at a relatively low temperature, it allows for steel shells or other components to be filled. It can also be cast into shapes that allow it to be poured into a tool providing a lead weight that can be installed into a specific geometry. Lead counterweights can be powder coated or painted to cover the lead for handling purposes.

Counterweight Applications

Counterweights are used in:

  • Medical equipment
  • Bridge counterweights
  • Aerospace
  • Rotating products
  • Industrial applications
  • Fork Trucks & Lifts
  • Bridge Weights
  • Elevator Weights
  • Sonar Weights

Call Mediray, Inc. at 877-898-3003/914-979-2740

Mediray is the leading supplier of counterweights. If you would like to order counterweights from Mediray, call us at 877-898-3003/914-979-2740 or email: sales@mediray.com.

How to Protect Yourself from Radiation

With the increase in nuclear energy used in industrial development, and research and technology, the danger of exposure to radiation is a concern. Due to its life span and the ability to sustain, radioactive ions cannot be completely destroyed. As such treatment or cure due to exposure is almost an impossible task. The only way to treat radioactive exposure is through protective measures and some medicines. Mentioned below are a few measures one can adopt to minimize the effect of radioactive exposure.

Time: Exposure to radiation can be minimized by reducing the time spent near the source or substances.

Distance: Keeping distance from the radioactive source is a simple way to minimize the effect of exposure. Instead of handling a radioactive source with the hands, it is advisable to use forceps.

Shielding: Radiation shielding usually refers to shielding of bodily tissues against the penetration of radioactive rays. These shields are often termed as biological shields, as they provide a barrier between the radioactive source and the human body. It is a mass of absorbing material placed around the radioactive source or a reactor to minimize the radiation level. In order to prevent radiation, it is necessary that the absorbing materials are built and placed as per industry compliance and measures. Using a “lead glass screen” and wearing “lead aprons” is another safe way to prevent exposure.

Medicines: Potassium Iodide (KI) and Prophylaxis are medicines to combat sickness due to radiation exposure. Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets are commonly kept in stock in nuclear power plants for rapid distribution. Potassium Iodide (KI) and Prophylaxis are easily available in any pharmacy and can be taken as per the dosage prescribed by a doctor. It is advised to take the medicine within three hours of exposure to radiation for better effect; however one may take within 10 hrs, but it can be less effective.

Contact Medi-RayTM

To know more about radiation, contact Medi-RayTM today. Medi-RayTM is devoted to innovation in lead metal technology. We have a staff of leading professionals representing the entire spectrum of metallurgy, radiation physics and environmental engineering. Call us at our toll free number 1-877-898-3003. You can also email at sales@mediray.com or leave a message in our contact us page.