Optimizing non-Pb radiation shielding materials using bilayers

  1. Get@NRC: Optimizing non-Pb radiation shielding materials using bilayers (Opens in a new window)
DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1118/1.3260839
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Journal titleMedical Physics
Pages55865594; # of pages: 9
Subjectdosimetry; elastomers; metallic thin films; Monte Carlo methods; radiation protection; shielding; X-ray spectra
AbstractPurpose: The objective of this study was to demonstrate that the weight of non-Pb radiation shielding materials can be minimized by structuring the material as a bilayer composed of different metal-powder-embedded elastomer layers. Methods: Measurements and Monte Carlo (MC) calculations were performed to study the attenuation properties of several non-Pb metal bilayers over the x-ray energy range 30–150 keV. Metals for the layers were chosen on the basis of low cost, nontoxicity, and complementary photoelectric absorption characteristics. The EGSnrc user code cavity.cpp was used to calculate the resultant x-ray fluence spectra after attenuation by these metal layers. Air kerma attenuation was measured using commercially manufactured metal/elastomer test layers. These layers were irradiated using the primary standard calibration beams at the Institute for National Measurement Standards in Ottawa, Canada utilizing the six x-ray beam qualities recommended in the German Standard DIN 6857. Both the measurements and the calculations were designed to approximate surface irradiation as well as penetrating radiation at 10 mm depth in soft tissue. The MC modeling point and the position of the measurement detector for surface irradiation were both directly against the downstream face of the attenuating material, as recommended in DIN 6857. Results: The low-Z upstream/high-Z downstream ordering of the metal bilayers provided substantially more attenuation than the reverse order. Optimal percentages of each metal in each bilayer were determined for each x-ray radiation beam quality. Conclusions: Depending on the x-ray quality, appropriate choices of two complementary metalembedded elastomer layers can decrease the weight of radiation shielding garments by up to 25% compared to Pb-based elastomer garments while providing equivalent attenuation.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for National Measurement Standards
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number15329316
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Record identifier66274c76-56d8-4607-8d2b-cfb66995a735
Record created2010-06-02
Record modified2016-05-09
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