Document Type

Journal Article




School of Engineering




ECU-VIED joint grant between Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia and Vietnam International Education Development (VIED) of the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of:

La, L. B., Leong, Y. K., Leadtherday, C., Au, P. I., Hayward, K. J., & Zhang, L. C. (2016). X-ray protection, surface chemistry and rheology of ball-milled submicron Gd 2 O 3 aqueous suspension. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 501, 75-82.


X-ray protective garments are typically comprised of lead-based materials, which are toxic to both people and the environment. Developing alternative lightweight radiation shielding materials is a priority for protecting people working with radiation. Gadolinium, with an electron configuration typical of radiation shielding elements, is proposed as a non-toxic replacement for lead. This study provides new insights into the potential for a gadolinium suspension for replacing lead and proposes an inexpensive and effective preparation method. Submicron gadolinium oxide (Gd2O3) was generated using a cost effective ball milling method involving addition of NaCl. Then, the dispersed-flocculated behaviour of Gd2O3 aqueous slurries was studied via yield stress and zeta potential techniques to stabilise the dispersion. The relationship of the transmission-volume fraction at different kVp from an interventional radiology source was established to investigate radiation attenuation performance of the suspension. At a low volume fraction (0.082), the gadolinium slurry attenuated more than 95% of the X-ray load from a 50 100 kVp source. The equivalent weight-thickness at the same attenuation of 95% (5% transmission) of the Gd2O3 suspension was 1.5 g/cm2, which is comparable to that of equivalent commercial lead-based materials ( > 1 g/cm2). This research is significant for developing a non-lead-based material, Gd2O3 suspension, which offers effective radiation attenuation with weight-thickness minimisation and safe use and disposal.