Why Thermoplastics Are Better For Radiation Shielding?

Posted by Michael Luis on June 25th, 2022

When you think about radiation shielding, the first material that comes to mind is lead. And for good reason, lead is one of the most effective radiation shielding materials. However, there are many situations where lead isn’t an ideal material.

Lead is toxic and can be dangerous when exposed to it is frequent or prolonged. Luckily, other materials can also effectively shield against radiation, but with less harmful side effects. Thermoplastics are one example of such material. In this article, we’ll explore why they’re a great alternative and what their advantages are as far as radiation shielding goes.

What exactly is a Thermoplastics?

Thermoplastics are a type of plastic that is thermally stable at high temperatures, is shape memory, and can be used in a wide variety of high-temperature environments. When an engineer uses thermoplastic in a design, they’re taking advantage of its unique properties to make a product that has a specific function.

How Thermoplastics work as Radiation Shielding

Thermoplastics are often used in radiation X-ray shielding because of how they respond to ions. When exposed to radiation, thermoplastics absorb ions. When radiation enters the shielding material, it’s absorbed and causes the thermoplastic to heat up. When this happens, the material will melt.

Once the radiation source has been removed, the material will begin to cool down. And, as it cools, the material will return to its pre-melted state. This is the same process that happens with most liquid materials, like water. The difference is that it happens much more quickly and efficiently with thermoplastics.

Advantages of using thermoplastic for radiation shielding

Low Density

One of the biggest advantages of using thermoplastics for radiation shielding is how light they are. Compared to lead, for example, which is another material used for radiation shielding, thermoplastics are much less dense. So when calculating and comparing the amount of shielding needed for a project, engineers will often find that less thermoplastic is needed, which is great from a cost perspective.

High Melt Temperature

Another advantage of thermoplastics for radiation shielding is the high melt temperature. This is the temperature at which the material will begin to melt. A high melt temperature means that, in most cases, the thermoplastic will melt before the radiation source can damage the item being shielded.

Low Cost

One of the biggest advantages of thermoplastics for radiation shielding is the cost. Compared to lead, the material is inexpensive. The low cost is worth it in most situations. Hence, different industries have now accepted this material as a better radiation shield.

Thermoplastics are a great option for radiation shielding when a lead isn’t an ideal material for the situation. Because thermoplastics melt when exposed to high temperatures, they’re able to protect against many different types of radiation, such as alpha, beta, and x-ray radiation.

Because thermoplastics melt at high temperatures, they can be used to protect against even the most dangerous radiation, such as gamma ray shielding. So, while they’re often used to shield against lower levels of radiation, they can also be used to protect against the highest levels of radiation.

About Author:

Michael Luis has an author, Who has been vehemently writing industrial Mechanism related articles for about 5years. He enjoys writing stuffs on X-ray shielding and gamma ray shielding related for Ecomass Technologies.

Like it? Share it!

Michael Luis

About the Author

Michael Luis
Joined: May 2nd, 2020
Articles Posted: 136

More by this author