When it comes to the nuclear industry, one of the biggest dangers is radiation. Methods have been developed to help counteract and shield radiation. One of these is metal molds with lead filling.
Designing The Shields
Depending on the location and situation, the needs for the shielding will vary. The shields are made from frames that are filled in with radiation blocking metal. If the process is done correctly, the shield can be successfully used in the nuclear industry. The process can be divided into two main components:
Creating The Base Allow- Before any lead filling can be put into the frame, the steel needs to be correctly composed and fit to act as a protective case. Carbon steel should be used at a thickness of ¼ inch. Often a heavier thickness prevents deformation in the future. Additionally, stainless steel is preferred as it does not discolor while it is being poured. Braces and other supports can also be used to prevent lead burning or warping of the structure during the pouring.
The Pour- The pouring step must be done correctly to ensure a suitable final product. Sometimes a manufacturer will use a hole for pouring, but often leaving an entire side of the metal frame open to account for the lead filling from shrinking is the best option. Before the pour begins, specific preparation steps must be taken.
The Importance Of The Pour
Before any lead filling is poured into the metal fabrication, the fabrication must be inspected. After a thorough inspection has been completed, the metal frame will be heated using a light gas burner flame. This method prevents lead burning and ensures it doesn’t harden immediately after pouring.
When the pouring commences, it must be done very slowly. As the frame fills up, the insides will cool and shrink. As it shrinks, a gap will be created between the frame’s walls and the inside substance. The more carefully the process is monitored, the easier it is to control the amount of shrinking. Depending on the results, lead welding may need to happen.
Great ways to manage the shrinking is by having workers monitor the pour from all angles. If they are able to watch for areas that are shrinking, they can better fill them in.
Once a proper pour is completed and lead burning and shrinking have been prevented. The cooled structure will be useful in blocking radiation. No matter what size or shape you are making, stress must be given to the pour and the frame’s sturdiness.