Radiation shielding in Asia, Australia and the Middle East | LKAB Minerals

Demand increases for MagnaDense used loose and in concrete for shielding against neutron and gamma radiation in lab and medical environments.

Saving space and efficient attenuation of radiation

Martiens Slabbert, regional sales manager for magnetite, commented “the European market uses MagnaDense since the ‘60s. Since more recent years the Asian and the Middle Eastern markets now also accept MagnaDense in radiation shielding. This has increased the demand for our high density aggregate.”

We believe this is mainly the result of:

  • efficient logistical solutions
  • a customised material for efficient production of high quality and high density concrete

The four most recent projects supplied in the region were placed in Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Australia. This shows that MagnaDense is an option on the global market. MagnaDense has a long history as a leading aggregate used in Europe and the Americas.

Neutron and photon shielding with MagnaDense

The recent supplied projects include both research facilities as well as medical radiation treatment facilities. All are benefiting from the effective attenuation of MagnaDense. In the case of neutron shielding, generated as secondary radiation from proton particle accelerators, it is common to use different materials in layers or mixes. Although individual projects use MagnaDense as a sole material as well.

Initially, one of the projects prompted questions about whether it was magnetic and would cause issues with the equipment. This is a common misunderstanding about magnetite, perhaps derived from its name. This misconception was straightened out with documentation and facts about MagnaDense. The product is Ferri-Magnetic and approved as an aggregate for radiation shielding according to the norm DIN6847-2. Furthermore, petrographic analysis of trace materials is also available to show no other trace elements will impede the effective attenuation of radiation.

Bricks, ballast and concrete produced with MagnaDense

A benefit when using MagnaDense is that the customer can use the product in their preferred solution. Our customers use the product:

  • To produce bricks
  • For in-situ castings
  • As loose ballast between walls (the sandwich method)

“It is a benefit that our customers are flexible and that they can work with the material in the same way as standard aggregates. They only adjust for the higher weight per volume unit. This makes it easier to change from standard concrete which is otherwise the most common solution. The thinner cross-sections achieved with MagnaDense provides other benefits for the construction. Concrete producers welcome the decrease in the heat of hydration and reduction of risk of cracks. I believe we will continue to see increasing use of MagnaDense in this region for radiation shielding” Martiens Slabbert says.

Ease of production with support from LKAB Minerals

MagnaDense concrete has the same structural strength as standard concrete. And is produced with the same equipment but offers a higher density. The projects mentioned above had different density targets to accommodate the different designs and energies in the machines used. Target densities, therefore, ranged from 3.5 -4.0 t/m3. With support from LKAB Minerals to find the right concrete recipes the projects supplied were, as expected, able to deliver according to the requirements.

Contact LKAB Minerals’ experienced sales managers for Radiation Shielding for more information on MagnaDense for your project.