What is The Difference Between a Lead Lined Doorset vs Radiation Protective Doorset?

In environments where radiation is used for diagnostic or treatment purposes, the difference between a standard lead-lined doorset and a specialised radiation protective doorset can be critical. Understanding these distinctions is vital for ensuring safety and compliance with health regulations. This blog explores the essential differences and why choosing the right type of doorset matters for safety and efficiency.

The Science Behind Lead-Lined Doors

Lead-lined doors are commonly used in various medical and research facilities to prevent harmful radiation from escaping into adjacent areas. The fundamental concept involves embedding a sheet of lead within the door’s structure. However, simply incorporating lead does not guarantee complete radiation containment. The effectiveness of radiation blocking depends heavily on the door’s design, the quality of materials, and the precision of its construction.

Why Should You Invest in a Lead Lined Door?

Investing in a high-quality lead-lined door is crucial for facilities that handle radiation. Such doors play a significant role in protecting both staff and the public from exposure, thereby reducing the risk of radiation-induced health conditions. Moreover, regulatory compliance often requires the installation of approved radiation shielding solutions, making it not just a matter of safety but also of legal necessity.

The problem here is that more often than not, door manufacturers without a history of making lead-lined doorsets suitable for X-ray protection will look to provide a solution for a budget cost without fully understanding the implications of effectively bonding and positioning lead into a doorset to make it so. This can leave buyers in awkward situations with their clients when tests on the procured doorsets prove that the lead within the door is not preventing the passage of X-rays, either after installation or after just months of usage.

What are Radiation Protection X-Ray Door Sets?

Radiation protection X-ray door sets are designed with a comprehensive approach to block X-rays in environments like CT rooms, X-ray rooms, and other medical imaging facilities. Unlike basic lead-lined doors, these radiation protection door sets are engineered considering all potential radiation leakage paths, ensuring a safer environment for the foreseeable future. They typically undergo rigorous testing and approval by Radiation Protection Advisors (RPA), such as the doorsets provided by Raybloc, to ensure effective shielding at the time of installation, and in subsequent years to follow. All radiation-protective doorsets provided by Raybloc are warranted to last at least 10 years.

Lead-lined door

How Does a Radiation Shielding X-ray Protection Doorset Work?

A true radiation shielding doorset includes a lead core supplemented with other materials and design features that prevent radiation leakage through any gaps or ‘shine paths.’ These doors are built to meet specific standards that regular lead-lined doors might not fulfil, incorporating features such as leaded glass vision panels and an intricate maze of lead to stop X-rays in their tracks and prevent long-term health effects from exposure.

Difference Between a Lead-Lined Doorset and a Radiation Shielding Protective Doorset

The key difference lies in their construction and effectiveness. While both types incorporate lead, radiation shielding doorsets are specifically designed to address all potential weak spots in radiation containment. These doorsets are typically backed by RPAs, ensuring they meet the stringent requirements necessary for use in high-risk radiation environments; before proceeding with a lead-lined door manufacturer, always consult with an RPA first.

Differences in their Vision Panels

Radiation-protective doorsets often feature vision panels that are integrated with the same level of protective materials as the rest of the door, such as leaded glass, which matches the protective qualities of the door itself. This contrasts with basic lead-lined doors, which may have standard or less effective vision panels.

Radiation Protection Doors Types from Raybloc

Lead-Lined Timber Framed Doorsets

All of Raybloc’s door leaves are composed of timber door blanks combined with a sheet of lead and finished with the desired finish as we will detail below. Frames, however, can be made of either hardwood or steel, depending on the desired finished aesthetic of the door. Each of these two types of frame is developed so that their radiation shielding properties are of equivalent effectiveness, so it is purely a decision of material preference. Our rebated hardwood frames can be constructed to suit a lead thickness of up to 20mm, which will cover most, if not all healthcare scenarios.

Our hardwood frames are generally made of beech and are most often primer-painted so that decorators can finish them to suit the interior theme of the building, however, we can also offer timber-exposed frames in sapele, ash, beech, maple, oak, and walnut. The third alternative is to have your frame wrapped in PVC, which we detail more in the below list of door finishes

Primer Painted

Primer-painted door leaves are a cost-effective option for those looking to match existing decorations but are actually the same cost as our laminate door leaves due to the additional time they require in manufacture.


Lacquered hardwood veneer door leaves can be preferable for practices and spaces looking for a touch of elegance; we use paper-back, book-matched veneers to please those with a keen eye for design, much like ourselves.


Laminate door leaves are the most popular and affordable option available from Raybloc. We work with an extensive list of laminate suppliers to ensure that you can have whatever colour you may need. In addition to a large list of colours, we are also able to offer wood-effect laminates, that can imitate the look of a veneer door for a fraction of the cost, and with a more durable finish.

PVC Encapsulated

PVC-wrapped doorsets are our most durable offering and are also the most hygienic. The frame, architraves, and door leaves of a PVC-encapsulated doorset are entirely encompassed in 2mm PVC, which is meticulously curved around each edge of the doorset by our expert joiners to provide a top-of-the-range product. Unlike other door finishes, which come with a rebated meeting stile as a standard, PVC-encapsulated doors from Raybloc can feature either a rebated or an astragal meeting stile. A rebated meeting stile on this type of doorset is difficult to find amongst X-ray protective doorsets, given the challenge presented with bending PVC around such tight corners. Raybloc are proud to be the only UK manufacturer of lead-lined PVC doorsets that feature a rebated meeting stile. These stiles assist controlled areas by reducing downtime, given that astragals can become easily detached and broken through collision, leaving the room vulnerable to radiation leakage.

Door-Sets6 metal framed doorset - raybloc

Metal Framed Doorsets

As an alternative to timber frames, Raybloc can also supply metal framed doorsets, namely steel. Available in either stainless steel or powder-coated in a colour of your preference, these unique frames can occasionally be preferable where hygiene is of utmost importance and where the door frames could potentially do with being able to take a bit of a beating, such as in busy corridors. The lead equivalence of steel frames is limited to no greater than code 8 (3.55mm Pb).

Neutron Shield Doors

Specifically designed for facilities using neutron imaging, these doors use materials that block neutrons, which are typically harder to shield against than X-rays. In conjunction with lead, borated polyethylene is intricately introduced into the door leaves, frame, and architraves to stop the passage of neutrons as well as X-rays.

Industrial Sliding Radiation Protective Doors

In large research, industrial and occasionally medical facilities, heavy-duty sliding doors provide necessary radiation protection while also saving space and allowing for easy operation. These doors are automated and are integrated into the room in such a way that the lead overlaps with the floor to entirely eliminate the passage of radiation.

Choose the Perfect Radiation Shielding Door Frame and Architrave

Choosing the right door construction involves considering the level of radiation protection required, material durability, and the specific environmental needs of the facility. Options range from lead-lined wood to reinforced metal, depending on the application.


What is the range of specified lead thickness, from Code 3 to Code 8, for the lining of the doorsets?

In the UK, codes are assigned to different lead equivalences that relate to a standard X-ray tube voltage of 150kV. The lead equivalences for each are as follows: code 3 1.32mm Pb, code 4 1.80mm Pb, code 5 2.24mm Pb, code 6 2.65mm Pb, code 7 3.15mm Pb, code 8 3.55mm Pb. Above code 8, lead equivalences are stated by their millimetres, such as 4mm, 15mm, etc.

What radiation protective doors are used for veterinary practices?

In veterinary practices, radiation protective doors typically involve lighter lead linings as the level of radiation is generally lower compared to human medical facilities. Code 3 and code 4 are often sufficient for these sorts of environments, but it is still essential that shine paths are effectively covered by the construction of the doorset and integrated wall linings. Raybloc provides complete radiation shielding solutions suitable for all controlled areas, warranted to last no shorter than 10 years.

What type of hinges do radiation protective doors use?

Radiation-protective doors from Raybloc use specially designed heavy-duty lift-off hinges that can support the additional weight of the lead lining without sagging. Our hardwood rebated timber frames are proven to last at least 10 years while supporting the weight of the heavy lead-lined door leaves and are pre-assembled at our facility to guarantee a perfect fit on-site.

What type of glazing is used for radiation protection doors?

The glazing in radiation protection doors typically involves leaded glass, which matches the protective properties of the door itself, ensuring a uniform level of radiation shielding.

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.

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