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Steels are non-combustible and have good temperature behaviour, with a melting point higher than 1,500°C, giving them a major advantage over lead. The most common grades are S235 (E24), S275 (E28) and S355 (E36).
Non-alloyed carbon steels have poor resistance to chemical agents and must be protected by a coating, which will also improve their decontaminability.
Commonly used for welding and machining, steels are ideal for making shielding screens such as stationary or moving mechanical parts, structural elements, racks and walls.
They have excellent resistance to gamma radiation.
However, under neutron flux, steels produce capture gamma rays, with energies between 1 and 10 MeV, and activate at highly variable levels depending on the level of impurities (presence of Mn, CO, Ti, etc.).
Under very high neutron flux, the transition temperature (brittle fracture / ductile fracture) also increases.