Nowadays, for every diagnostic and therapeutic application, radiation is given more importance. Among numerous shielding solutions, the greatest priority is the tungsten alloy plate since it’s the impeccable solution for shielding and collimators. The characteristic of this alloy offers a good level of thickness, which reduces the shielding, while it blocks the gamma and X-ray rays to a great, great extent.
Tungsten shielding is a straightforward mechanical processing method. It has high flexibility and strength, making it an excellent option for various applications, mainly in places where lead is unsuitable, whether it’s size reduction weight in either large or small activities. It is robust and immensely customizable according to several precision components.
Let’s look into how tungsten alloy is beneficial for numerous applications and some properties of tungsten alloy, making it unique.
Origin of tungsten
Tungsten is a greyish-white lustrous metal, usually solid at room temperature. It has the highest hardness and highest strength among all the alloys and pure metals. Also, it has the lowest vapor pressure and highest melting point at temperatures above 1650 °C. In 1783, pure tungsten metal was first remote by two Spanish (de Elhujar) brothers. Tungsten is derived from the Swedish word “tungsten,” meaning “heavy stone.” Also, it is known as wolfram as its chemical symbol “W,” which is derived from wolframite.
Properties and Benefits of tungsten alloy plate
Tungsten alloy plate is highly versatile and is a highly unique alloy that uses tungsten as a shield against gamma and x-ray radiation. The tungsten collimator typically emphasizes radiation beams that hit straight on the target. For many years, tungsten has been the favored high-quality choice for engineers demanding tungsten radiation.
It gives designers a significant advantage because of its high density and superior attenuation characteristics. It permits them to decrease the overall thickness of shields and collimators while still given the same protection, perfect for applications where space is constrained. The tungsten shielding is easily synthetic with a decrease in thickness compared to lead. The radiation protection is never compromised.
Moreover, it is also machined with conventional CNC machines, with extensive designs allowing customer requirements. This alloy is dimensionally stable, physically strong, robust, and exceptionally long-lasting. Furthermore, it’s easy to clean and non-toxic, so there is no condition for licensing the only handling precautions.
There are many benefits of using this type of shielding because of reduced scatter, highly complex component designs, geometries with no milling, accurate images, and turning. They are accessible in a deviation of methods like multi-pinhole.
Some of the properties of tungsten are:
- Resistance – it has high-temperature resistance.
- Performance –It is exceptionally high gamma reduction with technical characteristics.
- Modularity – it is machinable
- Compactness – it has a minimal footprint
Typical Applications for Pure Tungsten
In high-temperature situations, tungsten plates are highly beneficial because of their high melting points. If it is used in automatic, aerospace, and construction industries with high-temperature environments, it is valuable. The metals are also regularly used to make alloys and super alloys because they are resistant to thermal creeps. It is highly versatile as it makes the alloy extremely strong where other metals would fail. The rigidity of the metal means that these sheets are cut down into wires for thermal or electrical use.
Moreover, they are affordable and have excellent conductive properties, making them compatible with the electronics industry and any other environment that contains high radiation levels. These are suitable for outdoor conditions as they are super-resistant to corrosion and ideal for harsh weather conditions. Also, they behave so well in marine environments because water, acid, and even solvents have little to no detrimental effects.
Furthermore, Tungsten Lighting has been used widely as the filament in traditional incandescent light bulbs. These light bulbs are steadily replaced by fluorescent and LED lights due to low energy efficiency, high heat generation, and short service life.
Also, it has Furnace parts and suitable for high-temperature; therefore, it has high melting points and high strength tungsten. Its tungsten alloys are used in many high-temperature applications, like heating elements and shields in high-temperature vacuum furnaces, arc-welding electrodes, and turbine blades in generators and aircraft engines.
Further applications of these highly versatile alloy are:
X-ray targets: Tungsten is highly beneficial for target material in x-ray generation as it has a high melting point also allows the x-ray anode to become white-hot. Also, tungsten has a high atomic number, increasing the intensity of the x-rays at a set of voltage and current.
Radiation shield: Tungsten alloy combines the benefits of high radiation absorption, high density, high melting point, and good corrosion resistance, is a perfect material to shield from numerous radiations.
Armor penetrator: The armament uses the kinetic energy of a projectile to destroy enemy targets. Its energy is a function of the mass and its velocity when getting the terminal velocity. The mass is reliant on the density, and the density and melting temperature influence the terminal velocity. Tungsten has both benefits.
Other applications: Tungsten is the finest choice for numerous medical and industrial settings. This heavy alloy presents higher levels of absorption and excellent value as compared to other alloys. Therefore, they are also appropriate for
- They are helpful in Ship ballasts
- Auto racing industry
- It is a suitable material for Firearms
- They are beneficial for Helicopter rotor systems
- They are essential Engine components
- It is useful for golf club weights
- It is applicable for Bucking bars
- It has High energy radiation shielding, like nuclear, medical, and industrial.
- Boring bars
- Downhole logging sinker bars
- Aircraft control surfaces
Moreover, tungsten is the most appropriate alloy used for shielding purposes with minimum radiation exposure, machinability, and radiographic density. Also, it is suitable for application that has low toxicity, heat resistance, and superior design adaptability. This type of shielding isn’t subject to regulations for unique constraints. Some of the other uses of these highly versatile shielding are
- Custom shielding components
- Isotope vials and containers
- Multi-leaf collimators
- Collimators for radiosurgery
- Collimators for x-ray detectors