Windows for viewing the radiography area are available in lead glass or lead acrylic up to 48" x 96" in size. Since there are no domestic manufacturers, these materials must be imported from Europe or Asia. Since they are imported in standard sizes, care should be taken to size windows to take advantage of the stock sizes, since the customer will be paying for the larger size when cutting is involved. a-fabco is a distributor for Schott North America, Inc.
Cost- Lead glass is usually less expensive than lead acrylic.
Availability- Lead glass is more readily available, from more suppliers, than lead acrylic.
Durability- Lead acrylic is more durable than lead glass since it is not breakable under normal circumstances. It can also be "buffed" to remove surface scratches if damaged. Because of these features lead acrylic is the best choice for mobile barriers, large view windows and transportation survival.
Workability- Lead glass can be cut the same as regular glass. Lead acrylic can be cut with a saw and easily machined and polished.
Shielding- Windows are generally required to have the same shielding equivalency as the wall in which the window occurs. For sizing, we would refer you to our a-fabco our article entitled "Sizing Your X-Ray View Windows"
Examples of Leaded Glass
Often glass larger than is needed is purchased because sometimes overlooked details could influence the size. The document, "Why 48" Glass is a Waste of Money" outlines some of those criteria. It may help save you some money!
Additional information and resources including glass characteristics, specifications, availability, stock glass sizes, lead equivalencies, and cleaning and maintenance of lead glass are available in the "Lead Glass for Radiation Shielding" information sheet.