Radiation Shielding also known as radiation protection is the practice of protecting people and environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. Radiation is a major concern when setting up nuclear power plants, radioisotope projects, particle accelerator work, medical x-ray systems and other projects threatening radiation exposure. Preventing radiation to cause any health hazards to employees in any of the above mentioned workplaces, and more, is the responsibility of the employer. Hence, various radiation shielding devices and materials are installed at workplaces to make it a safer place to work.
The type of radiation would determine the degree of penetration and its effects. Indirectly ionizing radiation (x-rays, gamma rays and neutrons) are categorized differently from charged particles (directly ionized radiation) and hence, different materials are suited to varied radiation types.
The principle behind radiation shielding is attenuation. To explain it in simpler words, attenuation is the ability to minimize a wave’s or ray’s effect by bouncing particles or blocking them, using barrier materials. X-Rays and Gamma rays are attenuated through scattering or photoemission. Charged particles are attenuated to electrons present in the barrier material through reactions. Neutrons are made less detrimental by utilizing inelastic and elastic scattering.
Selection of the optimal radioactive shielding material also depends on various factors like thermal property attenuation effectiveness, cost efficiency, resistance to damage, and strength.
Lead has been used for decades to reduce the effect of X-Rays, owing to its high atomic number and other advantageous physical properties, as a high density metal. It is also cheap, easy to process and provides effective shielding. However, the alarming health concerns and environment degradation owing to mining and processing lead have led to an increasing demand for a lead substitute. Lead is known for its toxicity property and it ranks second on the U.S. Government’s Top 100 Hazardous Substances Priority List. Due to the fact that it is so toxic the United States EPA has formulated strict and restrictive thresholds which seek to limit lead concentrations in vegetation, soil, air and water. Ecomass injection moldable high density material is an ideal lead substitute. All Ecomass compounds meet the RoHS directive and are 100 % lead free. They do not contain any constituent which are toxic in nature or are considered hazardous by the U.S. EPA. Ecomass’ lead substitutes allow designers and manufactures to add mass wherever they want it with precision and without the toxic concerns of lead.
Ecomass Technologies has also been recognized as an undisputed leader in lead free ammunition manufacturing because of its frangible projectiles which offer safe and non-toxic lead free training ammunition. These projectiles are lead free, and can be produced with a copper jacket or without depending on the round. They are produced with composite materials of tungsten, copper and polymer, and use an injection molding or powder metallurgical production process. Production of non-toxic lead free projectiles has been the first and most significant applications of Ecomass High Gravity Compounds, and they are still being used today as military training ammunition and breaching grenade projectiles for law enforcement personnel.
Ecomass Technologies have helped to deliver superior quality, lead free materials to customers globally for a wide range of applications.