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Wheal Jane Laboratory

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Dock crane incident analysis

As recent posts have demonstrated, our laboratory is providing analytical services for an increasingly diverse range of projects, the recent incident at Falmouth Docks involving the collapse of a giant crane being a good example.

Following the collapse, a 200m exclusion zone was established as the crane had fallen onto ten acetylene cylinders (rather than the Royal Navy vessel moored alongside). Once the potential danger of the cylinders was resolved and the area deemed safe, the task of salvage and removal could begin. It was at this stage that the Wheal Jane Laboratory was approached to analyse material from the cabin panels which it was believed might contain high levels of lead.

Our laboratory’s capability, including ‘large sample mode’ XRF, enabled whole segments of panel to be analysed without extensive sample preparation. The chemical profile provided by the analysis enabled appropriate and safe disposal of the panels to take place quickly.

A sample of panel material is pictured, along with a print of the complex XRF analysis of the paint.

27th July 2017

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