23 Sep 2015
Derby, UK - Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, has used its advanced digital radiography technology to support the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in their environmental research on the Antarctic ice sheet.
BAS, an institute of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is researching the Antarctic ice sheet to discover if recent changes are unprecedented, man-made or related to geological processes that started in the past, and also to predict the future of the ice sheet. The international project began in 2005 and a team of scientists led by Dr James Smith, a marine geologist, sailed to the continent where they drilled into the ocean floor to recover sediments. The BAS scientists analyse the extracted sediment core as it is an ‘archive’ to what has previously taken place geologically in the Antarctic and gives a detailed picture of what the environment was like at a particular given time in history.
The use of X-ray is one of BAS’s research techniques and Intertek’s radiography department based in Derby has been providing both conventional and digital radiography to Dr Smith’s team to help them study the sediment core. Initially BAS used conventional radiography but switched to digital radiography in 2015 on Intertek’s recommendations. The benefits of digital X-ray include increased resolution and images that can be enhanced and manipulated for easier viewing and interpretation. Radiographic testing – both conventional and digital – is a non-destructive testing method, therefore the sediment core remains intact and can be used again for analysis with other research techniques.  
The digital images of the sediment core can reveal much scientific data including changes in grain sizes (which are related to environmental processes), magnetic properties and fossils and algae. Findings from BAS’s ongoing research project are presented to the scientific community and international conferences. And if the findings are relevant, the research is presented to government departments such as DEFRA to help with policy making in issues such as sea defences.
Dr Smith said: “Intertek is one of the few organisations that can accommodate our unique X-ray requirements as our sediment samples are large and can be 10 metres in length. Their digital X-ray service provides us with very detailed images and information, and we are pleased to work with Intertek.”
Simon Taylor, Radiographic Production supervisor at Intertek, said: “It is an immense privilege to be working with BAS and we are pleased to support their important environmental research with our digital radiography services.”
Intertek’s non-destructive testing laboratory is based at Victory Park in Derby. The company supports a wide range of industries including aerospace,  rail, general engineering, power generation, construction and petrochemical with its diverse range of non-destructive testing methods. These methods include digital radiography, ultrasonic testing and eddy current testing.

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About Intertek
Intertek is a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide. From auditing and inspection, to testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Intertek adds value for its customers by helping improve the quality and safety of their products, assets and processes. With a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 38,000 people in more than 100 countries, Intertek supports companies’ success in the global marketplace, by helping customers to meet end users’ expectations for safety, sustainability, performance, integrity and desirability in virtually any market worldwide. Visit www.intertek.com.