Case Study: Cost Benefits Of Steel Plate Shielding vs. Lead

32-7332-2-02_SteelContainer Products Corporation received an inquiry from a valued customer requesting a shielded container with a shielding requirement of ½ inch thick lead. CPC has designed and built shielded containers for a variety of applications and shielding requirements.  Radiation shielding can be achieved through the use of lead or steel.   Materials such as tungsten, bismuth or grout may also be used for shielding.

The design team at CPC contacted the client and suggested steel plate as a shielding option for the shipping container design. The steel equivalent to lead shielding rule of thumb is two to three inches of steel equals one inch of lead, depending on the isotope being shielded and the activity level.  The customer reassessed the shielding requirements and determined that one inch of steel plate would provide the necessary shielding for this application.

The shipping container as originally requested would have been constructed of one half inch thick lead plate encapsulated in 12 gauge sheet steel.  CPC was able to fabricate the container from one-inch thick ASTM A-36 steel plate instead. There was less than 100 pounds difference in the weight of the two container options. The use of steel shielding resulted in more than 30 percent in cost savings.

32-7333-2-01_leadSteel is not always the most practical or cost-effective shielding option, but in this example there was a significant reduction in container cost. There are structural advantages to be gained from steel plate construction; the payload for the subject container was increased without affecting the price.

The package offeror is ultimately responsible for determining shielding thickness and material requirements but CPC has an experienced staff ready to work with our clients to provide solution options for every shielded container application.

Container Products Corporation is NQA-1 2008/2009 version compliant.

Container Products Corporation pioneered the development of metal containers for storage, transportation, and disposal of radioactive waste and other hazardous/toxic materials. CPC’s innovative design concepts and manufacturing techniques earned CPC the enviable position as the major supplier of waste reduction equipment, decontamination equipment, and containers to the nuclear and private sector industries.  To learn more about CPC, visit, email or call (800)-635-5647.


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