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How does composite shielding work?

Most radiation fields are combinations of different kinds of radiation.  The radiations of most significance are fast neutrons, thermal neutrons, primary gammas and secondary gammas. Shieldwerx composite shielding materials are designed to attenuate these types of radiation.

Fast Neutrons

Fast Neutrons are most effectively shielded by hydrogen.  Therefore, Shieldwerx composite shielding materials maximize the hydrogen content.  Fast neutrons are slowed to thermal energies by collision with hydrogen atoms.  Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and iron also slow fast neutrons by inelastic scattering at the higher energies.

Thermal Neutrons

Thermal neutrons are virtually eliminated by the presence of high thermal neutron cross-section materials such as boron, lithium, or cadmium.

Primary Gamma Rays

Primary gamma rays are best shielded with lead or other high-density materials.  With the continuing contamination and disposal issues related to lead, Shieldwerx offers many lead-free materials to replace lead in many of these applications.

Secondary Gamma Rays

Secondary gamma rays with energy of 2.2 MeV are created as the result of the capture of thermal neutrons by hydrogen.  These capture-gamma rays can be minimized by adding boron or lithium.  Gamma rays resulting from capture of neutrons by boron have energy of only 0.42 MeV, which reduces the overall dosage considerably.

Samples and Advice

If you would like to examine the physical appearance and characteristics of shielding materials before specifying them, please contact us.  We will send small samples to you free of charge.  If you need assistance in selecting an appropriate shielding material please do not hesitate to contact one of our shielding engineers.

Custom pipe shield

SWX-238 Flexi-Boron in production

SWX-201HD pellets

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4529 Arrowhead Ridge Dr. SE

Rio Rancho, NM 87124

United States