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Radiation Shielding Solutions You Can Look Through

All shielding materials, from tungsten to concrete to lead, have their positives and negatives, but one drawback is that they are not transparent. Lead X-ray glass and transparent lead acrylic are two frequent and dependable options for safe shielding.

Windows in NDT rooms and tiny windows on tungsten vial shields employ both materials. When asked to make clear radiation shielding, a specialist in radiation shielding materials would look at lead glass and acrylic.

The Composition of the Substances

There is a trace amount of lead in both leaded glass and leaded acrylic. Lead monoxide accounts for about 55% of the heavy metal oxide in leaded glass (PbO). Leaded acrylic makes up at least 30% of the weight of organolead compounds.

Lead compounds from Nuclear-shields are put on both the glass and the acrylic to improve shielding while keeping the glass and acrylic clear and transparent.

Lead Equivalents and Gamma Attenuations

It is generally preferable to compare the attenuation of lead glass and lead acrylic to the quantity of lead required to give the same level of shielding. Using the tables below, you may compare the lead equivalences of lead glass and lead acrylic.

Lead acrylic is 1.8 times heavier than lead glass for the same shielding advantages, while lead glass is 5 times thicker for the same shielding.


Lead glass and acrylic both have a high degree of transparency. Lead acrylic tends to be somewhat tan in color, while lead glass is crystal clear. Exposure to UV light or chemicals may cause lead acrylic to discolor over time.

Lead glass is chemically inert and does not discolor when exposed to UV light, but when subjected to ionizing radiation, lead glass will darken over time. Leaded acrylic has a lower refractive index than lead glass, making it less reflective and reducing glare on exposed surfaces. More light may travel through lead glass.


Lead acrylic is less prone to shattering during transport, making it an easier material to ship. In addition to being able to be delivered flat, it can also be stacked. Because lead glass is brittle, it must be delivered on its side and cannot be stacked during transport. As a result, great care must be used while mounting a glass panel.

Lead glass may be laminated with durable sheet glass on one or both sides to create shatter-resistant glass. Mobile barriers and doors are often shielded with impact and shatterproof safety glass like SAF-T-LITE (seen in the picture above) and LX Premium. Because of the additional layers of laminated material, SAF-T-LITE has the same lead equivalency as 7 mm of ordinary lead glass.