borated polyethylene(BPE)

The operational purpose of any product is based on its physico-chemical properties. That is why borated polyethylene has its own specific field of use, the main purpose of which is to locally reduce the directional flow of active radiation. The product is a kind of barrier against destructive rays.


Where borated polyethylene is in demand


First of all, borated polyethylene is used in the nuclear power industry — to protect employees from radiation caused by:

  • 01fast and thermal neutrons;
  • 02alpha and gamma radiation (primary and secondary).


Speaking generally, almost all structural divisions of nuclear power need borated polyethylene sheets:

  • 01nuclear power plants;
  • 02nuclear - powered ships, etc.

BPE sheets with the right distance from the source of ionizing radiation, dimensions, boron concentration and some other indicators can both delay background radiation and active radiation by 100%, and reduce their intensity to health-safe values.


The second area of application of borated polyethylene is medical institutions — where there is a risk of radiation exposure: X-ray rooms, treatment rooms using fast neurons, rooms for fluorography, radiation therapy for cancer, etc.


The third area of demand is the creation of a safe environment in laboratories using radioactive installations and/or components.


Finally, borated polyethylene boards are purchased by ordinary citizens for household purposes if their homes are located near radio-emitting objects or the radio background is increased due to poor-quality building materials of walls, ceiling, etc.

Consult usfor more possible uses

How exactly is borated polyethylene used


The easiest way to target the use of borinated polyethylene is to choose a suitable size plate and immediately use it as a mobile shield.

Length x Width x Thickness, mm. Length x Width x Thickness, mm.
700 х 500 х 10 1000 х 500 х 10
700 х 500 х 20 1000 х 500 х 20
700 х 500 х 25 1000 х 500 х 30
700 х 500 х 30 1000 х 500 х 40
700 х 500 х 40 1000 х 500 х 45
700 х 500 х 50 1000 х 500 х 50
700 х 500 х 60 1000 х 500 х 60
700 х 500 х 65 1000 х 500 х 65
700 х 500 х 70 1000 х 500 х 70


At the request of the customer, the size can be customized.


Instead of a portable shield, the plate is used as a gasket and electrical insulation in various hollow structures or devices whose housing is protected by a casing (the plate is placed between the housing and the casing or is tightly lined on the outside of the object).


Boards are filled with special structures and devices that emit neutrons or need protection from their penetration.


Composition of borated polyethylene


In HNOKAY, borated polyethylene is manufactured according to TU – 012. – 27395268 – 2021. According to the provisions of this document, the boards consist of high-molecular polyethylene. The minimum concentration of boron is 3%, the maximum is 30%.

There are three molecular carriers of boron:

  • 01amorphous boron;
  • 02chemically pure boron carbide;
  • 03the composition of boron carbide with the isotope B10.


The following requirements are imposed on the content of boron in polyethylene, depending on the brand:


3% (BPE-3); 5% (BPE-5); 7% (BPE-7); 8% (BPE-8); 10% (BPE-10);12% (BPE-12); 20% (BPE-20); 30% (BPE-30).


BPE boards are allowed to operate under reactor irradiation conditions and in environments heated to 100 ° C. The limit value of relative humidity is 100%. It is not prohibited to use in water, including sea, if the minimum temperature does not fall below -2 °C and does not rise above +30 ° C.


Physico-chemical and mechanical properties of borated polyethylene


Two factors influence the performance characteristics of borated polyethylene:

production features (specific GOST or TU); the quality of raw materials (the degree of its purification, the presence of foreign impurities, etc.).


The performance characteristics of polyethylene sheets are affected by its specific type:

low—pressure polyethylene (HDPE) - the sheets are strong (tensile strength 2.39 MPa), light, elastic, with low gas and vapor permeability; ultra high molecular weight polyethylene(UHMWPE)- the sheets are more durable (tensile strength – 5.2 MPa) and rigid than HDPE.


In addition, UHMWPE products can be operated at temperatures up to 100 ° C, and HDPE products — up to a maximum of 60 ° C.


HNOKAY uses ultra high molecular weight polyethylene of the highest quality, saturating it with boron to the concentration set by TU – 012. – 27395268 - 2021.


As a result of full compliance with technological processes, plates with the required mechanical, physical and chemical properties are obtained at the output, guaranteeing protection from the ionizing effects of neutrons.


What is the ability of borated polyethylene to delay radiation and background radiation


Reducing ionizing radiation to an acceptable level is achieved by two mechanisms:

the thermal energy of hydrogen atoms "excited" by the blows of fast neurons; boron atoms entering into chemical interaction with thermal neutrons.


That is why it is so important to take into account the type of radiation: if we are talking only about fast neurons, boron polyethylene plates with a low concentration of boron carriers are suitable — ideally, the blocks should be made of 100% polyethylene, with the maximum possible hydrogen content. If protection is required from thermal neutrons, which are effectively shielded by boron impurities in polyethylene, then plates with a boron concentration of 3 to 30% are used, depending on the intensity of radiation.


Finally, secondary gamma radiation: it occurs when thermal neutrons are captured by hydrogen. Shields made of polyethylene plates containing boron atoms are also used against secondary gamma radiation.

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