MRI shielding is not just a simple 6-sided, one size fits all solution. It is a design that requires a combination of factors which require a clear understanding of existing or planned site conditions, user needs, constructability, and physics in areas such as radio-frequency interference, magnetic field containment and acoustic noise impact.
Effective shielding understands the impact of sophisticated imaging equipment on the environment. The fundamental function is the attenuation of radio-frequency interference to a degree that will enable the magnet to function as designed by protecting it from the ever-present interference sources of radio waves generated by surrounding sources of this interference (radio, television, electrical power sources). And conversely shielding must be such that the magnet’s radio signals will not impact or interfere with the radio waves generated by external sources.
Effective shielding understands what it takes to adequately protect the MRI suite surroundings from the magnetic fields that could be more than 1000 times more powerful than gravity. It must use the proper steel types, modeled by others or by IMEDCO which are safely supported to keep the gauss lines from entering areas the magnetic steel model were generated to protect. It understands the magnet vendor’s design and how the shield must be designed and installed to achieve the results the model intended.
Effective shielding recognizes that the acoustic noise levels the MRI system generates can be as loud as a chain saw, and can have a serious negative effect on personnel, patients and staff, structure and productivity. It needs to know how a predictable, integrated acoustic shielding solution can mitigate such disturbances.