Lead for Radiation Shielding

Since 1974, Mediray has been the largest supplier of radio-pharmaceutical shipping containers. Mediray is mainly known for shielding radioactive products, X-ray, PET, CT or MRI equipment. Lead is used for the shielding of radioactive products.

Lead – Best Radiation Shielding Metal

Lead is the best metal in providing protection from various sources of radiation. It has become a standard in the design of Radiation Protection systems. Lead shielding refers to the use of lead to shield or protect people or objects from radiation. Because of its high density and high atomic number, lead can fade certain kinds of radiation. And that’s why lead is used as radiation protection in applications ranging from x-ray imaging and PET rooms to nuclear reactors.

Criteria for Selection of Shielding Material

Thickness is not enough for a material to attenuate radiation. There are certain characteristics that are required in a material to use as radiation shielding.

  • Shielding material should have high density and high atomic number, which in turn is better attenuator of x-rays and gamma rays.
  • Shielding material should have good heat conductivity.
  • Shielding material must be resistant to radiation damage.
  • Shielding material should have required thickness and weight.

Apart from the above characteristics, you should also consider the cost of shielding material, transportation and installation. Also, take into account its wastage and scrap value; and availability and ease of shielding material.

Properties of Lead as Shielding Material

The properties of lead are its high density, high atomic number; high level of stability, ease of fabrication and availability makes it excellent shielding material.

  • Lead has extremely low-level neutron absorption and practically no gamma radiation. It cannot become radioactive. Even after long exposure of neutrons, lead emits an insignificant amount of radiation due to activation.
  • Lead is not too dense, but it is readily available, easily fabricated and is less expensive than other high-density materials.
  • Lead is more uniform throughout as compared to other materials.
  • Lead is less likely to become contaminated with dirt, which in turn may become radioactive.
  • Lead can be immediately available for reuse, adaption or for sale as scrap.

Forms of Lead Available For Radiation Shielding

For radiation shielding various forms of lead are used. The shielding of containers for radioactive materials is usually metallic lead. Radioactive materials in laboratories and the medical industry are usually handled by remote control from a position of safety. Personal shielding includes lead aprons (such as the garment used during dental x-rays), thyroid shields, and lead gloves. There are also shielding devices available for laboratory equipment, including lead castles, structures composed of lead bricks, and thick containers for storing and transporting radioactive samples.

We understand why lead is the best shielding material. Mediray is devoted to innovation in lead metal technology as it mainly deals with shielding of X-ray, CT, PET, MRI equipment.

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