*This blog is part of a much larger pillar post.
So, your team has decided to use concrete for your new radiation room. Maybe you came from a previous blog, or maybe you just gathered information from multiple radiation shielding vendors.
Either way, you’re not sure where to start. Lucky for you, our team of radiation shielding experts have years of experience creating concrete radiation shielding rooms, and we’ve written this blog post to share our process.
In this blog, we’ll go step-by-step through the process Matter Fabs uses to create a concrete radiation room that will give you the confidence to move forward with your project.
1. Room Design and Layout
The first step to any radiation room creation, not just concrete, is creating an accurate design and layout of the finished room. Make sure that you work with a construction company with experience specific to your project, not just a general contractor. These rooms are large investments, and you want to make sure you get it right the first time.
It’s also important to have a physicist conduct a report on the type of radiation for your room prior to designing your project. This will give you a more clear picture of how thick your walls need to be, as well as provide more information on the penetration required for your room.
The second step in the process is matting.
When doing matting, your team will first have to lay out and calculate the amount of reinforced rerod needed to support the concrete being poured. This will ensure that your walls are structurally sound and will last for a long period of time.
Before you move to the next step, you also need to figure out the penetrations you’ll need. Every radiation room has penetrations, and it’s important to calculate what’s needed, and how you’ll make sure that no leakage occurs.
Oftentimes, we’ll put in PVC piping at a compound angle, or run penetrations underground to make sure the room is as safe as possible.
3. Install Concrete Forms
After matting is finished, it’s time to install concrete forms.
Concrete forms are a “solid barrier that holds concrete in place or forces concrete to assume a certain shape”. Think of it as a mold that your walls sit in. These forms can be made up of timber, steel, plywood, or even fiberglass, with timber being the most popular.
4. Pour the Concrete
The wait is finally over. After all of your prep work, it’s time to pour the concrete that will soon be the walls of your radiation room.
Here are some important factors to consider when pouring your concrete:
- Time of year your project is being done
- Pour speed of the concrete
- Temperature of the environment
Obviously, there’s other factors to consider, which is why it’s crucial that the team doing your concrete work are concrete experts.
5. Install Sensors (Walls 4-5ft Thick and Above)
If you’re working with minimal amounts of radiation, and concrete, this step isn’t for you. However, if your walls are projected to be five inches or thicker, you’ll want to read this.
Once your concrete walls are quasi-solid, sensors need to be pressed inside the concrete. These sensors will monitor how the inside and outside of the walls are cooling, and can make sure there isn’t an imbalance that could potentially ruin the structural integrity of your walls.
6. Finish Walls
Your concrete has finally cured, and it’s time to finish your walls. To start, your concrete forms are removed, and all necessary aesthetic changes are made.
After the walls have been finished, your room is done provided your doors, foundation, and penetration are all taken care of.
We hope this blog makes the process of using concrete for radiation shielding rooms easier. The steps in this blog are only meant to serve as a guide, and you should make sure that you’re always working with a seasoned professional when constructing your radiation room.
Want to work with experts for your next concrete radiation room? Contact us.