Ashtead Technology Ltd

Rental partnership announced for portable metal analysers

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Source: Ashtead Technology Ltd

Ashtead Technology has been appointed as the exclusive rental partner for the world's top selling range of portable XRF analysers from Niton UK. The agreement will cover UK and Republic of Ireland markets.

XRF analysers provide fast, non-destructive, qualitative and quantitative assessment of metals and alloys in a variety of materials. Applications include quality control in manufacturing, metal evaluation in waste management, weld testing, contamination testing of soils and airborne particulates, electrical equipment testing under the RoHS and WEEE directives, the screening of consumer goods for contaminant materials such as lead in paint, toys, packaging etc. and the qualitative analysis of precious metals.

Environmental applications for portable XRF analysers range from soil testing at brownfield sites to elemental analysis of a wide range of materials such as bulk powder, surface dust wipes, volume sampling air filters and individual operator respirator filters.

Portable XRF analysers are employed in remediation work to guide earth-moving equipment to soil contamination 'hotspots' which results in less soil removal and thereby results in substantial cost savings. These instruments can perform both in-situ (on site) and ex-situ soil analysis (analysing prepared soil samples, via the prepared sample test-stand and soil sample preparation kit). This reduces the costs and time incurred by laboratory analysis.

Employing the latest technology to deliver high levels of accuracy and precision, Niton analysers are able to measure most metals. This includes all metals with a higher atomic weight than Aluminium. Several hundred alloys are stored on the instrument's library and customised settings are available for unique alloys, including a 'pass/fail' mode.

The metal recycling market has become more complex and volatile in recent years. The Niton analysers provide fast accurate analysis which enables recycling organisations to sort large volumes of material and make quick decisions in order to adapt to changing market conditions and maximise profits.

XRF analysers are commonly employed in testing work relating to the RoHS Regulations which implement EU Directive 2002/95 that bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing unacceptable levels of elements such as lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium. XRF analysers are therefore employed by quality control staff within manufacturing industries and to screen both imports and exports.

The WEEE Directive aims to reduce the amount of electrical/electronic equipment being produced and to encourage reuse, recycling and recovery. Again, elemental analysis has a role to play in the identification of such things as mercury in some switches, lead in solder and cadmium in batteries. Similarly, organisations involved in plastic recycling and recycled polymer materials need to ensure they are not distributing materials with illegal cadmium levels.

As a portable instrument, employing a non-destructive testing method, NITON portable XRF analysers can provide valuable assistance in WEEE toxin content testing because most test methods require samples to be analysed in a laboratory which incurs a delay and generally involves destruction of the sample.

As a specialist instrument rental company, Ashtead Technology will stock the latest Niton XRF analysers so that their engineers can recommend the best instrument for every application.

Expressing his pleasure with the announcement, Ashtead Technology General Manager James Carlyle said, 'It is our policy to offer the world's leading instruments for hire, coupled with a high level of technical support. Our engineers are therefore receiving in-depth training by Niton UK so that we can help customers both before and during the rental period.'

Portable XRF analysers are highly sophisticated instruments and Niton UK Sales and Marketing Director Michael Sibbald says, 'The facility to hire such equipment is essential in situations for which capital expenditure is not appropriate.' Commenting on the partnership with Ashtead Technology, he adds, 'Our analysers are the best in the world, so it is logical that we should partner with the best rental company and we look forward to being able to expand the availability of this remarkable technology.'

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