Irradiation Sources

Cobalt Slugs and Cylinder

Cobalt is a steel-gray, very tough metal with a density of 8.8 g / cm ³.

Natural cobalt is 100% Co59 isotopes, making it one of the 22 pure elements.

All Heraeus cobalt products are made from natural cobalt (Co59). The activation of the cobalt products is not offered by Heraeus.

Heraeus also manufactures parts according to customer drawings. We welcome any inquiry to cobalt products.

Technical Data


  • 99.7 % min.

Typical dimensions of cobalt-products

  • 6.00 x 25.00 mm; 6.25 x 25.25 mm
  • 2.00 x 2.00 mm; 3.00 x 3.00 mm
  • 1.00 x 1.00 mm; 1.04 x 1.04 mm
  • 0.60 x 3.60 mm; 0.50 x 3.50 mm
  • Ni-plating 2.50 – 5 µm and 25 – 50 µm if required


  • + 0.10 mm/ ± 0.30 mm / ± 0.40 mm and others


Heraeus supplies Cobalt Slugs respectively Cobalt Pellets for irradiation sources.

The Cobalt Products from Heraeus are using in these applications:

1. Food industry

  • to sterilize food, for instance in the packaging industry.

Food irradiation is the process of exposing boxes or pallets of food products to radiation from a cobalt source.

Due to the doses the products are used to reducing spoilage organisms in fruits and vegetables or for the dis-infestation of insects in food.

2. Medical sterilization

  • Medical radiation - in the radiological treatment (in the form of Iridium Discs)
  • i. e. the injection, gloves and other medical and surgical products

Medical sterilization includes drug device combinations and regenerative medicine products.

In this case biological and pharmaceutical components are added to medical devices and natural or synthetic scaffolds in order to enhance device effectiveness.

In some cases the combination products provide radical new treatments for disease by helping the body to regenerate specific cells.

Irradiated cobalt may eliminate harmful organisms in a variety of products.

Iridium Discs and Cylinder

Iridium is one of the densest of all elements, which is casted by Heraeus at a melting temperature of 2410 °C. Its high degree of stiffness and resistance to deformation render its processing very difficult.

All Heraeus iridium products are produced using iridium of at least 99.8 % purity, although higher purities can be supplied for certain applications by request. The activation of the iridium products is not offered by Heraeus.

Heraeus also manufactures parts according to customer drawings. We welcome any enquiry for iridium products.

Technical Data


  • 99.8 % - 99.9 % min.

Typically dimension of Iridium-discs

  • 2.00 x 0.125 mm; 2.70 x 0.125 mm; 3.00 x 0.125 mm
  • 1.50 x 0.25 mm; 2.70 x 0.25 mm; 3.00 x 0.25 mm
  • 2.00 x 0.30 mm; 3.00 x 0.30 mm
  • 2.00 x 0.30 mm with Aluminium 3.00 mm diameter
  • 2.00 x 0.20 mm with Aluminium 3.00 mm diameter
  • 1.50 x 0.20 mm with Aluminium 3.00 mm diameter
  • 1.00 x 0.20 mm with Aluminium 3.00 mm diameter


  • ± 0.03 mm / + 0.06 mm and others


Heraeus supplies Iridium discs and iridium pins for irradiation purposes. The Iridium products from Heraeus are non activated and are used in the following applications:

1. non-destructive material testing

The Iridium sources are used in (mobile) non-destructive material test systems.

This radiographic testing is a method of inspecting materials by using the ability of short wavelength electromagnetic radiation (high energy photons). This X-ray machine uses iridium discs or iridium pins as a source of photons.

2. cancer treatment

Brachytherapy: Brachytherapy is the procedure of using temporary irradiation very close to the area of disease, in particular cancer and stenosis. Another application is Seeds Implantation: here the surgery implants radioactive sources ("seeds") in tumours in particular prostate cancer.


As a service Heraeus offers to weigh the iridium discs with a special balance. It has a highly accurate scale – Classification: 0.1 mg(!). With this classification the discs can be divided into seven weight classes.


For irradiation purposes, the mass of the components is the key-factor. As a consequence, Heraeus has invested in the balance system, which is capable to finely sort batches into precise weight classifications.

This allows irradiation service providers to locate the discs in their reactor accordingly.

Stacking and achieving the precise mass of the required number of discs makes it easier to meet the exact radiation-output the end-user demands.