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SOP TRANSACTIONS ON APPLIED PHYSICS

Volume 1, Number 1, February 2014

Gamma Ray and Neutron Shielding Properties of
Bismuth Phosphate Glass Containing Iron and Barium
H. A. Saud*
Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Girls Branch, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt
*Corresponding author: heba saudi@yahoo.com

Abstract
Glass system with chemical formula: xBaO-(30 x)Fe2 O3 -10Li2 O-30Bi2 O3 -30P2 O5 mole% is prepared to be used as radiation shield.
The mass attenuation coefficient, half value layer, the total atomic cross-section (σtot ) and the effective atomic number (Ze f f ) of the
glass system to gamma rays have been measured experimentally and compared with those determined from theoretical calculations
using the mixture rule of WinXCom program. A database of effective mass removal cross-sections for fast neutrons is also introduced
in this work. These results indicate that glasses in the present study can be used as radiation shielding materials, the glass system
with 15 mol% BaO is found to be superior gamma-ray and neutron shielding. The measurements are carried out to explore the
advantages of that glass samples in different radiation shielding applications.
Keywords
Absorption, Attenuation Coefficient, Effective Atomic Number

1. Introduction

2. Experimental Work

Phosphate glasses have unique properties which make them useful
for a wide range of technical applications. However, these glasses
have a relatively poor chemical durability [1] that often limits
their usefulness. Several studies have shown that the chemical
durability of phosphate glasses can be improved by the addition
of various oxides such as Bi2 O3 and, especially, Fe2 O3 [2, 3]. It
has been suggested that the addition of one or both of Bi2 O3 and
Fe2 O3 results in the formation of P–O–Bi and P–O–Fe bonds
which improves the chemical durability and the attenuation of
fast neutron [2–4]. Addition of Fe2 O3 to the phosphate network
leads to breakdown of the P=O bonds and the P–O–P bonds are
replaced by P–O–Fe bonds [1]. Bi2 O3 is known to play a dual
role in many oxide glasses, as both a network modifier and a
network former [2, 5, 6]. In Bi2 O3 – P2 O5 glasses it is found
that [2] BiO6 ions occupy a position between P–O–P layers.

Analytically, pure grade chemicals are used to prepare the following glass samples according to the formula: xBaO–(30 x)
Fe2 O3 –10Li2 O-30Bi2 O3 –30P2 O5 mole% where x= 0, 5, 10, 15,
20, 25 and 30.The batch mixtures are melted in porcelain crucibles
at1100 for two hours until homogeneous glasses are obtained
and then annealed in a separate annealing furnace at 250°Cand
then slowly cooled to the room temperature to remove any internal stresses. Samples have been obtained in circular shape
of 2cm.Glass density measurements are measured at room temperature using the standard Archimedes method, with toluene as
the immersion fluid of stable density (0.866g/cm3 ). Attenuation
coefficients of the proposed glass system are measured in narrow
beam transmission geometry by using NaI (TI) crystal detector
with energy resolution of 12.5% at 662 keV in conjunction with
multi-channel analyzer (MCA). Radioactive sources 60 Co and
137 Cs each is used for different photon energies. Incident and
transmitted intensities of photons are measured on MCA for fixed
preset time for each sample by selecting a narrow region symmetrical with respect to the centroid of the photo peak. Counting time
is chosen such that 103–105 counts, which are recorded under
each photo peak. The glassy structure of our samples is examined
by a standard X-ray method. Dry ground glass powders are investigated by using an X-ray Debye Scherrer camera. Photographs
of all samples show the diffuse bands characteristic of the X-ray
diffraction patterns of amorphous materials; no sharp line spectra
are observed confirming the glass formation.

Mass attenuation and energy absorption coefficients are widely
used in the study of interaction of γ-rays with matter. By measuring the values of the mass attenuation coefficient and the half
value layer, compare them with the calculated values that are
obtained using the WinXCom program based on the mixture rule,
where the mixture rule gives the attenuation coefficient of any
substance as the sum of the weighted contributions from the individual atoms in the mixture [2], and also by the development of
accurate data base for effective fast neutron removal cross-section
of different elements, compounds and substances. For simplicity,
fast neutron removal cross-section,∑ R−1 , is the probability that a
fast or fission- energy neutron undergoes a first collision, which
removes it from the group of penetrating and uncollided neutrons. The removal cross-section ∑ R of a given material behaves
formally as a cross- section in determining neutron attenuation.

3. Results and Discussion

1 Density (ρ) and molar volume The density is a powerful tool capable of exploring the changes in the structure of glasses. In the studied glasses. The density is affected by the structural softening/ compactness [7]. cross-link density and dimension of interstitial spaces of the glass. Figure 2. coordination number. it is noted that Fig. Dependence of the Density and the Molar Volume of on the Percentage of BaO Content.2 SOP TRANSACTIONS ON APPLIED PHYSICS Figure 1. change in geometrical configuration. Mass Attenuation Coefficients of Glass Samples for Different Energies 3. COPYRIGHT©SCIENTIFIC ONLINE PUBLISHING .

Fig. Fig. COPYRIGHT©SCIENTIFIC ONLINE PUBLISHING .4. Figure 5. 2 shows the experimental and theoretical results of the mass attenuation coefficients of glass samples for different energies as a function of BaO concentration. The behavior of the mass attenuation coefficient with composition generally increases with increasing mole fraction of barium in glass on the expense of Fe2 O3 Fig.2. HVL of Glass Samples for Different Energies. It is used to describe the effectiveness of γ-ray shielding [9]. 1. 3. Therefore.Gamma Ray and Neutron Shielding Properties of Bismuth Phosphate Glass Containing Iron and Barium 3 1. 3. This figure indicates that the half value layer (HVL) decreases with increasing mole fractions of BaO in this glass system. This is due to the higher values of mass attenuation coefficients and densities for glass samples. 12]. The calculated values form removal cross-sections ∑ R/ρ show that the sample contained 15BaO–15Fe2 O3 has the largest removal cross-section and the sample containing no Fe2 O3 has the lowest one as shown in Fig. 6 shows the mass removal cross-sections ∑ R as a function of BaO concentration. the density increases. the density increases with increasing BaO content in the glass due to the replacement of the oxide (BaO) by oxide (Fe2 O3 ). A comparison is made between experimental and theoretical values of σtot and Ze f f and it can be concluded that the theoretical and experimental values are in good agreement with each other within the experimental errors. the addition of BaO improves the removal cross section values of these glasses. This indicates that the addition of some BaO on the expense of Fe2 O3 reduces the effect of the secondary γ-rays produced from the in elastic scattering of neutrons by Fe [2. Molar volume is also an important physical property. 6.5. The Total Atomic Cross-section (σtot ) of Glass Samples for Different Energies 3. 3. So addition of BaO to network causes some type of structural rearrangement of the atoms.4 Total atomic cross-section (σtot ) The total atomic cross-section (σtot ) for glasshas been obtained using relation [10]. The Effective Atomic Number (Ze f f ) of Glass Samples for Different Energies. Fig. it is noted that.5 The Effective Atomic Number The effective atomic number (Ze f f ) of the compound through the relation [11]. The experimental and theoretical values of σtot are compared and it is found that they are in good agreement with each other. 8]. There is a possibility for the alteration of the geometrical configuration upon substitution of BaO into the glass network. Theoretical curves are calculated by the WinXCom program [8]. Figure 3.6 Fast Neutron Removal Cross Section The removal cross-section (∑ R)C of neutron fast neutron’s calculated for homogeneous mixtures [2. as well as the thickness and density of each sample of the system. congruent with a decrease in the molar volume as the BaO content as shown in Fig. Figure 4. The behavior of the mass attenuation coefficients (cm2 /g)of the present glass indicates the possibility of using these glass samples as a substitute for lead in order to improve radiation-shielding properties of glasses. 3. Fig.2 Mass attenuation coefficientMATH The mass attenuation coefficients are estimated from the measured incident and transmitted gamma-ray intensities.3 The half value layer (HVL) HVL is the thickness of a material required to reduce the intensity of the emergent radiation to half. The plots of theoretical and experimental values of σtot and Ze f f are shown in Fig. 3 shows the behavior of the HVL for glasses with different amounts of BaO and different γ-energies.

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