Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (Reading, Pa.) has introduced Borotron HD050, a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) formulation enhanced with 5 percent elemental boron that provides extra shielding against neutron radiation. The combination of boron within a matrix of HDPE, a naturally hydrogen-rich material, reportedly works well in nuclear shielding applications. Quadrant says hydrogen-rich materials attenuate neutrons well and that boron has an affinity for absorbing thermalized neutrons. Potential uses include shielding for radiation therapy rooms, where the product in plate form is integrated into the wall structure. Other applications include nuclear research centers, nuclear power plants, power generation areas in nuclear submarines, production areas for nuclear detection devices and the equipment itself, and spacecraft exposed to radiation. Quadrant has developed a manufacturing process and proprietary testing methods that help ensure that the boron is evenly distributed for optimum performance.
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