Cobalt-60 (Co-60)

Cobalt-60 is ideal for industrial gauging and leveling devices, as well as accurate detection of explosive devices. Cobalt is also used throughout the industrial radiography industry to detect structural damage to metal parts.

Our Co-60 sealed source designs provide a cost-effective alternative to OEMs, meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements for radiation source encapsulations.


Half Life: 5.27 Years

Primary Emission: Gamma

Primary Energy: 1.173 and 1.333 KeV

RWL: 15 Years

Capsule Materials: Stainless steel.


Cobalt-60 History

Cobalt compounds have been used for centuries to impart a rich blue color to glass, glazes, and ceramics. Cobalt has been detected in Egyptian sculpture and Persian jewelry from the third millennium BC, in the ruins of Pompeii (destroyed AD 79), and in China dating from the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907) and the Ming dynasty (AD 1368–1644) In 1938, John Livingood and Glenn Seaborg discovered cobalt-60.

Capsules Co-60

Cobalt-60 Applications

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) – Co-60 is a cost-effective source used in gamma radiography applications.

See QSA’s Full Line of NDT products at

Security Systems – Cobalt-60 is used in detecting the presence of nitrogen chemical compounds found in the majority of explosives.

Level Gauging – Co-60 is used in nuclear, radar, and ultrasonic level measurement devices.

Medical – Cobalt 60 is commonly used as a source for radiation therapy, including cancer treatment.

Food Safety – used in food irradiation, Cobalt-60 removes bacteria and other pathogens.



Measured by National Labs and Statistically verified by QSA. Standard Certificates available upon request.


Custom Design Services

QSA has a large standard product list available to fit your application. Custom Co-60 source designs are possible for large orders. Contact QSA for more information.


Quality Control

QSA uses a multi-part quality assurance system to ensure Cobalt radiation sources meet the highest integrity levels in the industry, including all statutory and international regulatory requirements.

Wipe Test I – Cobalt-60 sources are wiped with a swab or tissue, moistened with ethanol or water, then measured for removed activity.

Immersion Test II – Cobalt-60 sources are immersed in a suitable liquid at 50°C for at least 4 hours, then measured for removed activity.

Bubble Test III – Cobalt-60 sources are immersed in water or a suitable liquid, and the pressure in the vessel is reduced to 13kPa (100mm Hg). No bubbles must be observed.


Contact QSA for additional information on custom Cobalt-60 sealed source designs.