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LEAD FOR RADIATION SHIELDING

Lead Shielding - Lead Metal is a primary material for Radiation Shielding. Lead is highly effective Metal in providing protection from various sources of radiation and has become a standard in the design of Radiation Protection systems. Its density makes it one of the preferred materials for high energy radiation applications; X-rays, gamma rays and other nuclear radiations.

Theoretically, almost any material can be used for radiation shielding if employed in a thickness sufficient to attenuate the radiation to safe limits. However, due to to its specific characteristics discussed below, Lead is among the most commonly used material. The choice of the shield material is dependent upon many varied factors, such as final desired attenuated radiation levels, ease of heat dissipation, resistance to radiation damage, required thickness and weight, multiple use considerations (e.g., shield and/or structural), uniformity of shielding capability, permanence of shielding, and availability.

Lead in metallic form and Lead Compounds are used in various forms for Radiation Shielding. Lead's high densities meet the primary requirement of a shielding material and in certain shielding applications.

The shielding of containers for radioactive materials is usually Metallic Lead. Radioactive Materials in laboratories and Medical / Hospital industry are usually handled by remote control from a position of safety behind a wall of Lead Bricks.

In hospitals X-ray machines are normally installed in rooms shield with Lead Sheet / Lead Foil.

Properties of Lead for Radiation Shielding:

The properties of Lead which make it an excellent shielding material are its density, high atomic number, high level of stability, ease of fabrication, high degree of flexibility in application, and its availability.

Forms of Lead Used for Radiation Shielding

  • Lead Brick - Convenient, easily handled may be moved and re-used
  • Lead Sheet – Plate and Slab Permanent shield installations
  • Lead Shot - Where solid Lead is impractical to fill due to location, shape and accessibility. The Shots offers convenient solutions for shielding
  • Lead Wool - Lead Wool is used for filling deep cracks in a Radiation barrier
  • Lead Pipe - Shielding of radioactive liquids
  • Lead-Lined / Lead-Clad Pipe - Shielding of radioactive liquids
  • Lead Powder - Dispersed in rubber or plastic for flexible shielding; also mixed with concrete and asbestos cement

Lead and its alloys in metallic form and Lead compounds are used in various forms of radiation shielding. Their high densities meet the primary requirement of a shielding material and in certain shielding applications Lead's high atomic number is also important. The ease with which Lead can be worked is of added value. The shielding of containers for radioactive materials is usually metallic Lead. Radioactive materials in laboratories and hospitals are usually handled by remote control from a position of safety behind a wall of Lead bricks and X-ray machines are normally installed in rooms lined with sheet Lead. Lead compounds are a constituent of the glass used in shielding partitions to permit safe viewing and Lead powder is incorporated into plastic and rubber sheeting as a material for protective clothing.