Case Study: X-Ray Shielding in the Art World for the Indianapolis Museum of Art Conservation Science Department
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|Jul 19, 2021|
The Conservation Science Lab at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) approached MarShield to design and manufacture a Lead Lined Mobile Shielding Barrier with a Lead Acrylic see-through upper panel. The barrier needed to be mobile and very durable for usage in several investigative areas.
MarShield used Lead Acrylic to eliminate the risk of glass breakage and provide durability for years of use. The mobile barrier was used to shield an x-ray fluorescence robotic spectrometer (Bruker M6 Jetstream) that maps mineral pigment distribution in artworks. The spectrometer is primarily used for authentication and technical art history-defining purposes including, the composition of materials, previous alterations, and maintaining techniques.
About Indianapolis Museum of Art
The IMA is the ninth oldest and eighth largest encyclopedic art museum in the United States. Located in Newfields, the 152-acre campus also houses
Lilly House, The Gardens at Newfields, the Beer Garden, and more. The permanent collection at the museum comprises over 54,000 works, including African, American, Asian, and European pieces.
Founded in 1883 by the Art Association of Indianapolis, the first permanent museum was opened in 1906 as part of the John Heron Art Institute. In October 2008, the IMA announced a $2.6 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to be used toward creating a state-of-the-art conservation science lab.
MarShield custom-designed the barrier, which was 77” high and 48.5 wide for specific size requirements of the conservation department. The Clear View Lead Acrylic window was 44.75” tall, incorporating about 50% of the barriers overall size for clear, easy viewing. The Lead Acrylic was 12 mm thick (0.05mm) Lead Equivalent.
The solid panel below was lined with 1/32nd (0.80) sheet lead to ensure proper safety in shielding. The below panel was faced with a decorative ABS front and fully encapsulated. The frame was powder-coated steel which matched the base complete with our medical-grade 4-way swivel locking casters.
MarShield includes a shielded horizontal safety leaded strip between the glass and lead panel in all our barrier designs. This is to ensure no “Shine Through” occurs with optimum safety. MarShield is the only company that provides this feature.
After completing this project, MarShield is now in conversation with the client to design and build similar shields for other areas of the science facility.
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