Radiation accompanies us humans through life. Our planet is constantly exposed to a stream of high-energy atomic particles that come from the depths of the cosmos and collide with the components of the atmosphere. In the process, they create new atomic particles with high energies. Even a flight at an altitude of twelve kilometres produces a hundred times the normal radiation exposure. We are also exposed to the negative effects of ionising radiation during medical examinations. High-melting point metals such as tungsten serve as protection against radiation – for example in the form of sheet metals or foils. You’d like to find out more?
Heavy metals like tungsten shield radiation
The higher the density of a metal, the more likely it is to shield radiation. Tungsten and alloys with this chemical element absorb X-rays and gamma rays. The shielding effect is due to the fact that the radiation has to pass through the electron shells of the atoms. The higher the atomic number of the element, the more electrons it has in its shell. And that shields better. The atomic number of tungsten is 74 per cent. Tungsten serves as a substitute for the toxic heavy metal lead, which has an atomic number of 82.