People nowadays are more or less affected by radiation. In order to reduce the harm of radiation to the human body, it is very important to do a good job of radiation protection and shielding. This also makes more and more radiation protection projects more and more people pay more attention. So what are the common radiation protection shielding materials
Gamma ray and X-ray shielding
In most cases, high-density materials are more effective at blocking or reducing radiation intensity than low-density materials. However, low-density materials can compensate for the difference in thickness increase, which is as important as density in shielding applications. Due to its high atomic number, lead is particularly suitable for mitigating the effects of gamma rays and x-rays. This number refers to the number of protons in an atom, so a lead atom has a relatively high number of protons and a corresponding number of electrons. These electrons block many gamma rays and x-ray particles that try to pass through the lead barrier, and the degree of protection can be combined with a thicker shielding barrier. However, it is important to remember that there is still some possibility of light passing through the shielding layer, and in many cases a complete barrier is impossible.
alpha and beta shielding
The Radiation Protection Engineering stated that although density is still an important feature for blocking alpha and beta radiation, thickness is less important. One centimeter of plastic and half an inch of paper are enough to shield alpha particles. In some cases, lead is ineffective in stopping beta particles because they produce secondary radiation when they pass through elements with high atomic numbers and densities. On the contrary, plastic can be used to form an effective barrier to deal with high-energy beta radiation. When the negatively charged beta particles strike a high-density material, such as tungsten, the electrons are blocked, but the target that the blocker intends to protect can actually be radiated.
Lead is very ineffective in blocking neutron radiation, because neutrons are uncharged and can simply pass through dense materials. Materials composed of low atomic number elements are excellent choices for blocking this type of radiation because they are more likely to form cross sections that interact with neutrons. Hydrogen and hydrogen-based materials are very suitable for this task. Compounds with a high concentration of hydrogen atoms, such as water, in addition to being relatively inexpensive shielding materials, can also form an effective neutron barrier. However, when blocking neutrons, low-density materials emit gamma rays, which means that neutron radiation shielding is effective when it contains high and low atomic number elements. The low-density material can disperse neutrons through elastic scattering, while the high-density section blocks subsequent gamma rays through inelastic scattering.