Viewing Windows vs X-ray Screens. What’s the difference?

When it comes to being protected from radiation where visibility to the radiation source is still necessary, Raybloc has several options for each and every circumstance. This article will discuss these options to help you determine what you require.

How to Protect From Radiation

Let’s start with the basics; X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation, alongside gamma rays, and the particles emitted from radioactive material. Each form of ionising radiation has the potential to do serious physical harm long term, so it is extremely important that we put suitable barriers in place to prevent it from reaching us. At Raybloc, we use lead to achieve this.

Lead is a heavy metal that we encapsulate within our products so that radiation is stopped as it comes into contact. The stronger the radiation, the thicker the lead needed to stop it – it is generally this simple! The person who determines this thickness is a radiation protection advisor (RPA), a radiation physicist that are expert in the field of determining shielding values.

The only issue with using lead is that you can’t see through it. Fortunately, there is such a thing as X-ray lead glass. X-ray lead glass, or X-ray glass for short, is a form of protective shielding similar to lead shielding that is dense enough to prevent the passing of radiation at sufficient thicknesses. This means that we can be protected from the likes of x rays whilst still meeting shielding requirements.

Setting the Scene

First, ask yourself this: does your desired radiation shielding involve protecting the practitioner from within the subject room, or from the outside? If you’re outside the room, chances are you’ve got lead lined boards standing between you and the radiation, making you safe. However, unfortunately for us, plasterboards and plywood are not transparent, unlike our radiation protective glass products. We want to see into the room to make sure our patient hasn’t run away, but we can’t just go knocking holes in lead lined boards as we see fit! Enter, Raybloc’s X-ray Windows.


Raybloc X-ray Protective Viewing Windows

Viewing windows, often referred to as internal screens (which isn’t confusing at all), are leaded glass panels with a lead-lined frame and architrave to suit. The frame and architrave consist of hardwood timber and entirely concealed lead to fit in any provided structural opening. When installed into the wall, our windows ensure a continuous length of shielding between external rooms and the room the radiation source is present, confirmed to the standard of RPAs.

Now let’s say you don’t want to build an entirely new room just to see the patient. You don’t even know what lead boards are because you haven’t read ‘What is lead lined wall panelling?’! Don’t worry, we haven’t read it either. But now’s not the time to panic; we have Raybloc’s Operator Screens at our disposal.


Fixed X-ray Operator Screens

Fixed screens, unlike internal observation windows, are not installed into walls. They rather act as an extension of the wall themselves. The best way to describe X-ray screens is by imagining the scenario of receiving an X-ray scan. Now imagine the radiographer giving you a friendly wave from behind their desk as you get bombarded with X-rays. Why are they so happy, you ask? Because they are safe in the knowledge that they are being well protected by their Raybloc X-ray screen, of course!

Frameless X-ray Screens

Raybloc takes your standard fixed X-ray screen and applies a modern, hygienic touch to make it far more suitable for a clinical environment. The result is something we’ve coined a frameless X-ray screen. A frameless X-ray screen is a certain upgrade to the standard operator screen. This X-ray screen has a sleeker design, promoting a wipe-clean finish as well as a more professional appearance than conventional operator screens.

Frameless x-ray Screen - Raybloc x-ray Protection

Raybloc X-ray Shielding

The procedure of invasive imaging can be an extremely daunting experience for the recipient. We want to ensure we are playing our part in making it as comfortable as possible. given the daunting nature of the experience. Our aim with frameless X-ray screens is to offer the aforementioned benefits and also make the barrier between the radiographer and the patient seem as minimal as possible.

By doing this, we put the patient’s minds at rest and reassure them that they are not alone throughout the procedure. After all, they won’t be running off anywhere as we joked about earlier, but they will certainly be bringing their broken bones straight back to you to experience the top-quality atmosphere that the frameless operator screen can bring to any clinical room.
What’s the Difference between Radiation Shielding Internal Windows and Lead Lined Screens?

There are several differences.

Internal windows are built with a frame and architrave and are built into a wall to allow vision between rooms. The window frame and architrave are built in a hardwood of your choice, and can also be PVC wrapped for a hygienic, wipe-clean finish. Radiation shielding windows are the staple item of a control room, where the control window allows the radiographer to view the patient during medical X-ray radiation procedures. The height and width of your internal window are not limited to standard sizes – you can have a window as large as 1200 mm x 1200 mm before needing a mullion or a transom.

Raybloc screens have lead glass windows, much like internal windows. However, the glass is used to complete the top half of a PVC laminated panel partition, complete with thin vertical alloys to create a partial barrier in a room. The glass meets the bottom panel with a PVC banded edge for a clean, sleek finish. These control booths are available up to a height of 2.1m and can be made-to-measure in lengths down to the mm.

The lead equivalencies of both the internal window and screen can be altered at request, however, screens are limited in their thickness, and are therefore limited to code 6, 2.65mm Pb. Internal windows have very little limitation in their lead equivalencies, having manufactured as thick as 20mm Pb windows during our time in manufacturing.

Invest in highly protective lead-lining for your X-ray room

At Raybloc, we have over 35 years of experience in supplying and installing quality radiation protective products. As industry leaders in X-ray protection, we’ve built our reputation on protecting people from the dangers of radiation across various industries. For more information on how we can help protect the lives of your staff and patients, speak to one of our X-ray shielding experts today.

So, if you require a frameless X-ray Screen for your medical facility, speak to one of our X-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email


Can you have a window in an X-ray room?

Absolutely. X-ray rooms are conventionally contained by lead-lined walls that prevent medical radiation from leaking. Much like any other window, our radiation protection windows can be inset into these walls and will provide a full radiation barrier with zero leakage to the protective shielding levels that you require.

What material can block an X-ray?

Generally, the denser a material, the greater it is at attenuating X-rays or gamma rays. This makes metals a great pick for stopping radiation over a short distance. An industry standard pick for this metal is lead, given its high density and malleability. Where transparency is required, lead glass is available as a lead equivalent. X-ray protective lead glass meets the criteria of high-density material, much like lead metal.

Do glass windows block radiation?

Regular glass is unable to attenuate radiation effectively. Fortunately, X-ray glass exists which is a lead compound used in the construction of our lead windows and screens. X-ray glass is used in X-ray imaging rooms where the visibility of the patient is necessary.

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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