A performance study of radio-opaque personal protective fabrics for the reduction of transmittance of gamma-rays and neutrons


Commercial radio-opaque combat (CRC) fabrics, for incorporation into personal protective equipment used by first responders and armed forces, are marketed as having the ability to provide a level of protection against specific types of radiation. For a CRC material, a standard combat uniform and a multi-layered chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) protective material, the present work examines chemical composition and radiation protection against gamma-rays and neutron fluxes. Significant reduction in gamma-ray transmittance occurs only for the CRC fabric (46–514 keV) with gamma-ray attenuation coefficients of 3.10 to <0.10 cm2 g−1. Reduction in neutron transmittance, for all three fabrics, could not be assessed with certainty as the measured transmittance was obscured by large statistical uncertainties.

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The provision of gamma-ray spectrometric instrument and financial support for purchase of radionuclide standards and standard reference materials by the Director General Nuclear Safety, Department of National Defense to the Analytical Sciences Group, Royal Military College of Canada are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Emily C. Corcoran.

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Corcoran, E.C., Forest, W., Horton, R. et al. A performance study of radio-opaque personal protective fabrics for the reduction of transmittance of gamma-rays and neutrons. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 291, 251–256 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10967-011-1199-3

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  • Radio-opaque
  • γ-ray
  • Neutron
  • Mass attenuation coefficient