Jun 07, 2012

Toppan Printing and Kyoto University develop a tungsten-based
functional paper that blocks radiation
Bringing together the strengths of tungsten and paper to create a radiation
shielding material that is easy to process and lead-free

Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) has developed a tungsten-based functional paper that blocks radiation by incorporating tungsten (*1) in paper in high density. Sample shipments will begin from mid-June 2012.

It is widely known that tungsten has the function of blocking radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays. By infusing this product with tungsten in high density, it has been possible to achieve an improvement in processability while maintaining the features of tungsten itself.
Performance evaluations for this product have been conducted with the cooperation of leading figures in the field of radiology Professor Masahiro Hiraoka and Associate Professor Hajime Monzen from the Graduate School of Medicine of Kyoto University (President: Hiroshi Matsumoto). The results of these evaluations demonstrated that the tungsten-based paper has radiation shielding properties comparable to those of conventional lead sheet.

In addition to sample shipments of the product for various applications such as use in medicine and as a building material for areas affected by the nuclear disaster that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake, Toppan Printing will examine new applications and uses through combination with the Toppan Group’s décor material- and industrial material-related technologies.

<< Background to the development >>
Radiation is currently widely used in the field of medicine and lead sheet has been the main material used to block radiation. However, there has been demand for a more environmentally-friendly alternative because lead sheet is difficult to process and there are concerns about lead waste’s impact on the environment.

Outside the field of medicine, in recovery operations following the Great East Japan Earthquake, onsite workers have been wearing dust-proof clothing, but current simple dust-proof clothing does not usually block radiation.

<< Features and applications >>
One feature of this functional paper is that it is easy to process and can be cut, folded, or affixed to other materials such as films. As it is lead-free, it can also be used for applications where it comes into contact with people, both indoors and outdoors. Making use of these features, the following applications are possible.
- The walls, doors and curtains of radiological examination rooms and radiation therapy rooms
- Use as a simple shielding material in operating theaters and medical wards where it is difficult to block radiation
- Use as a shielding material for floors that have been contaminated in nuclear medicine laboratories and for transport boxes for radioisotopes

Regions affected by the nuclear disaster and recovery work
- Protection of people working in radioactive conditions and simple radiation shielding of contaminated materials and waste
- A building material for building new evacuation centers such as gymnasiums in the affected areas
- Affixing to the walls, doors and ceilings of existing buildings

<< Main specifications >>
- Form: In roll form with width of approximately 500mm and thickness of approximately 0.3mm
- Shielding function

Copyright 2012 TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.

Toppan Printing will make sample shipments of this functional paper for the medical and décor materials industries, and will also examine new applications and methods of use. Toppan Printing will also continue to collaborate with Kyoto University and advance research and development matched to various needs.
Kyoto University is scheduled to make a presentation regarding this matter at ICRS-12&RPSD-2012 ( 12th International Conference on Radiation Shielding ), which will be held from September 2 to 7, 2012, at the Nara Prefectural New Public Hall in Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan.

*1 Tungsten is a material that has the highest melting point among metals.Traditionally, it was used as the filament in light bulbs and recently it has been used for wide-ranging applications including use for radiation shielding, the heating material for vacuum vapor deposition, and for drills.
*2 Manufacturing of this functional paper is performed in cooperation with Tomoegawa Paper Co., Ltd., a company with which Toppan Printing collaborates in numerous business fields.

*The names of companies, products and services featured in this press release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
*The information in this press release is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change without notice.

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