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Modular radiation shielding blocks

Radiation shielding concrete blocks
At the FREIA project done at the Uppsala University, block made with high density concrete were used to protect against radiation. Photo copyright Uppsala University

514 high density modular concrete blocks mounted together to form the accelerator research facility FREIA at Uppsala University

Swedish concrete company Strängbetong (part of Consolis group) were responsible for producing the high density modules. “It is almost like Lego, you build it and can take it down and re-build in another place or configuration if you want to” says Bengt Johansson, Quality Manager at Strängbetong’s factory in Långviksmon Sweden.

The FREIA facility

The design for the modular radiation shielding blocks was developed by Uppsala University’s Ångström  Laboratory that is constructing the large scale facility called FREIA (Facility for Research Instrumentation and Accelerator Development), for research and development of new accelerators and instrumentation for accelerator based research. 

High density, high quality pre-cast concrete modules

The research laboratory in Uppsala had high quality demands and an innovative design. Bengt Johansson who managed Strängbetong’s production continues “The request from the FREIA Laboratory was that we produce high density concrete modules with extreme precision. The modules were to be mounted using only gravity for jointing them, which is why they demanded a precision of plus/minus 1 mm.”

Getting the right density and workable concrete was not too difficult says Bengt “thanks to the MagnaDense used in the mix, only small variations would occur depending on water amount used in each batch.”

The mounting of the modular high density blocks was done in two layers allowing for a significant reduction in thickness compared to standard concrete needed to effectively prevent radiation leakage.  All joints between modules were cleverly placed so that they never aligned to avoid leakage.

Flexible logistics solution

The MagnaDense used was delivered by two trucks every other week for the duration of the production. LKAB Minerals tailored the logistic setup to match customer requirements as they could not store the full volume at their production site.

For more information about Strängbetong, please visit their web page

Read about the FREIA facility at Uppsala University (Sweden)

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