A HISTORY OF INTEGRITY
Sheffield Analytical Services is a division of the Assay Office in Sheffield, where precious metals have been analysed and hallmarked for over 245 years.
The hallmarking of silver, gold and platinum alloys provides a guarantee of quality and purity and it is this exacting regime of integrity, protection and guarantee which has been extended into other areas of analysis by the Analytical Services (AS) division.
The services now offered by Sheffield Analytical Services are undoubtedly very different to the Office's origins in hallmarking, but the same values of independence and honesty underpin everything we do.
Although it has grown from a business rooted in history, Sheffield Analytical Services is at the cutting edge of technology and innovation.
Its superbly equipped laboratories and highly qualified personnel are widely acknowledged for both the extensive range of specialist testing and analysis procedures and the impressive expertise - which resulted in AS being one of the first laboratories in the UK to be awarded UKAS accreditation (0012) to ISO 17025 standard.
Since being accredited in 1982, Sheffield Analytical Services have achieved the notable landmark of 40 years continuous accreditation - a considerable achievement given that the rigorous assessment is carried out every year.
Analytical Services also operates its own policy of continuous improvement to ensure that it sets the benchmark, investing each year in industry state-of-the-art equipment and professional development for its technical personnel.
Sheffield Analytical Services is comprehensively equipped to offer an extremely wide range of testing and analytical services.
Although the services were initially developed for the jewellery trade, they now apply to and are used by a diverse range of businesses and industries which must ensure that they too can offer consumer protection and integrity of product.
The furnace facilities and laboratories are utilised for services as varied as the smelting and assay of bullion samples, metals analysis, medical research, plating thickness measurement, mineral analysis, textile testing and land contamination investigations.
The range and scope of the work which passes through Sheffield Analytical Services each year calls for extensive expertise...
NICKEL AND OTHER JEWELLERY TESTING
Sheffield Analytical Services is a leading authority in the testing of jewellery, fashion accessories and other everyday items to comply with the current EC Nickel Directive and other areas of concern.
Nickel can cause allergic reactions when released onto the skin from items such as watches, necklaces, earrings and even cutlery.
The increasing popularity of fashion jewellery in particular has thrown this issue into sharp focus.
Clients include many high street retailers who are committed to protecting their consumers from nickel release - and also manufacturers, importers and wholesalers who must provide an assurance of compliance for their products.
Operating a policy of continual development in the area of consumer protection, Sheffield Analytical Services has recently been approved by the US CPSC for the testing of Lead in surface coatings and substrates. AS is also experienced in EN71 part 3 analysis for Lead, Cadmium and other elements of concern.
To keep abreast of the demands imposed by the REACH regulations AS has added the testing of Azo dyes and Phthalates to the list of services offered, and can also provide a comprehensive range of tests for Leather goods.
MELT AND ASSAY OF BULLION SAMPLES
Respected worldwide, the confidential melt and assay service offered by Sheffield Assay Office Analytical Services provides an accurate and independent evaluation of the precious metal content of a mixed 'parcel' of scrap metal. A stamped, homogenous and assayed bar is produced, with an accompanying certificate, and returned to the client for disposal.
Analysis of bars supplied by the client is also undertaken.
The UK Mercury Screening Service (UKMSS) was initially developed in London by Dr. Peter Warren (retired), who was Health and Safety Consultant to the Eastman Dental Institute.
Such has been the demand that the UKMSS now operates from Sheffield Analytical Services, which provides a comprehensive service to assess occupational exposure to mercury for Dentists and associated personnel, and those who work with mercury in an industrial environment.
PLATING THICKNESS MEASUREMENT
Plating thickness measurement can be verified using both destructive and non-destructive (XRF) tests.
Articles of all shapes and sizes, with both precious and non-precious coatings on varied substrates can be measured for :
Layer thicknessCompositionMaterial ConformityWear testing
The composition of an alloy can be determined by a number of analytical techniques. This can be used as a specification check for confirming the quality or properties of a product and is used throughout the supply chain.
DURABILITY AND WEAR TESTING
Durability and Wear testing are carried out using specific jigs and repeated oscillations to simulate several years of wear.
Tarnish and Corrosion Resistance testing are available to determine if articles exhibit a resistance to tarnish. There are several tests that may be performed which expose the articles to common tarnish accelerants - from controlled atmospheric conditions to salt water corrosion resistance procedures.
METALS AND MINERALS ANALYSIS
The ever-increasing contractual and legal obligations of manufacturing industries have resulted in companies placing analysis with independent accredited laboratories.
Such is the case where material specification is monitored, or where effluent is to comply with discharge criteria.
Additionally, occupational exposure standards stipulate maximum permitted workplace airborne dusts and particulate levels present during manufacturing.
In all of these areas Sheffield Analytical Services can assist by provision of an independent report which may be used to support, for example, due diligence, material specifications or observance of HSE guidelines.
The expertise in metals analysis (non-precious) available to our customers has been developed and enhanced over more than 32 years. With the use of ICP spectroscopy, and the application of UKAS accreditation, precise elemental compositions can be reported, tailored to the customer's specific needs. We are able to report: -
Major constituents (certifying conformity to a manufacturing specification) Ingot manufacturers, magnet alloys, stainless steels, raw materials etc.Trace elements (where maximum or required addition levels are stipulated) Liquid effluent from electroplating plant Personal monitoring (airborne dust levels) Trace heavy metals Soils analysis
We are also able to report on the metal 'families' including : base, strategic, minor, brasses, bronzes, aluminium, stainless steels, toxic, heavy....
There are many reasons why metals are analysed in healthcare, for example:-
Product development Batch analysis for trace elements Verification of materials specification Research projects
In general, healthcare clients have individual specifications designed to meet regulatory requirements and Sheffield Analytical Services will meet those needs with an individually tailored response.