Attenuation Characteristics of Gypsum Wallboard

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Increased cost of lead is promoting enhanced usage of common building materials for shielding in diagnostic medical and dental facilities where only a few half-value layers (HVLs) are needed. We have measured attenuation of primary beam X-ray photons in gypsum wallboard as a function of kVp, filtration, and wallboard thickness. Our findings, obtained using a Victoreen 555 with an 0.1 DAS probe in poor geometry, are substantially in agreement with the sparse data in the literature but extend to thicker wall configurations and different kVp and filtration parameters. These findings are of value in maximizing the benefit/cost ratio for diagnostic shielding, and strengthen the conviction that, where used for shielding purposes, common building materials must be installed carefully and HVL-depth dependence considered thoroughly.

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