Measured Science: A LECO Podcast

May 7, 2021

LECO recently said farewell to our former Corporate Metallurgist, Dave Coulston. Anyone who worked with our metallographic experts in the past fifteen years undoubtedly got to experience his expertise. In honor of Dave's retirement, we welcomed him onto LECO's podcast: Measured Science.

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Focusing on the Field of View

May 7, 2021

VX4

When magnification was as simple as one eyepiece and one objective, finding your total magnification was as easy as multiplying the two values together. The addition of film brought a third value to the equation, but the result remained a static, concrete number.

And then along came the computer.

With a huge variety of video camera chips and monitor sizes and camera couplers and screen resolution, suddenly viewing something at 500X magnification became much more challenging. There was no way to take into account all of the permutations possible. For example, even if two systems were otherwise exactly the same, but one had a 23" monitor and the other had a 24" monitor, the magnification would be different.

It was time to replace the magnification focus with a different way of looking at things: the Field of View (F.O.V.)

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How to Improve Your Metallographic Mounts

May 4, 2021

Bakelite, Lucite, epoxy, or acrylic? Hot or cold? Compression or castable? With all of the options available for mounting materials, it can be difficult to know which one is the best option for your sample or why it even matters. However, your choice of mounting material is important, and it can affect the final quality of your prepared sample.

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Automated Analysis with bilacon® and the TGA801

April 30, 2021

200630_TGA801_450pxRunning and maintaining a full analytical laboratory can be more cost than a company can afford, but what other options are there for a small business looking for quality control and regulatory compliance? Independent testing and consulting laboratories groups such as the Tentamus Group, can fill that gap. One of its laboratories, bilacon, specializes in the safety of food, feed, food supplements, and cosmetics. 

In a recent interview with eFOOD-Lab International, Benjamin Ende, a state-certified food chemist with bilacon, talked about the benefits of LECO's TGA801 thermogravimetric analyzer in his lab's day-to-day operations.

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Discovering DDT: How GCxGC is uncovering an environmental disaster

April 23, 2021

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean, in Seal Beach, California.For years, environmentalists have known about the contamination of DDT in the ocean waters off the California coast. Montrose Chemical Corporation, the largest producer of DDT in the United States from 1947 until 1982, was infamously dumping chemical waste from their manufacturing process into the sewer system, contaminating the Palos Verde Shelf and eventually requiring the area to be designated as a Superfund site in an attempt to clean up the environmental damage. However, the known DDT contamination did not seem to be enough to explain the abnormally high cancer rates in the local sea lions.

Chasing a hunch, David Valentine, a professor of geochemistry and microbiology at UC Santa Barbara, dove deeper.

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LECO Analytical Applications Poster Competition

April 9, 2021

The LECO Analytical Applications Poster Competition (LA2PC) 2020-2021 recently wrapped up, showcasing 15 incredible posters highlighting the applications of LECO instruments in our users' work and research. A hearty congratulations goes to our winnersKarl Hornsby, Martin J. Taylor, Vasiliki Skoulou | University of Hull, Peter Hurst | Biorenewables Development Centre – BDC, and Simon Walker | Jesmond Engineering Limited. Their poster, "Pretreating lignocellulosic biomass wastes for the next generation of solid fuels" is a fantastic look into the search for new solid fuels.

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Using GCxGC to see MOSH and MOAH

April 1, 2021

LECO Pegasus BT 4DFood contamination by mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH), which is usually separated into the subclasses of MOSH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons) and MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons), is a growing concern across the EU and the world. In 2012, the European Food Safety Authority flagged them as a potential health concern, and the increasing research since then has only been expanding our understanding of these hydrocarbons. However, the two main analytical methods suggested to quantify these substances, either an off-line method consisting of a solid phase extraction (SPE) followed by a GC-FID analysis or an on-line, LC-GC-FID method, both can result in inaccuracies and leads to challenges in the end results. Some of these inaccuracies are due to the lack of a strong and robust confirmatory method. However, a GCxGC-TOFMS system, like LECO's Pegasus® BT 4D can help unveil the complexity of contaminated food samples. It has also been suggested by the EFSA to be used as a confirmatory tool in case of uncertain results from other standard methods.

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Thermogravimetrically Testing Biomass

March 19, 2021

200630_TGA801_450pxSo many factors go into the quality and characterization of plants and biomass, but many thermogravimetric analyses take so much time. Drying, ashing, and weighing multiple samples takes effort and care just to control for atmospheric effects, much less to actually get precise results that can then be used to analyze the quality and structure of the plants. LECO's TGA801 is an automated thermogravimetric analyzer designed to take the time out of the testing.

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Pittcon 2021: Now More Than Ever

February 19, 2021

Despite the struggles of the past year, Pittcon has chosen to host their annual expo on schedule via a virtual venue. The premier conference on analytical chemistry and scientific instrumentation is needed now more than ever. In an era when scientific breakthroughs can lead to life-saving developments, collaboration and networking among experts is vital. LECO is proud to be joining the first-ever fully-digital Pittcon expo.

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ChromaTOF® Tile for GCxGC Analyses

January 29, 2021

LECO has released a revolutionary new data analysis software for GCxGC data: ChromaTOF Tile. This software provides an industry-first data comparison tool that identifies statistically significant differences between classes of samples, reducing days-to- weeks of work down to hours, or even minutes. Based on Dr. Robert Synovec’s tile-based Fisher ratio analysis, ChromaTOF Tile partitions the data into a set of regions (tiles) and compares regionalized data. This allows it to disregard normal variances of alignment shifts to focus on where the actual differences are, so users can stop looking at their data and start actually using it.

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