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Radiation is one of the most significant concerns and dangers in any nuclear power plant, medical, or industrial facility. X-ray systems, radioisotope tasks, and other related activities produce relatively significant levels of radiation as a byproduct of their function. While radiation is not harmful if shielded properly, unexpected accidents may arise without proper safety controls, hence the necessity for recognizing, understanding and implementing the correct safety standards. People who are exposed to this risk must learn how to protect themselves from physical harm, in addition to properly protecting the environment in which a radiation task is performed. Radiation exposure can be detrimental to the health and safety of both workers and the environment in which the task is performed. With this in mind, shielding sensitive elements or product components is essential too, whether it comes to films, devices or electronics.

Becoming familiar with the different types of radiation

Radiation rays vary widely in intensity, depending on the environment and application in which they are used. The risks posed by exposure are directly proportional to the rays’ intensity, as well as the strength and efficacy of the radiation shielding materials being utilized to shield the radiation source. Moreover, there are different types of radiation, too. For example, gamma rays or X-rays are categorized as an indirectly ionizing type of radiation. Neutrons are part of the same category. On a different note, charged particles are responsible for a directly ionizing radiation. It is very important to analyze these factors before deciding on the optimal shielding materials. What works for X-ray shielding radiation, for example, is less likely to work for particle charged radiation.dental-x-ray-picture-1024x682

What radiation shielding actually implies

Radiation shielding materials have one major function – to attenuate the radiation caused by the source and therefore minimize or eliminate risk of exposure. They are supposed to reduce the intensity of a ray or wave by preventing particles from going through the material. Different types of radiation require different materials in order to achieve proper shielding. For example, photo emission is the key to gamma and X-ray radiation. Neutrons lose their power if they are properly “diluted” by scattering, so plenty of barriers are designed with these ideas in mind. Such neutron shields encourage both inelastic and elastic scattering procedures through their composition.

When it comes to identifying and implementing adequate shielding materials in industrial environments, education becomes critical.There are three very popular types of radiation used in most industries – neutron shielding, X-ray or gamma shielding and alpha or beta particles. It is highly recommended to learn how they work and how severe the radiation from a particular source can get. Once you identify the danger, revealing the most appropriate solutions becomes a lot easier. As if all these were not enough, each environment has a wide plethora of particularities that might affect the final shielding results as well. Shielding materials should not be chosen with minimum required efficiency or cost in mind only, but should generally be more protective than what the environment calls for. This is the smartest way to prevent unnecessary harm from radiation.

In short, choosing the perfect shielding materials against radiation is not a general task, but a highly customized one that must match your environment and application.

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