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Asbestos management - UKAS Surveying, Consultancy & Training

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)Working with a partner organisation, we can now offer Airborne asbestos fibre determination and fibre counting using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) and EDS (Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy).

Use of a Scanning Electron Microscope now enables magnification of up to 200,000x, with fibre counting at 2000x, as opposed to 500x magnification when using a Phase Contrast Optical Microscope (PCOM) method. X-ray diffraction enables identification of the fibre type i.e. differentiates asbestos from other non-asbestos fibres and also determining whether the asbestos fibres present are Chrysotile or one of the Amphibole (Amosite, Crocidolite, Anthophyllite, Actinolite, Tremolite) forms.

To put that in perspective, these images show a fly under the lens of a scanning electron microscope magnified by 112x, 360x and 1280x.