Tungsten alloy funnel shielding is a suitable raw material for radiation protection, as its combination of radiographic density (more than 60% denser than lead), machinability, good corrosion resistance, high radiation absorption (superior to lead), simplified life cycle and high strength. Tungsten heave alloy funnel shielding can provide the same degree of protection as lead whilst significantly reducing the overall volume and thickness of tungsten funnel shielding and containers. Besides, compared with lead or depleted uranium in the past, tungsten heavy alloy funnel shielding is more acceptable because they are non-toxic.
The most effective utilization of tungsten, out of many, will be achieved after evaluation of several key factors (space/environmental considerations, long-term storage/disposal and potential for multiple applications) on the prospective application. Though not cost-beneficial for “ordinary” shielding applications, when properly selected as the shielding material, does avoidance exceeding that of lead will be achieved.
Tungsten funnel shielding possesses a high density of 19.25 g/cc (the density of lead is 11.34 g/cc). Where tungsten gains the advantage is in the ease of blending into plastic for extrusion or molding into custom shapes and sizes. Tungsten funnel shielding also differs from lead in that is virtually non-reactive and non-toxic. This eases handling requirements and minimizes issues associated with lead use such as long-term disposal and the potential characterization as a mixed hazardous waste.
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