When our MRI customers remodel or relocate their practices, one of several questions they usually ask us is, "Will we be able to reuse the shielding from our MRI suite?" It's a fair question, one which, after consulting with some shielding experts, is best answered with two words: "It depends."
Keep reading to find out which factors will determine whether or not your existing MRI shielding can be reused when you modify or move your facility.
Which shielding structure do you have?
There are two common types of shielding structures: modular shielding pavilions (typically used with extremity magnets) and traditional, in-wall shielding. Generally, pavilions can be re-used as long as they have been regularly serviced and as long as your new location will also use an extremity MRI.
In-wall shielding, is more complicated to work with. Although, under certain circumstances, reuse is possible, in many cases the material and/or design of a shield can prevent it. Be sure to check with a shielding professional to determine the options available for your shielding.
If you have in-wall shielding, which material is it?
The two most common material options for in-wall shielding are galvanized steel and copper. Galvanized steel presents a lower up front cost, but is more prone to leakage and will require closer monitoring and maintenance. Oppositely, a copper installation will cost more up front, while benefitting from reduced maintenance costs.
If you have galvanized steel, the likelihood that it can be reused is slightly greater because of how it is installed. The panels are typically screwed together at the seams, allowing for easy disassembly and a better chance for reusability.
If you currently have copper shielding, the panels are joined completely by soldering, rendering them virtually unusable for another install. While the soldering provides high structural integrity and a tight seal, resulting in fewer leaks and maintenance costs, the best way to recover money from this type of shielding is to scrap the copper.
As with all imaging facilities, every MRI installation is unique. Let us put you in touch with a shielding professional to learn what options might be best for you as you look to reuse your existing MRI shielding.
If there are other aspects of your MRI project that we can help with, we're happy to do so. Feel free to contact us or to keep reading our free resources to learn more about MRI equipment and site preparation.