The Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) is seeking to replace its existing infrared spectrometer which is more than 20 years old with a modern Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectrometer. It is intended that the new instrument will enable HSL to continue Infra-red spectroscopy and provide the possibility of use of other techniques in the future.
HSL carry out quantitative analysis of respirable crystalline silica (RCS), in particular quartz, as well as polymers, other solid organic materials and oils. The current instrument is also used to carry out quality assurance testing of proficiency testing (PT) samples of respirable quartz prepared in the laboratory. These PT samples require replicate batches of up to 100 samples to be analysed with a co-efficient of variation of 3% or less.
A variety of techniques and accessories are used with the existing instrument, in particular diffuse reflectance and attenuated total reflectance (ATR). Ideally HSL would want to use similar or bespoke accessories with the new instrument and to have the flexibility to use other techniques or accessories in the future, e.g. microscopy or remote probes.
The existing instrument has an optimum spectral range of 370 – 7800 cm-1 and a maximum resolution of 0.2 cm-1. The new instrument should have a similar specification. The sample compartment on the existing instrument is 19 cm wide. In order to be able to use our existing accessories we would like the sample compartment on the new instrument to be of a similar size, although this may not be necessary if the new instrument is supplied with bespoke accessories.
The new instrument can be a bench top design or a more portable instrument but, ideally, should have a footprint of no more than 80 cm × 80 cm. The instrument will handle about 1500 samples per annum, mainly quartz on membrane filters, which relates to a running time of about 500 hours (max). The instrument should be controlled, and the data captured, by PC. The equipment should be compatible with Windows operating systems, using a non-networked PC with a suitable connection to control the instrument. The software should include a search library facility to aid identification of sample spectra and compilation of user spectral libraries. To ensure compatibility with our existing data and library search software, the instrument software must be capable of loading and saving data as JCAMP-DX (*.dx) files.
To assist HSL in developing a specification, we are inviting prospective suppliers to provide demonstration(s) of their proposed instrument(s) and or the possible test of samples. This pre-market engagement will enable us to better determine our specification before we commence a competitive tender exercise.
Should you wish to Express an Interest in the supply and are willing to provide a demonstration and or test sample analysis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line FTIR Spectrometer Demonstration with your contact details (name, title, company name, company address, direct contact number, email address).