The fine art of X-ray protection

Similar to light from a light bulb, X-rays consist of photons, discrete packets of energy that can be interpreted as particles. Visible light is reflected and absorbed from objects that we consider to be opaque. Transparent objects such as glass allow light to pass through, hence their transparency.

Imagine a scenario where a filament lightbulb sits in the centre of a glass structure and your objective is to prevent any light from leaving the structure. There are multiple ways of providing a solution to this situation, from placing a cardboard box over the bulb to lining the glass with paper. But what if the light bulb didn’t emit visible light, but instead X-rays?

Despite existing as the same fundamental particle, there is one key difference in the two types of electromagnetic radiation, the wavelength of light. X-rays have a much shorter wavelength than visible light and can therefore penetrate through much more than visible light making the carboard box and paper transparent in terms of X-rays.

With this in mind, what is the new solution to stop the light from leaving the structure? This is where we introduce lead. Lead is an important material involved in X-ray protection that is capable of stopping the waves with a relatively smaller thickness compared to other materials that can be used for this purpose.

Once the room has been protected with lead lined shielding we now have a room structure in which X-rays cannot escape. To complete this shielding element, the point of access to the room must be protected also. This is where Raybloc X-ray protective door-sets come into play.

A Raybloc X-ray protective door-set includes a frame, architrave and the door itself, all of which are entirely lead lined throughout ensuring no X-rays can leak out between any joints, whilst concealing the lead so it cannot be seen. This is done in-house by professional carpenters, performed to a high standard and pre-hung in our workshops to ensure a perfect fit. Double doors are crafted with a rebated meeting stile or with an astragal meeting stile, both of which offer complete protection against radiation leakage from between the doors – a vital feature to an X-ray door-set.

The structure is now blocking harmful radiation waves from leaving the room, but what if we require to be inside of this room and with a visual of the patient for examination purposes whilst still being personally shielded from X-rays? Fortunately, Raybloc also offer Leaded X-ray Screens, and Window-Sets for external viewing in, that are as protective as the lead itself. Using a compound of lead within the glass, X-ray shielding glass can be manufactured, that is transparent to visible light, yet prevents X-rays from passing through.

So, there we have it, a lead lined room with accessibility and vision into the room, achieved with Raybloc’s specialist Door sets, X-ray Protective Screens and Window-Sets, and with no radiation leakage, much like what would be required for rooms involved in CT, PET and X-ray scans.

To know more about Raybloc’s specialist shielding products, call our team of experts on 01902 633 383