Here Is A New Material That Blocks Gamma Rays: And It Is Also Ecological

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Dr. Huo Zhipeng and his student Zhao Sheng of the Hefei Institutes of Physical Sciences (HFIPS), of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have recently developed a composite shielding material with high neutron shielding properties.

Their results, published in the scientific journal Nuclear Materials and Energy, have also shown that the material, completely ecological, has been tested in a safe and effective way through a series of very complex and meticulous experiments.

Neutrons, as electrically neutral particles, have a strong penetration and always emit secondary gamma rays during the particle collision process. The most efficient method for neutron shielding is to simultaneously select high and low atomic materials to absorb them with the combined shielding. However, the most common materials contain lead, and are therefore limited in application for their biological toxicity.

The composite discovered by Dr. Zhipeng, which is specifically modified gadolinium oxide/high density boro/ polyethylene carbide (Gd 2 O 3 /B 4 C/HDPE), is lead-free and therefore does not pose a threat to the environment or to the health of the

In fact, gadolinium, an element of rare earths, which usually exists in nature in the form of Gd2O3, is not toxic and has always shown great qualities, such as the average absorption of high thermal neutrons, resistance to high temperatures and good shielding

The experimental results have shown that the neutron shielding rate of the composite of a thickness of 15 cm can reach 70% to 98%, depending on the different conditions of environmental radioactivity and the presence of gamma rays or not.

According to researchers, shielding performance is better than conventional materials, making it perfectly suitable as radiation shielding material for neutron-gamma mixed fields. It could also be crucial for the neutron spectrum diagnosis system and gamma rays of the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST).

Gamma rays are highly dangerous radiation, and incredibly diffused in our Universe, as in this very high-energy source in the Milky Way, or in the most powerful explosions of the cosmos caused by gamma ray flashes.

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