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Niton UK has published a whitepaper highlighting the benefits of portable, handheld XRF instruments for positive material identification (PMI).

With this becoming a requirement both on site, under the API 510/570/653 standards, and for suppliers in the petrochemical and process industries, handheld instruments have an increasing part to play, according to the company.

The whitepaper identifies why PMI is now a necessity because of accidents that have occurred at plants where components of the wrong materials have been fitted.

Items such as valves, flanges, pipes, pumps and fasteners need to be made of the correct material and should not be substituted, even accidentally, to maintain the integrity of the plant installation.

The paper includes sections on the science of XRF, the latest advances in detector technology, the ability to analyse the welds and filler material used to join components and the facility to take digital images for reference and evidence.

Also included is a discussion of the role of handheld XRF in PMI testing, including the need for suitable operator training to the latest API standard.

Niton claims that the only truly safe method of implementing PMI is to inspect and evaluate 100 per cent of all components being utilised in the critical elements of an installation.

The most appropriate and the safest time to undertake this is not only as the component parts arrive on site or are taken from the store, but also once they have been physically installed.

Instruments such as the newly introduced Niton Goldd handheld XRF analysers are compact and lightweight, allowing operators and inspectors to carry and utilise them in almost all situations, including when working at height or similar.

Their operation is also much faster, providing a laboratory-quality chemical analysis and a positive identification in two to five seconds.

The whitepaper is available as a printed or an electronic PDF file from Niton UK, which published the document in association with Tom Anderson and Jon Shein of Thermo Scientific.

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