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Asbestos Testing & Sampling

Bulk sample analysis involves the examination of a representative sample of a material thought to contain asbestos type materials.

In an analytical laboratory, the sample is first examined by eye, and then a more detailed examination is undertaken using a low power (x20) stereo microscope. Fibres observed in the course of these examinations are categorised tentatively on the observable physical characteristics and, on this basis, are drawn from the sample and placed in the appropriate Refractive Index (RI) liquid.

Once mounted in the correct RI liquid, the fibres are then positively identified as one of the six regulated asbestos types on the basis of their detailed optical properties using polarised light microscopy (PLM) with a magnification of x150.

As necessary, one or more representative sub-samples may be prepared mechanically and / or chemically for further examination. A good example of the need to take sub-samples is with Vinyl Floor Tiles, where the tile itself might contain asbestos and / or the bitumen adhesive layer might contain asbestos.

Based on the type(s) of asbestos fibres contained in the sample, the look of the sample and the description of the sample from the sampler, Gloucester Asbestos Ltd will classify each sample as one of the following:

  • Asbestos Insulation / Coating - pipe insulation, limpet, sprayed flock

  • Asbestos Insulating Board - sheets, panels

  • Asbestos Cement - sheets, panels, rainwater goods, pipes

  • Textured Coatings - artex

  • Asbestos Textiles / Paper - ropes, cloth, gaskets, washers, strings

  • Well-bound Material - bitumen roof felts, sink pads

  • Reinforced Composites - vinyl floor tiles, toilet seats, window sills

  • Swab Samples can also be taken to identify general dust/debris

Contact us now to discuss your requirements

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