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Plating for radiation shielding


I have a need to coat an aluminum electronic housing with a material suitable for high-dose radiation shielding. Tantalum comes to mind immediately, but I don't know if it's possible to plate that material. I would need it to be around 0.04" thick on a ~5" x 5" x 8" box. Can it be deposited by some method other than plating? Platinum may also be an effective shielding material, but I suspect that it will cost too much.

Any suggestions for other materials?

Tyrone Till
- Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA


Hi Tyrone!

Re your radiation, you didn't say if the emissions/rays were gamma or alpha.

Many years ago we were involved with some castable neutron shielding ... shielding for the atomic industry. This shielding, we were told, used to be made of Boron between sheets of Polyethylene or cast within the Polyethylene. This gets to be quite finicketty & expensive where complex shapes are required.

The answer? A Polyester resin mixed with Boron. This, of course, could fill up any interstices and by calculation, one could have the right ratio of Boron to ? dammit, I forget ! ....heck, that was in the late 60's! We used to supply 45 gal. drums of the 'mix' to the Atomic Energy Commission. It was cured using a standard catalyst.

If your problem is one of absorbing low thermal neutrons, that would be the answer.

Food for thought. Hope it helps. Cheers!

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton
- White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


Ever thought of lead? This can be plated.

Martin Trigg-Hogarth
surface treatment shop - Stroud, Glos, England

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