21 Sep '21
Scientists at the Ural Federal University (UrFU) in Yekaterinburg are using industrial waste in developing clay bricks that are said to be able to reduce ionizing radiation to levels which are considered safe for the human body.
The new bricks show promise as a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use material to build special protection rooms, walls and facilities around radiation sources to shield the environment.
“Our bricks are doped with heavy metals that come in plenty from many metallurgical factories across the Urals. Those substances have been proven to possess manifest radiation shielding properties. So, our research program is two-pronged; we are both developing construction materials with given protective properties and offering a way of recycling industrial waste,” said Oleg Tashlykov, an UrFU associate professor who leads the effort.
The team’s ultimate goal is to come up with a broad range of materials based not only on clay but also on cement solutions, concrete or synthetic polymers with a variety of chemical compositions for a range of heavy-duty applications.