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Nuclear Physics

Is Tyvek a gamma radiation blocker?

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March 18, 2011 6:18AM

No, Tyvek is not a good gamma ray blocker. We know that Tyvek is HDPE (high-density polyethylene), and KDPE is a hydrocarbon. Even though it is "high density" material, it is only high density compared to other poly plastics. The best gamma ray blockers are materials with high mass. Atoms with high atomic numbers and high density are the ones we need to block gamma rays. Carbon and hydrogen don't fit the bill. Tyvek is a poor choice for gamma ray shielding.

What is a good choice for gamma ray shielding? We might choose lead 'cause it's cheap and easy to use as well as a good gamma blocker. Certainly concrete and dirt work fairly well as we can get a lot of that stuff together to provide gamma shielding.