Why is Lead Great For Radiation Shielding?

*This blog is part of a much larger pillar post.
Why is Lead good at radiation shielding
In this blog, we’ll be talking about the benefits lead has for radiation shielding, and provide insights on how you can apply this knowledge to your next radiation shielded room.

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What is Attenuation?

Before we begin, we should talk about attenuation due to how important it is for radiation shielding.

All radiation blocking materials are calculated based on their attenuation. Attenuation is the gradual loss of intensity of a particle as it passes through a material. For example, tinted windows, or sunglasses, facilitate attenuation of the power of sunlight as the light beams pass through it.

When it comes to radiation shielding, the goal is to attenuate harmful particles that can pass through a substance and be harmful to DNA cells. 

Lead has a very high level of attenuation for these harmful particles when shielding for most types of radiation.

What Makes Lead Good For Radiation Shielding?

Other materials are often used for radiation shielding, but among all the materials used, lead (Pb) is the densest. Lead is so dense because of the high number of protons per atom. 

For example, lead (Pb) is 11.35g/cc, iron is 7.87g/cc and sand is 1.63g/cc.

This high level of density allows lead to be employed in environments that require less space for shielding. 

Although the biggest reason for lead’s use as a radiation shielding material is thickness, Other crucial characteristics of this material include its high atomic number, great stability, and versatility in applications. There are several different types of this material that are easily accessible, including lead brick, lead wool, lead pipe, lead shot, lead sheet, lead-lined or lead-clad pipe, and lead powder.

Overall, lead materials are good for radiation shielding. The fact that this material is so simple to work with is one of its best qualities. It performs remarkably well in most situations and also acts as a safety barrier that gives those who work in these areas peace of mind.


What This Means For You

Just because we believe lead is the best material to use for radiation shielding doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. 

In order to help you with that decision, we wrote an article listing everything you need to know about the different types of radiation shielding options you have.


At the end of the day, it’s up to your business to decide which radiation shielding material to go with, but we hope that this blog helps shine some light on why a lot of our customers choose lead as their preferred solution.


Does your business need radiation shielding? Not sure where to start? Contact us.