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Using TraceX® Explosive Detection Kit with Scrap Metal

Scrap Metal is Valuable
Scrap metal is very valuable commodity. It comes from industrial and residential sources such as old vehicles, pipes, wires and excess industrial material. Scrap metals such as copper, steel, aluminum, and brass receive a high price, because they can be recycled for use in a new product. Scrap metal is typically sorted and processed at a scrap yard, and then compressed, shredded and/or baled so that it can be weighed to determine its value. Eventually, the scrap metal is melted for re-use at a smelting facility. The value of scrap metal can fluctuate widely over time, based on the value of the metals in the commodity markets. The scrap metal recycling market in the United States alone is estimated to have a value of over $100 Billion, and it is expected to grow at rates substantially above growth rates for the overall economy.

Scrap Metal is Valuable

Military Scrap Metal Can Be Valuable and Dangerous
Military scrap metal can be especially valuable because it often contains copper and other specialty metals, such as those used in armored vehicles and tanks. While most military scrap metal is harmless, some can be dangerous, if it contains explosive material from sources such as mortars, ammunition, or mines. This danger can be on a small scale when someone brings a single unexploded ordnance to a scrap yard, or on a large scale when large amounts of war scrap are transported in shipping containers for recycling. Explosive scrap metal has caused injuries and death to workers at scrap metal yards in many countries.


A Brief Case Study: India
India has a vibrant and lucrative scrap metal recycling industry. Scrap metal from around the world is sent to India where it is processed and re-used. Sadly, India has experienced tragedies when workers were killed processing military scrap metal which contained explosives. The Indian government responded to this situation by creating a system where scrap metal imported into India must be inspected. A company must be approved by The Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to provide inspection of scrap metal. The approved companies are called Pre Shipment Inspection Agencies (PSIA) and they must issue a Pre Shipment Inspection Certificate (PSIC) for scrap metal entering India. The PSIAs inspect scrap metal for radiation and explosive material to ensure that they are safe.

Explosives Detection Can Be Difficult and Expensive
Detecting explosives in scrap metal is an important task, but it can be difficult to find the right tool. Pre shipment inspection agencies need an explosive detection capability that is reliable and cost-effective. While handheld explosive detection instruments can be accurate, they are often fragile and their use requires a great deal of specialized training, a large budget and regular maintenance. A more effective method of explosive detection is needed for issuing a pre shipment inspection certificate.

Colorimetric explosive test kits are often preferred over electronic detectors because they are more rugged, require less training and are lower cost. However, they often require the user to mix chemicals, perform serial analyses, conduct multiple swabs or tests, and then use a chart to interpret the results. Said plainly, most colorimetric explosives test kits are too difficult to use. Even worse, many explosive test kits can expose the user to dangerous chemicals, and expose the kit to contamination from the environment or the user, leading to unreliable results. See a comparison of the different types of colorimetric explosive test kits.

TraceX Explosive Detection Kit is Affordable and Easy to Use
The TraceX explosives detection kit is much more convenient. Simple to use and low cost, the user can be trained to use the kit by viewing a twelve minute training video. See more about Training for TraceX here. With a single swab, the TraceX explosives detection kit detects all the major families of explosive materials and their precursors. Thanks to the TraceX's simple color-change alert system, a single color indicates the presence of a particular family of explosive material. No longer does the user have to conduct serial tests, and then try to interpret the results. This brief video clip shows a TraceX explosives detection kit detecting ammonium nitrate. Explosive detecting has never been easier.

More about TraceX
The TraceX explosive detection kit was developed by Morphix Technologies under contract from the US Department of Defense, so you know it's tough. It is small enough to fit in a cargo pocket, lightweight and rugged. Each TraceX explosive detection kit comes in its own disposable protective plastic case, so it will be ready to use when needed. No more broken ampoules from rough handling, as can happen with other colorimetric explosive test kits. And, the innovative collection system protects the sample from user contamination, so you can have confidence in the result. As the name implies, TraceX is sensitive enough to be used for trace explosives detection but may be used for bulk detection too. For more information, view the TraceX brochure.

The TraceX explosives detector is available in boxes of five kits. Just request part number 510100.

TraceX explosives detection kit. Rugged. Reliable. Easy to Use.