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PolyOne Partners Siemens to Create Non-lead Radiation Shielding Components for CT Scanners

SpecialChem / Jun 10, 2011

NEW YORK, USA -- PolyOne Corporation has announced that it has worked together with Siemens Healthcare to develop non-lead radiation shielding components for Siemens' newest line of CT (computed tomography) scanners. PolyOne had displayed the similar components at the MD&M East exhibition held recently.

CT Scanner
CT Scanner Component Molded from Trilliant™

As a result of the close collaboration among PolyOne, Siemens, and Reiter-HG Geiger, Siemens was able to design and produce components with radiation shielding performance equal to lead while eliminating machining and reducing shielding costs compared to traditional machined metal and lead parts.

Trilliant™ Healthcare Radiation Shielding Compound also enabled Siemens to benefit from:

  • Reduced health and environmental impact: RoHS-compliant, alternative to lead
  • System cost reduction: Machining, assembly and regulatory costs reduced compared to lead
  • Radiation-shielding performance: Equivalent to lead
  • Parts consolidation: Minimized assembly requirements
  • Design freedom: Ability to shield areas more effectively due to increased design flexibility

Looking for a solution

Siemens Healthcare is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. For its new computed tomography (CT) scanner line, designers sought a replacement for lead, a material traditionally used for internal radiation shielding components. The project also involved a component supplier, Reiter-HG Geiger, a highly sophisticated injection molding company specializing in demanding applications.

CT Scanner
CT Scanner

The Material Technology team at Siemens Healthcare decided to switch to a non-lead solution in order to stay one step ahead of a potential RoHS regulatory ban on lead. The team also wanted to explore the benefits of injection molding to increase productivity, eliminate machining, and expand design freedom for these components.

Together with Reiter-HG Geiger, the Siemens team began the search for an eco-conscious replacement that would effectively shield X-rays up to 140 keV while offering additional manufacturing benefits. Two different application areas were targeted initially: a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) controller unit, and shielding plates for various electronic components linked to each of the numerous detector elements.

To protect sensitive electronic components from degradation due to X-ray exposure during a CT scan, shielding elements are necessary. Traditionally, designs have required parts produced by machining or casting lead. Those lead-based components necessitated a great deal of care in handling and required assembly using hot cure adhesives. For a replacement, the team sought an injection moldable material having equivalent radiation shielding performance as compared to lead and providing uniform shielding with no "hot spots."

Collaboration produces results

Working together with Siemens and Reiter-HG Geiger, PolyOne's technical team enabled the switch from lead with new material solutions based on a high-density, metallic filled material, Trilliant™ Healthcare Radiation Shielding Compound. This highly filled polymer, based on PolyOne's Gravi-Tech™ technology, addressed healthcare industry needs and regulations.

Extensive material evaluation at Siemens demonstrated that the Trilliant™ material blocked radiation at levels equal to those of pure lead. Furthermore, excellent dispersion of the metallic filler avoided "hot spots" where radiation could leak out.

About Siemens Healthcare

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world.

About Reiter-HG Geiger

Reiter-HG Geiger, a highly sophisticated injection molding processor specializing in demanding applications, stands for peak performance, top quality and an extraordinary orientation to customers worldwide.

About PolyOne

PolyOne Corporation, with 2010 annual revenues of $2.6 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. Headquartered outside of Cleveland, Ohio USA, PolyOne has operations around the world.

Source: PolyOne


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