Gamma and neutron attenuation characteristics of bricks containing zinc extraction residue as a novel shielding material

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Gençel O., Bozkurt A., Kam E., Yaraş A., Erdoğmuş E., Sütçü M.

Progress In Nuclear Energy, vol.139, no.1, pp.1-7, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 139 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2021.103878
  • Journal Name: Progress In Nuclear Energy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Environment Index, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-7
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In recent years, people are exposed to radiation depending on the technology developed which may cause serious

incurable health problems. To protect from radiation exposure, various radiation shielding materials are used in

different areas. In this study, zinc extraction residue (ZER), which is released during zinc production containing

various heavy metals, was evaluated in clay-based brick manufacturing. The fired bricks were characterized in

terms of radiation shielding, bulk density and compressive strength. Clay brick with 50% ZER was fired at

1000 ◦C. Bulk density and compressive strength of fired brick were found as 2.16 g/cm3 and 12.6 MPa,

respectively. The addition of ZER increased the density while reducing the compressive strength. Radiation

shielding potential for the samples were evaluated both experimentally (using an Am–Be neutron source and a

Cs-137 gamma source) and simulation-wise using the Monte Carlo technique. For this purpose, mass attenuation

coefficients of gammas and total absorption cross-section of neutrons were determined through measurements.

Additionally, Monte Carlo simulations were carried out under similar irradiation conditions. The MCNP simulation

results were checked against those produced from XCOM database for photons and Phy-X/PSD for neutrons.

Inclusion of ZER was found to elevate shielding capabilities especially at low photon energies because of

the lead content of ZER. In addition, neutron attenuation characteristics of ZER bricks were observed to be

relatively lower than that of fired clay brick because of the heavier ingredients existing in ZER extracts.