A healthcare facility’s guide to lead-lined doors

X-ray Protective Door Sets: A Healthcare Facility’s Guide to Lead Lined Door Sets

There are a lot of complexities involved in the design of a building in the healthcare industry; at the forefront comes a focus on hygienic design to suit the strict standards and regulations to help with infection control – however, the functionality of the design cannot be ignored. Of course, where Raybloc is concerned is within the departments that are familiar with ionising radiation; whether that be the radiology sector, CT, or PET facilities – each of these rooms requires a certain amount of radiation shielding to guarantee that radiation levels are kept to regulated minimums and is not present where it shouldn’t be.

As part of the design of radiation departments, one integral element to consider is the integration of radiation shielding doors. This piece of the puzzle is essential for creating a safe environment for patients, medical professionals, and visitors, whether that be for radiation protection, slowing down the spread of fire, or providing a physical barrier to infection transmission. In this article, we explore the purpose and specification of radiation-protective doors to give you a better idea of the subject and enable you to make an informed decision in your healthcare facility.

What are lead-lined or X-ray door sets?

If you hadn’t guessed already, lead lined doorsets consist of a door leaf or rebated leaves, a real wood frame, and architraves that all have sheets of lead incorporated into them. It is these sheets of lead that, depending on the specified thickness, offer the X ray protective properties of the door given the dense lead metal attenuates the X-rays, preventing them from travelling through the door.

Where vision panels are concerned, a compound of lead and glass, known as lead glass, is used to achieve glazing through the unit. Naturally, these types of doors have earned many names over the years given their vast amounts of uses – some would associate these doors most with being used for Xray rooms in hospitals, and veterinary and dental practices, hence the name Xray door set. Realistically, leaded doorsets have a much greater scope than just stopping X-rays, which is why Raybloc like to use a name that describes exactly what’s in the tin!

How do lead lined doorsets work to protect against radiation?

The answer to this question is quite an obvious one, especially if you read the paragraph before this one! That being said, there is much more involved in radiation protection doors than just their attenuating properties.

These doors are essential to preventing leakage out of the room whilst the source is emitting radiation into the room. Without them, the room cannot operate. This is why it is important to not only have doors that do not compromise on shielding properties but are also built to last and will not fail. This is where most door manufacturers who attempt to make lead doors often fall short.

Manufacture importance of radiation protection doorsets

Concealing lead within a door, frame, and architrave may sound fairly simple – but there are a lot of hidden caveats associated with this. For one, lead doorsets are extremely heavy, and get increasingly heavy as the amount of lead protection required increases for higher specified projects.

This means that the materials and hinges used to construct the door must be of the uttermost quality to support its function. Heavy-duty hinges are used that are capable of taking the weight of the door leaves, whilst the frame is made entirely of top-quality hardwood to bare the load of the leaves.  The tried and tested longevity of Raybloc doorsets allows us to proudly offer a 7-year guarantee on all of the doorsets that leave our facility.

Types of lead door sets

Much like standard doors, lead doors are available in many shapes and sizes; available in single, leaf & half, and double doorset types and sliding doors that overlap with the leaded wall. Where things get a little more complicated is the lead equivalence of the door – in each of these door types, our doors are available with code 3, 1.32mm Pb lead equivalence all the way up to 20mm Pb.

Where are lead-lined doors used?

Lead-lined doors are used predominantly in X-ray or CT scan precincts within healthcare facilities and operating areas in nuclear plants to shield radiation exposure. They are also used in veterinary practices with X-ray equipment. Every set of lead doors is custom-made to suit a facility, based on the design, structural opening size, and level of exposure experienced.

At Raybloc X-ray Protection, we produce radiation-protective X-ray doors to suit existing interior decoration and room dimensions. They can also be made in various finishes, ranging from wood veneer and plastic laminate to primer painted and PVC.

How are Bespoke Lead Lined X-ray Doors Installed?

Leaded doorsets are fixed into structural openings just like a standard door, except these doors are especially heavy. As well as the fitting of the lead-lined frame and hanging of the leaded door leaves, the lead-lined architraves must be put in place correctly to ensure a complete lead shield from door to the wall. This is where most fitters fail to install their X-ray protective doorsets.

Radiation Protection Advisors suggest a 15mm overlap between lead sheets to guarantee that the radiation shielding is sufficient to prevent leakage above a certain threshold. If you are unconfident with the task of fitting radiation shielding

What is the base cost for X-ray protective doorsets?

As a rough estimate, a single lead lined doorset starts from £3,000. However, the cost depends on various factors, including:

  • The type of finish you want
  • The dimensions of the doorframe
  • The thickness of the lead panels required

The lead thickness should be increased to achieve the required level of radiation protection, as advised by an RPA (Radiation Protection Adviser). You can get an idea of the weights of various lead thicknesses in the illustration below.

Lead Codes - Raybloc X-Ray Protection

What medical approval is needed and why?

All healthcare facilities with X-ray or CT scan technology must have lead-lined doors to maintain the safety of patients and staff. Radiation-protective doors should also be medically approved and adhere to the following standards:

– Radiation shielding doorsets must be manufactured to the latest hygiene regulations (NHS HTM 58) in infection control for use in a medical, dental, veterinary or radioactive environment.
– For facilities with 3D CBCT or OPG machines, code 3 regulations state a lead-leaded door should consist of at least 1.32mm of lead with a leaded viewing window.

Find radiation-protective doors to suit your specification

Every healthcare facility is unique. At Raybloc X-Ray Protection, we manufacture medically approved radiation-protective doors to suit your building design. Our lead panel thickness can range from 1mm to 20mm, depending on your requirements and budget. To find out more, get in touch with our team today. We’ll help you determine the right X-ray shielding door specs for your facility.

Final words

Leaded doorsets are an essential feature to any facility utilising ionising radiation to prevent said radiation from escaping the room and are well worth the investment to make sure your door is going to be functioning as intended for the duration that it is in-situ. Raybloc doorsets, amongst the rest of our range of products, come with a 7-year guarantee to give you the confidence you deserve when looking for the best quality radiation shielding on the market.


Are lead lined doors safe?

Leaded doorsets are extremely heavy when compared to standard doorsets, however, once installed they are comparable to any other door. All of the lead in Raybloc’s doorsets is completely concealed within the door so that there is no exposed metal.

How heavy is a lead lined door?

Depending on the thickness of the lead specified for your leaded doorset, a complete doorset can range anywhere between 120kg and 500kg. For example, a code 3, 1,32mm Pb door leaf is approximately 80-90kg, with a frame weighing approximately 40-50kg.

Are lead lined doors fire rated?

Raybloc has fire testing evidence for FD30 and FD60 doorsets on our weakest fire door specification so that you can be assured that your door will be more than adequate for its fire rating regardless of the specification you choose. For documentation on our fire testing, please e-mail enquiries@raybloc.co.uk.

To find out more about our X-ray door sets, download our eBook today.

Lead Lined Wall Panelling

Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives.

Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email enquiries@raybloc.co.uk. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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