Lead Chevron Bricks: Radiation Shielding in Critical Areas

When constructing environments where ionising radiation is present, the paramount concern is to shield personnel and the public from exposure. For areas that contain especially energetic radiation, lead chevron bricks serve as an integral component in these critical areas, providing robust radiation protection.

The interlocking design of these bricks ensures comprehensive coverage, eliminating gaps that could allow photon leakage. By using materials with high attenuation properties, such as lead, these bricks decrease the intensity of X-ray radiation or gamma rays as they pass through, thus mitigating the risk of radiation exposure to individuals in adjacent spaces.

What Are The Considerations for Radiation Shielding?

Radiation shielding must be proportional to the potential exposure from the radiation source. Factors such as the type of ionising radiation emitted, its energy level, and the expected duration of exposure are pivotal in deciding the thickness and material of the shield.

Lead, due to its high density and atomic number, is particularly effective at attenuating the energy of photons from X-ray and gamma radiation. The design of radiation shields like lead bricks and leaded glass must balance safety, ensuring sufficient protection, with aesthetics and practicality, allowing for visibility and light transmission in medical or industrial settings, and without reducing the space of the controlled area by a significant amount.

Classification of Radiation Exposure Areas

Areas are classified based on the expected level of radiation exposure and the source of radiation present. Controlled areas require stringent access control and monitoring to protect workers from radiation, while supervised areas might have lower levels of radiation but still necessitate caution.

Restricted areas are typically those where the public could be exposed to radiation, mandating that radiation safety protocols are strictly followed to minimise any exposure to radiation.

Controlled Radiation Areas

Controlled radiation areas are spaces where occupational exposure to radiation could exceed significant fractions of the recommended limits. Access is strictly controlled, and personnel may require protective gear like aprons and thyroid shields when near a radiation source, such as during fluoroscopy or imaging procedures.

The use of Raybloc lead shields and barriers such as lead-lined panelling and interlocking chevrons is critical to provide protection and ensure radiation safety within these zones.

Supervised Radiation Areas

Supervised areas are not expected to have as high radiation levels as controlled areas but still may require some level of monitoring and protective measures. These areas are often in proximity to controlled areas and could be subject to occasional increases in radiation exposure, thus necessitating occasional supervision and the use of radiation shields.

Raybloc manufactures and installs scatter-proof radiation protective doorsets that achieve as low as reasonably achievable leakage through the doorset. When combined with the likes of a lead-lined panel or chevron wall, Raybloc-shielded controlled areas will protect personnel to the most stringent degree.

Restricted Radiation Areas

Restricted areas are designated to prevent unintended access by individuals who do not have the necessary radiation safety training. These areas may be exposed to radiation but at levels that are typically lower than those in controlled and supervised areas. Nevertheless, appropriate radiation protection measures are still required to ensure public safety.

Interlocking vs Straight Chevron Bricks for Maximum Radiation Protection in the Highest Levels of Exposure to Radiation

Interlocking chevron bricks are preferred in environments with the highest levels of radiation exposure because they offer a continuous barrier that prevents the passage of radiation through seams that could be present in constructions using straight bricks.

The interlocking feature ensures that the bricks remain snugly fitted against one another, providing a more effective radiation shield against the intense energy emitted during procedures like proton beam therapy or in high-radiation zones of nuclear reactors.


Lead Chevron Brick Uses for Radiation Protection in Critical Areas

Lead chevron bricks are utilised in a variety of critical areas to prevent radiation exposure. Their high-density lead content serves as an effective barrier against ionizing radiation, making them ideal for use in medical radioisotope production, nuclear systems, and in the protective walls of linear accelerator treatment rooms and gamma knife surgery suites.

Lower energy-controlled areas such as X-ray rooms and CT rooms only require between 1-3mm of lead, and therefore use lead-lined panels instead of lead chevrons to line the room as a more cost-effective and space-saving solution.

Medical Radioisotope Production Facilities

In facilities where medical radioisotopes are produced, radiation safety is paramount as these isotopes emit potent gamma rays. Lead chevron bricks are used to construct walls and shielding hot cells that provide protection while allowing technicians to safely handle and process these radioisotopes.

Optimisation in Nuclear Systems

Lead chevron bricks contribute to optimisation in nuclear systems by providing effective radiation shielding, thus ensuring the safety of personnel and the environment. They are a crucial component in the design and construction of nuclear reactors, where they serve to contain the radiation within the core.

More often than not, concrete is also used where space permits it as it is cheaper than lead, although it takes a far greater thickness of concrete to stop the radiation when compared to lead metal.

Proton Beam Therapy

Proton beam therapy requires precise and intensive radiation exposure to target tumours. The treatment rooms for this therapy are thus lined with lead chevron bricks to protect adjacent areas from the high-energy protons emitted during therapy sessions.

Linear Accelerator Treatment Rooms

Similarly, linear accelerator treatment rooms leverage the protection offered by lead chevron bricks. These rooms are designed to contain the powerful X-ray radiation generated during patient treatments, ensuring that this radiation does not extend beyond the intended therapeutic area.

Gamma Knife Radio Surgery

Gamma knife surgery, which uses highly focused gamma rays for treating brain tumours, necessitates a controlled environment where radiation is contained. Lead chevron bricks play a critical role in the construction of these surgical suites, safeguarding patients and medical staff from excess radiation.

Transportation of Radioactive Materials

When transporting radioactive materials, lead chevron bricks can be used to create secure containment systems within transport vehicles. This shielding is vital to ensure that radiation does not escape during transit, protecting handlers and the public.

Radiation Shielding for a Micro-Satellite

For micro-satellites that carry instruments which can emit or be affected by radiation, lead chevron bricks can be a consideration in the design of shielding components. This shielding is important to protect sensitive satellite components from the harsh radiological conditions of space.

Lead Chevron Bricks and Ionizing Radiation

In conclusion, the use of lead chevron bricks in areas prone to radiation exposure is an essential practice that intersects the fields of health, science, and safety. These bricks not only play a pivotal role in safeguarding the well-being of individuals by effectively attenuating harmful ionising radiation but also ensure the continuity of important industrial and medical processes.

By integrating these robust materials into the infrastructure of facilities handling radiation, we strike a balance between the functionality of radiological practices and the aesthetics of modern design, all while upholding the highest standards of radiation safety. As technology advances and the applications of radiation expand, the importance of reliable radiation protection methods such as lead chevron bricks becomes ever more critical, showcasing their indispensable role in building a safer future. The best part? When you’re finished with your lead chevrons, you can sell them for their metal value to go toward your next radiation-shielded area!


How do lead chevron bricks prevent exposure to radiation?

Lead chevron bricks prevent exposure to radiation by using lead’s high density to absorb and attenuate the energy of ionising radiation, such as photons from X-ray and gamma radiation. Their interlocking design prevents radiation leakage through seams, offering a continuous barrier that shields protected areas.

Do lead chevron bricks absorb or scatter radiation?

Lead chevron bricks primarily absorb radiation, though some minimal scatter may occur. The dense lead material is designed to attenuate radiation by absorbing photons and reducing their energy as they pass through, rather than allowing radiation to scatter and potentially expose adjacent areas.

What are the 3 basic rules of radiation safety?

The 3 basic rules of radiation safety are time, distance, and shielding. Limiting time spent near a source of radiation, maintaining distance from the radiation source, and using appropriate shielding materials like lead chevron bricks and other lead-lined barriers are key to minimising exposure to radiation.

To find out more about our X-ray protection products, 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. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Follow me

Get A Free Quote