Executive Summary :
Objective: Development of radiation shielding tiles of dimensions 30cm X 30cm X 6mm using tailored brine sludge based composition with characteristics around radiation attenuation 100%, water absorption 10%, density 2.9g/cm3, Impact strength 0.028 kgfm.cm-1 respectively.
Optimization studies of chemical composition and process parameters for the developed tile of dimensions 30cm X 30cm X 6mm respectively.
Detailed characterization studies namely radiation attenuation, density, impact strength, water absorption of the developed tile of dimensions 30cm X 30cm X 6mm respectively; Demonstration of the developed process to the user industries.
Summary: The application spectrum of technologies based on the use of radiations ranging from home to hospitals (x-ray rooms, CT scanner rooms and dental clinic) to nuclear power plants are increasing day by day globally and these technologies utilizes complete spectrum of radiations ranging from a) X-rays b) Gamma radiation c) Far infrared d) Infra red e) Microwaves f) EMI radiations from mobiles. Further, along with the advantages of these radiations, they have harmful effects if not used properly like exposed for longer duration, not using shielding materials. Conventional radiation shielding materials are based on single phased material which are selected using pure chemicals and compounds of metals like lead, barium, tungsten, bismuth, cerium etc. The lead based radiation shielding materials are toxic and have low melting point, as lead being a second most toxic element in the world. With due course of time the oxidation of lead takes place which releases harmful gases and leads to various respiratory and skin problem to the end users and thus causes health hazards to human beings as well as to the environment. Further, the other conventional shielding materials, which are based on pure rare earth, other metal and polymer composites contains only single phase, single crystal, scarcely available, very costly, having low temperature resistance and requires large thickness, therefore posing limited radiation shielding capacity. Recently, it has been observed that shielding material based on nano materials not only improves shielding efficiency but also imparts homogeneity to the shielding matrix. With the increase in human population there occurs a lot of industrial development which is simultaneously associated with the drawbacks of generation of hazardous and toxic wastes. Also, the recent stringent rules and regulations for safe environment are imposing materials scientists to convert these toxic industrial wastes into innocuous and useful form by developing advanced novel processes and highly value added products like advanced non-toxic radiation shielding materials useful for broad application spectrum. Although researchers have used few industrial by- products like red mud, fly ash etc. for making x –ray radiation shielding material, but none have used Industrial waste namely brine sludge.
In view of the above, there occurs an urgent need to develop a novel process for making advanced non-toxic x-ray radiation shielding material using Industrial sludge useful for broad application spectrum. The brine sludge is a chloral alkali industry by-product which simultaneously and inherently consists of multiple compounds like barium sulphate, calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, sodium chloride, clay, therefore it is possible to make multi compound based radiation shielding materials possessing increased radiation shielding capacity. The various precursors present in brine sludge are a) barium sulphate - imparts non-toxic radiation shielding characteristics and duly behaves as a network as well as former too b) sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide all together acts - as a flux c) Magnesium hydroxide - imparts strength and decreases the shrinkages to the matrix and thus the simultaneous presence of alkali alkaline earth metal compounds leads to the lowering of melting temperature for making process energy efficient and imparts homogeneity to the developed radiation shielding matrix. Further, the brine sludge will be tailored using various steps by using high Z elements and further will be utilized as resource material for making advanced non-toxic x –ray radiation shielding material useful for broad application spectrum. The above objective can be achieved by simultaneous and synergistically chemical reactions among the inherent multi-component, multi-elemental chemical characteristic and mineralogical formulations of industrial sludge like Brine sludge along with other appropriate raw materials having high Z elements during processes like heat treatment , chemico – mechanical dry grinding process for developing advanced tailored nano radiation shielding powder for the development of advanced non-toxic x-ray radiation shielding material having homogeneous radiation shielding matrix useful for broad application spectrum. The developed x – ray shielding material finds broad application spectrum in strategic sectors like Nuclear power plants, Medical/Hospitals in diagnostic X –rays & CT Scanner rooms, Defense etc. In view of the above, we propose to optimize a process based on CSIR-AMPRIS USA patent for the bulk utilization of industrial sludge i.e brine sludge which will be used for developing innocuous, cost effective x-ray shielding material with multiple shielding phases with desired thickness for imparting homogeneous matrix useful for broad application spectrum. The proposed project demand is of high potential in the market & the technology developed will be suitable for achieving the project objectives and deliverables. It addresses the issues of environmental concern which falls under Clean India and Make in India programme.