All That You Must Know About Lead Glass
Traditionally, lead glass is used as a shield to protect against X-ray as well as gamma rays. People in the field of medical, technical, and also in research field generally use it. Lead Glass Pro is one of the known suppliers of this shielding material.
Because of its transparent nature, this x-ray glass can also be used as a kind of viewing window, and at the same time, it will still protect the operator from any kind of harm. By changing the lead content of this material, it is possible to adjust the shielding properties of this glass to suit certain specific requirements.
Also, this leaded glass can commonly be used in various electronics industries for encapsulating diodes. This material will allow low-temperature sealing that is necessary to avoid any damage to any sensitive electrical components.
Nowadays, although various environmental regulations are quite strict hence lead glass generally used for various electronic applications has been given an exemption because of its unique properties. However, many new developments in this field continuing rapidly, and now lead-free alternatives have also become available for many different applications.
Lead glass production
The production of this radiation protection material lead glass is generally done in the following ways:
- First, lead oxide and also lead tetroxide are fed into the silo.
- A few other raw materials needed to achieve the required composition of desired lead glass are mixed with lead. A typical ratio is maintained where silica-sand will be 48%, lead 28%, and potash will be 24%. Other metals may also be added to the mixture to offer the glass a certain specific color.
- This mixture so obtained is fed into a certain electric furnace, where it will undergo a heat that is generated by the resistance provided to an electric current that is passing through it. The temperatures needed are between 1350 °C to 1550 °C.
- Fresh batch material can also be added to this melt, depending on how much radiation shielding property is needed.
- Finally, the molten homogeneous glass will be extracted and slowly cooled down to avoid any residual stress development, as different lead glass portions may cool at different rates.
- Then the lead glass will be produced as ribbons, gobs, droplets, which will be shaped further by forming techniques, like pressing or blowing.
Different uses of lead glass
- The major application of lead glass is mostly as x-ray shielding in the medical field and also in research applications where visibility is needed during the procedures or experiments where radiation is involved.
- Lead glass is used for special purpose medical glasses, microscopes, binoculars, and telescopes.
- Digital projectors also use lead glass as it has got higher transmission level over short wavelengths
- In the instruments that will operate in the near-ultraviolet range and near-infrared range, lead glass can be used.
- Lead glasses are also often used in laser optics to print and photocopy technologies.
- The lead glass was also popular as glassware, however, because of health implications its use has considerably reduced.