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Author: Subject: Making Glowing Radium Paint
RadiumQuetzal
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[*] posted on 13-8-2020 at 14:11
Making Glowing Radium Paint


Hi

I have tried to make radium paint that glows like it used to for quite some time now with decent success. While it does generate some luminescence it is too faint for my liking so I wonder, does anyone know a good method to make paint that glows quite well?

My method

1. Mixed new ZnS:Cu with acetone to remove any kind if adhesive that might cause it to glow less. (Seems to make it work a bit better even tho the ZnS:Cu is brand new)

2. Dissolved around 0.5ug of RaBr2 and mixed it in with the ZnS:Cu

3. Mixed it around over and over again until all the water had dried.

I of course left it in a dark space for 24h before checking if there were any luminescence from the paint. (checked in total darkness during a span of 10min)

Left pic is a measurement of the paint. Detector used is an Eberline ASP-1 with a Ludlum 44-9 probe. Right pic is the paint.

IMG_20200814_000643.jpg - 2MB IMG_20200814_000521.jpg - 1.8MB

[Edited on 13-8-2020 by RadiumQuetzal]
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Cezium
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[*] posted on 17-8-2020 at 01:16


No sure if 10kBq of Ra is enough to glow... Maybe with some really good phosphor.
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RadiumQuetzal
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[*] posted on 17-8-2020 at 13:51


I thought so too but then I realized that some of the clocks with radium contains even less and still used to glow. One of those containing a total of 0.0259ug of Ra-226 and the paint should be ZnS:Cu due to it's age.
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Ubya
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[*] posted on 17-8-2020 at 17:39


maybe the particle size is smaller? with bigger particles of ZnS only the outside is in contact with the radium salt, i don't know how much the radiation would penetrate inside the particle, or if that internal glow would even be visible to our eye, but in general the finer and more intimate the mixture the better should be the result.




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RadiumQuetzal
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[*] posted on 18-8-2020 at 02:20


Hmmm dont think that the particle size should be an issue. The ZnS:Cu I used should be the same type used in clocks. It was sold as clock/watch paint and it seems like really fine powder.
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Cezium
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[*] posted on 30-8-2020 at 13:15


Maybe try with UV light if it even glows at all, ZnS:Cu is quite sensitive to contaminants.
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RadiumQuetzal
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[*] posted on 31-8-2020 at 11:07


It does glow and I have gotten it to glow on it's own to some extent mixing with radium. The luminescence is just too low.

I have a new idea which I'm currently testing.
Clean the paint using chloroform or acetone.
Dissolve the old ZnS in hcl where it is then dried leaving radium and zink chloride.
Then add acetone and the new ZnS, mixing as often as possible.
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FragranceLover89
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[*] posted on 31-10-2020 at 17:16


Have you tried strontium aluminate instead of ZnS?
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p4rtridg3
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 17:39


AFAIK an important part of the manufacture of Radium dials was getting the ZnS crystal size and shape right. They had some specialized processes for it, but I don't know any details.

Maybe try with one of those kits that supposedly restores the glow in radium watch hands. They can be found on eBay. I believe most just contained the specially made ZnS that could be reapplied after the alpha radiation damaged the original phosphor too much.
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