Norfolk Calibration Services is open for business as usual throughout this pandemic, as we're an essential service providing support to the public and private sectors.

Our testing service uses an XRF analyser for independent screening tests on retail products such as toys and jewellery. It also helps determine the composition of metals for industry.

What is XRF?

XRF is short for X-Ray Fluorescence. This refers to the emission of ‘secondary’ x-ray radiation from an element which we bombard with ‘primary’ x-ray radiation.

The 'primary' radiation is from an external source. We call the emission of this secondary radiation ‘fluorescence’. Its measurement provides the mechanism for XRF spectrometry.

XRF spectrometry is often used to determine the elemental composition of materials. It's used in fields such as metallurgy, geology, environmental analysis and forensics.

XRF spectrometry and associated handheld instruments have become a powerful tool. They provide rapid results in:

  • The grading of metals
  • Detection of contaminants
  • Many other applications

Our main use of XRF is to detect the presence of metals within toys. This is to ensure the levels don't exceed permitted tolerances, or to find prohibited metals.

The XRF analyser provides quick results, so we can offer our screening test services at very competitive prices.

The screening tests are usually non-destructive and provide detailed reports. You can then compare this against a standard, regulation or specification.

Businesses and organisations supported by testing

Importers of toys or consumer products

Our screening test service helps you meet your due diligence requirements for imported products.

Each item tested receives a certificate with details of the metals found within. You can then compare this against the relevant legislation to determine its compliance.

The screening test helps identify items that may need further investigation. This reduces the number of items sent for a full investigative test, which saves you time and money.

Guidance for importers within England, Northern Ireland and Wales is on the GOV.UK website.

Jewellers and auction houses

Our screening test service provides a report on the levels of fineness of precious metals within an item, such as a piece of jewellery.

This lets you know whether you can send the item for hallmarking at the Assay Office, or how you describe it for sale.

Further guidance on hallmarking and exemptions is available on the Assay Office website.

Metal fabrication and suppliers

We can use our XRF analyser to determine the quality of the product supplied to you. We'll analyse a sample of the supplied product for its composition.

We then use the results to determine:

  • The exact makeup of the product
  • If it meets the specification of the grade ordered

This helps you ensure the product supplied meets the declared specification and that it's suitable for its intended use.

Trading Standards services

The screening test is quick, affordable and helps identify items that may need further investigation. This reduces the number of items sent for a full investigative test, which saves you time and money.

You'll have more funds available to target problem items and protect consumers. For example, we can perform screening tests against The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011.

We'll then produce a report that shows if the item meets the regulation requirements. We show this with a pass, fail or inconclusive option.

Service delivery

We aim to test items, issue a screening test report and despatch the items to you within 10 working days of receipt.

If you don't need your items returning after testing, we're currently able to dispose of them for free.

If you have submitted duplicate items and we haven't tested them, we can dispose of them.

If an item is in its retail packaging and its duplicate has been assessed as satisfactory, you can donate it to a charity shop.