Features of the SDM

Posted on Thursday, 23 July 2020 at 15:15

In the upcoming weeks, we will highlight some of the features of the non-nuclear Slurry Density Meter (SDM). In this blog, you can read the first and most important feature of the SDM: it is a non-nuclear density meter based on ultrasonic technology.

No radiation source or hazardous materials

In case of a nuclear device, the slurry density is calculated by emitting gamma rays (caesium-137 or cobalt-60 isotopes) through the cross-section of the pipe. The isotopes can create possible health risks, therefore people do not want to stay close to the radiation source for a longer period of time. With the non-nuclear SDM, they can access the area easily and safe because it is an electrical device which creates unharmful sound waves (vibrations of air) for density calculations.

Examples of health and safety issues

A shielding of very dense materials such as lead and tungsten is used to minimize the radiation dose for people working nearby the source. A small capsule is located inside this shielding, which holds the radioactive material (RAM). This casing would normally protect employees against high radiation dosage, however health and safety issues can still occur if procedures are not being followed correctly or by people’s mistakes.

One example of an issue that could occur is radiation leakage due to an incorrect sealing of the source or due to poor maintenance of the source holder. Another issue occurs if someone is being exposed to the emitted gamma ray, inside the pipe, during maintenance or transportation of the source. Normally, the radiation beam which is emitted can be stopped using a shutter valve mechanism inside the body of the source holder. However, when this valve gets stuck due to a failure or poor maintenance, there is a risk of people getting exposed to high radiation doses over a short period of time. High radiation dosage have a tendency to kill human cells, also lower radiation dosage can damage genetic code (DNA) according to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.NRC)[1].

Not harmful to the environment

Incidents with nuclear sources can have a big impact on people and nature. A lot of things can happen. For example, think about worst case scenarios such as tailing dam collapses destroying mineral processing plants where nuclear sources are located, lost radiation sources, or sources which are accidentally brought to metal scrap plants or even someone drilling a hole in a radiation source holder at a factory.

The ultrasonic Slurry Density Meter (SDM) of Rhosonics is a reliable and sustainable measuring instrument and is safe for all employees. Different from a nuclear source, it has no hazardous materials and is therefore not harmful to the environment.

Rhosonics helps mineral processing plants to replace nuclear density gauges by ultrasonic technology. This transition allows operators to achieve process optimization in a safer, more reliable, sustainable and cost effective way. This is how Rhosonics contributes to a nuclear free industry.

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[1]https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/health-effects/high-rad-doses.html