Nuclear Techniques ›› 2020, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (5): 50201-050201.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2020.hjs.43.050201


Design of novel lead-free flexible composites for radiation protection and simulation of protective effect

Siqi YAN1,2,Peng CHENG3,4,Guangyi YU3,4,Hanzhou LIU1,2(),Churan FEI3,4,Xiaoping OUYANG1   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, School of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
    2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiological Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Suzhou 215123, China
    3.CGN Advanced Materials Technology (Suzhou) Co. , Ltd. ,Taicang 215421, China
    4.Life Evaluation and Management Technology of Nonmetal Materials Lab, CGN National R and D Center, Suzhou 215400, China
  • Received:2019-12-21 Revised:2020-02-15 Online:2020-05-15 Published:2020-05-07
  • Contact: Hanzhou LIU
  • About author:YAN Siqi, female, born in 1989, graduated from Lanzhou University with a master's degree in 2014, focusing on radiation protection and dose measurement
  • Supported by:
    Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(11605120);State Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection(GZN1201801)

Abstract: Background

The number of radioactive practitioners has increased rapidly due to the wide application of X-ray, resulting in widespread attention to radiation protection. Lead is commonly used as a shielding material, but is extremely toxic and harmful to human health. The lead-based protective clothing on the market is too heavy and uncomfortable to wear.


This study aims to design flexible composites of lead-free for shielding X-ray of different energy ranges and evaluating its shielding effect.


The X-ray mass attenuation coefficients of high atomic number materials were calculated according to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) method. Hence, the ideal functional fillers were selected as shielding materials instead of lead. The MCNP5 code was employed to evaluate protective performance of lead-free flexible composites consisting of various doped metal elements with high atomic number.


Simulation results show that Bi doping is an ideal substitute for Pb doping, and Bi2O3 can be used as the first-rate functional filler in lead-free flexible composites. Shielding performance of the composite doped with Bi2O3 and Gd2O3 is obviously improved during the energy of 54~66 keV whilst the composites doped with Bi2O3 and W functional fillers achieve the best X-ray attenuation at around 70 keV of X-ray.


A variety of bismuth-based flexible composites have been designed to replace lead-based materials. Bi2O3 is the optimal filling material for X-ray scattering energy less than 54 keV, incorporation of two functional materials, Bi2O3 and Gd2O3, can effectively improve the absorption effect of the composites for X-ray scattering energy in range of 54~66 keV. In the energy range of 66~100 keV, incorporation of two functional materials, Bi2O3 and W, is the optimal filling method whilst it is best to fill Bi2O3 alone to shield X-ray scattering energy greater than 100 keV.

Key words: Lead-free, Flexible material, Radiation protection, Different X-ray energy

CLC Number: 

  • TL99