Gamma radiation and neutron shielding properties of transparent alkali borosilicate glass containing lead

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In this study, lithium sodium borosilicate glasses with chemical compositions of xPbO-40B2O325Na2O5Li2O-(30 - x)SiO2 (where x = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 mol%) were prepared by using the conventional melt-quenching technique. The amorphous nature and the effects of Pb+2 ions in the glass structure were explored by using X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analyses, respectively. The gamma radiation and neutron shielding properties of the glass system were investigated by determining the mass attenuation coefficients, half value layer, gamma-ray exposure build-up factor (EBF), and fast neutron removal cross section. The EBFs were calculated using the general progressive fitting parameter formula for photon energies of 0.015–15 MeV to penetration depths of 40 mfp. The effective atomic number (Zeff) and electron density (Neff) were determined for all of the prepared glasses. For validation purposes, the experimental values of the mass attenuation coefficient, half value layer, Zeff, and Neff for all of the prepared glasses at 0.239, 0.662, 0.911, and 1.332 MeV were compared with their theoretical values. The fast neutron removal cross sections of the prepared glasses ranged from 0.0890 to 0.1375 cm−1, which corresponded to concentrations of 0–25 PbO mol%. The results confirmed that the glasses prepared with lead concentrations of 5–25 PbO mol% have suitable and comparable gamma attenuation coefficients for use as efficient transparent gamma ray and neutron shielding materials.