The Triathler – helping to maintain a clear line of sight

19 October 2016

The Hidex Triathler can be called upon to provide fast and reliable results for a whole host of applications. Although mainly used in the life science and environmental sectors, the instrument’s capabilities are also well suited for testing manufactured products.

One particular area of interest is the manufacture and servicing of night sights for various firearms such as rifles and pistols. Many modern weapons feature night sights which use tritium, the advantage being that they are self-illuminating, requiring no outside power source, indeed they are completely passive in that regard. These sights use small capsules of pressurised tritium gas, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, embedded within them. The tritium is perpetually decaying, releasing off beta radiation into its surroundings. The beta radiation collides with a phosphor compound that lines the inner walls of the capsule, exciting phosphor particles which produce visible light that the user of the weapon can see. There is no off switch here, this process continues for as long as the tritium is active. With a half-life of 12.5 years, tritium will take that long for it to lose half of its illumination potential, resulting in sights that are half as bright. This means years of constant illumination before there is any noticeable fade.

For manufacturers of these products, testing the integrity of the completed sights is a crucial part of the production process. This is where an instrument such as the Triathler can really prove its worth. Compact and low cost, the Triathler is a single sample counter which provides fast and reliable results for regulatory wipe tests. It is also ideal for detecting tritium, simply by loading a sample and pressing a single button. A perfect solution for a busy manufacturing environment.