A Leader in Radiation Shielding Materials


Cyclotron Plug Door

Cyclotron Facts

What is a cyclotron?
A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator that moves protons, one kind of charged particle comprising atoms, along a spiral path to strike a target.

What does it do?
Particle/proton accelerators have multiple applications. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the TR24 cyclotron will be used to make medical imaging agents for clinical and research applications. The cyclotron is also capable of making agents for therapy.

What will this material (or medical isotopes) be used for?
Following extensive safety reviews and with FDA approval, the relatively short-lived radioactive elements will be used to make various radiopharmaceuticals that are injected into a patient in order to diagnose and determine effective treatment of cancer and other diseases. UAB’s clinical and research programs in cancer will be significantly enhanced, as will programs in cardiology and neurosciences.

What is the benefit to patients?
The cyclotron’s ability to make a wide variety of agents allows physicians to identify, diagnose and monitor treatment of cancer and other diseases with greater sensitivity and specificity. The proximity of the cyclotron, adjacent to the imaging facility, allows immediate use of the transient agents in patients.

With the cyclotron, UAB will be able bring cutting-edge premium cancer care directly to patients. Research that was not previously possible will allow for new advances to be made that will also benefit patients. Many pharmaceutical companies, for example, are already conducting research on making radiopharmaceuticals for diseases to identify methods of treatment.

What is the benefit to researchers?
Since the TR24 cyclotron is on site, it enables UAB to produce numerous agents that are not commercially available to UAB researchers because they must be produced and used locally. In depth, detailed research can be conducted in a variety of interdisciplinary ways to retrieve information that would not be available from other sources. For example, the TR24 cyclotron will allow researchers in evaluating drug delivery to cancer, as well as changes in metabolism of cancer that indicated effective therapy at an early time after starting therapy.

How does it work?
UAB’s TR24 cyclotron moves protons at about 16 percent the speed of light, accelerating the protons outwards from the center of the machine along an expanding spiral path. A nuclear reaction occurs and transforms the target into the desired radioactive element. The resultant material is then transported from the cyclotron to a special box where chemical reactions convert it into a radiopharmaceutical.

Main Components

The physicist of record must determine all shielding for the vault. A typical cyclotron vault plug door is approximately 5' wide by 8' high and 5' thick.

Steel Door Case welded ½" HRP with internal bracing.
Flanged 5”Dia. Steel Wheels w/Tapered Double Roller Bearings.
Door Frame – ½" HRP welded w/integral steel studs for welding to rebar.
Drive System – Gearmotor AC inverter drive.

  1. Load bearing rails to be permanently mounted in the floor.
  2. Control System –
    1. Inverter Drive w/ acceleration &deceleration Ramps.
    2. PLC Control – programmed for proper Operation and integrated w/ Safety System
    3. Push Button Controls outside Vault with following Functions.
      1. Open.
      2. Stop.
      3. Close.
    4. Push button controls inside will have the following functions
      1. Open.
      2. Stop.
  3. Manual Emergency opening device.
  4. UPS for Power out Operation of Door.
  5. Safety System to include –
    1. Light Curtain at Opening.
    2. Pressure Sensor at each of 4 Corners of the Door.
    3. Presence Sensor above Door Opening.
    4. Visual and Audio Tower for door movement.
  6. Power Control Panel
    1. Remote Control Switch.
    2. Overload cut-out.
    3. Fused magnetic Circuit breaker.
  7. Operating Parameters
    1. Operating Time 45 seconds to Full Open.

Pitts Little Corporation will provide the Door Frame, Door Case, Door Drive System, Control System, Push Buttons, Light Curtain, Presence Sensor, Flanged Rollers, Rail system and other items to make a Complete System.

Installation by the Contractor

The contractor will be responsible for installing the frame that we supply.
All concrete and grout is by others.
The plug door is to be concrete filled by others.

The following cyclotron Interlocks are by others:

  1. Signal to Prevent Beam Activation if Door is Open
  2. Signal to Prevent Beam Activation if Operators have not Exited the Bunker
  3. Prevent Door Operation if Beam is On
  4. Disable Cyclotron Operation

Submittal drawings will be provided after an order is accepted. The owner is to evaluate the door construction tolerances and drive functions prior to fabrication.

Specifically Excluded:
Demolition, Utility relocation, All Concrete work, Setting the frame, Physics, All conduit and wiring, Duties, Tariffs and Taxes.

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