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.