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Using its Fischerscope XDV-SDD, Fischer Instrumentation has demonstrated how continuing developments in X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology can combat the high incidence of heavy metals in toys and other household items.

In the European Union, children’s toys are subject to both the toy safety directive and the DIN EN 71 standard, but this has still not prevented cases of contaminated toys, even within Europe. However, with the developments in XRF technology as a cost-effective, fast and non-destructive testing method, such cases could be eliminated.

According to the company, XRF analysis is a straightforward method for the quick and non-destructive determination of the concentrations of lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals.

Table 1 shows the detection limits for various plastics measured with a Fischerscope XDV-SDD. Average values are shown for a brown ABS sample (as well as standard deviations in brackets) and the figures show that the limiting values for antimony, arsenic, barium and chromium have been exceeded. In this way, the precise measurement results can be checked against the prescribed limiting values.

Table 1

Key information

  • The Fischerscope XDV-SDD is used as a screening method, reducing the need to carry out destructive and time-consuming wet chemical analysis on each and every batch of samples.
  • On a warning that a given value has been exceeded, further wet chemical analyses can be carried out to cross-check the result.
  • A clear advantage of this method is that pollutant concentration can be measured very selectively, for example on the painted eye of a plastic figure.
  • Using the XRF XDV, an entire batch can be tested quickly, enabling the selective removal of individual contaminated parts — which might never have been detected in random tests.
  • A further advantage is that the concentration of all heavy metals can be determined simultaneously in one measurement step.

Fischer Instrumentation

Fischer Instrumentation (GB) Ltd is based in Lymington, Hampshire, and is part of the Helmut-Fischer Group — innovative market leaders in the field of coating thickness measurement, material analysis and micro-hardness testing. With more than 60 years of continual research and development in these fields, the company is able to recommend the best measurement or coating analysis solution for any industrial or research application.

Fischer Instrumentation (GB) Ltd is based in Lymington, Hampshire, and is part of the Helmut-Fischer Group — innovative market leaders in the field of coating thickness measurement, material analysis and micro-hardness testing. With more than 60 years of continual research and development in these fields, the company is able to recommend the best measurement or coating analysis solution for any industrial or research application.

Industry expertise

Fischer Instrumentation in the UK is particularly strong in the aerospace, automotive, military and defence, electronics and finishing sectors, with an extensive instrument range suited also to the fastening industry, pipe and marine industries and paint processing.

Desktop coating thickness and material analysis

Fischer Instrumentation’s coating thickness measurement and materials analysis range encompasses highly flexbile, multifunction Fischerscope MMS PC2 bench systems and a full range of X-ray fluorescence spectrometers. Fischerscope X-ray satisfies requirements in the laboratory and in manufacturing, whether determining single or multiple coatings on the smallest structures and on large components, trace analysis required by RoHS, the testing of jewellery and gold or inline measurements in continuous production.

Handheld gauges for coating thickness and material analysis

Fischer Instrumentation offers a comprehensive range of eddy-current and magnetic-induction handhelds from budget to the high-tech FMP100 and FMP150, which have extensive measurement, evaluation and statistical functionality when used with Fischer’s probe technology and Fischer’s data centre. The Deltascope, Isoscope and Dualscope FMP10-40 ranges cover most industry and laboratory measurement and analysis needs. In addition, the Fischer MPO and MPOR offer practical shop-floor cost-efficient coating measurement capability and the Sigmascope SMP10 and Ferritescope specialist gauges determine electrical conductivity and ferrite content respectively.

Micro-hardness testing systems

Fischer Instrumentation has developed a range of nano- and micro-hardness testing systems to meet more challenging laboratory needs and to exceed the requirements of DIN ISO 14677, which specifies the method of instrumented indentation test for the determination of hardness and other materials parameters for the three ranges of macro, micro and nano.

Service

Fischer Instrumentation has a heritage of excellent service and dedicated service engineers are on hand to maintain the Fischer instrument range.  Fischer Instrumentation also offers remote servicing and telephone help.

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