PANalyticals comprehensive range of XRF systems and reference standards enable industry to meet the challenges set by the new EU RoHS and WEEE directives and to monitor levels of regulated substances covered by other important environmental legislation such as ELV (End-of-Life Vehicles directive) and the EU packaging directive (EPD) as well as emerging legislations in other parts of the world.
From 1 July this year, new electrical and electronic equipment that contain more than the agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants will be banned from the EU.
These measures impact on manufacturers around the world, and affect a wide range of products - from computers and telecommunications equipment, to domestic appliances and electronic tools, toys and automatic dispensers.
X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) has emerged as a most cost-effective solution for compliance analysis. Within a broad product portfolio, PANalytical offers a range of systems and a complete solution to support industry in their efforts. Products include the EDXRF benchtop MiniPal 4 system for quick pre-screening, the polarized EDXRF spectrometer Epsilon 5 for the low-level determination of heavy metals, and the Axios range of advanced WDXRF systems for precise quantitative analysis of bulk raw materials in process and quality control applications. Furthermore the company offers TOXEL, a set of certified calibration standards for the analysis of toxic metals in polyethylene.
Whilst legislation is not prescriptive about analytical methods, responses to EU consultations during the framing of its new directives - and submissions from industry bodies - are enthusiastic about the use of the XRF technique. Furthermore, the IEC Committee has already identified the effectiveness of XRF for the qualitative and quantitative screening of Cd, Pb, Hg, Br and Cr in homogeneous materials.
"Users of PANalytical spectrometers benefit from the technique's simple, essentially hazard-free, sample preparation and, because XRF is a multi-element technique, one single measurement program can be used for all applicable elements. Analysis is completed in a matter of minutes. Metals and plastics can often be measured directly - without any pre-treatment. Where sample preparation is necessary, PANalytical offers a choice of grinding, milling and pressing systems - together with application support - to provide a complete solution," comments Femke de Beurs, Product Manager for RoHS/WEEE solutions at the company's headquarters in Almelo, The Netherlands. "Importantly, PANalytical's global network of service centers and teams of application specialists support more customers and cover more countries than any other manufacturer of analytical X-ray equipment."