Latest News and Application Notes

Excellence in GC-MS Applications

June 30, 2023

GC-MS has proven its worth as a powerful analytical tool in many labs around the world, but this technology has more uses than routine analyses. LECO partnered with The Analytical Scientist, Restek, Axel Semrau, and GL Sciences, to launch an Application Challenge to find the most impressive uses of GC-MS technology, and we've never been more excited about the future of this field. From paint varnish to water quality, GC-MS is proving useful in more places than we've ever imagined.

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Selecting the Right Hardness Test Block

June 23, 2023

Hardness testing is one of the quickest and easiest ways to check product quality or process results, with very little sample prep needed and simple tests that can be taught in a matter of minutes (you can read more about metallographic neophytes learning the AMH55 in an earlier blog post!), but one critical step in the testing process is checking the calibration of the instrument. To verify the hardness test results are, in fact, accurate, the hardness tester must be proved to be accurate. Various standards for hardness testing have various frequencies for checking calibration, but all of them require it up front. Checking the calibration of a hardness tester is as simple as using a test block. This is a block with a certified hardness number at a certain force for a certain type of hardness test. Figuring out what those levels are, however, can get confusing.

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Scorched Soils: Determining Moisture Content with the TGM800 and TGA801

June 16, 2023

Moisture levels in soil are important to know when growing plants. In addition to being a necessary component of photosynthesis, the moisture in soil acts as a carrier for a plant's essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and carbon. Knowing the moisture content of your soil enables you to properly balance the nutrient density and correct for moisture issues. Traditional manual drying methods have been lab-tried and -tested, but they can feel like relics of the past as today's lab is tasked to do more with less time.

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GCxGC Data Handling: ChromaTOF Tile

June 9, 2023

While time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) was first proposed in 1946, the technology simply didn't exist to allow for fast enough processing speeds to make it widely viable until 1995, when the Fast Chromatographic Detector was debuted at Pittcon. This group went on to join LECO and create the world's first commercial GC-TOFMS, the Pegasus®, in 1997. Ever since then, technological capabilities have exploded. One-dimensional GC-TOFMS and multi-dimensional GCxGC-TOFMS are powerful and provide rich and highly informative data. If you have a number of samples to study, the volume of data produced might seem overwhelming.  However, LECO's data analysis add-ons for ChromaTOF® brand software, ChromaTOF Tile and ChromaTOF Sync, have once again pushed GC-TOFMS capabilities beyond what was previously feasible.

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Online Demonstrations: Explore LECO Simulators

June 2, 2023

Any new technology comes with a learning curve. Whether it's finding the locations of buttons on a new remote or re-establishing your settings on a new phone, a change in equipment often means time spent learning how to use the new equipment instead of actually using the new equipment. This process is extended when there are multiple users. Ease of use becomes an important factor in a purchasing decision, and often, it may seem easiest to stick with a familiar brand just because it's already known. But familiarity doesn't mean most efficient, or even easiest. When every manufacturer promises "simple" and "user-friendly" design, how can you know you have the best solution?

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Guaranteed Analysis: Moisture and Ash

May 26, 2023

Unlike the detailed list of nutritional requirements for human food, pet food in North America must only report on four main values in their Guaranteed Analysis on the label: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Additional nutrients must be included if they are called out specifically on the label, but manufacturers can also voluntarily add more nutrients to provide consumers with more information or further demonstrate the nutritional value of their products. Surprisingly, one such voluntary "nutrient" that frequently appears on labels is "ash."  However, the presence of ash in the Guaranteed Analysis does not indicate the presence of literal ash in the food; instead, it explains the process through which the mineral content is determined.

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Global Mass Spectrometry Applications Meeting

May 19, 2023

From May 8-12, over fifty members of LECO's global Mass Spectrometry team and international leadership filled our customer experience center in Saint Joseph, Michigan. Sales and application representatives from over 25 different countries—Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and more!—joined with our local research and development team to share knowledge and ideas. It was a fantastic week of collaboration as we strengthened our bonds as one LECO around the world.

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Kjeldahl vs Dumas: Determining Protein

May 5, 2023

Ever since its development in 1883, the Kjeldahl method of protein determination had been the standard in laboratories across the world. It wasn't until the 1990s that the Dumas method began acquiring a foothold. Though the Dumas method was technically older than the Kjeldahl, only recent technological developments have made it easily accessible to labs, and "easily accessible" is certainly one way to describe the modern Dumas method of protein determination, especially how LECO does it.

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Special Series: GC-MS with The Analytical Scientist

April 28, 2023

The world of GC-MS applications is constantly expanding, growing into novel applications and improving classical uses. To celebrate the advancements of this powerful technology, LECO and The Analytical Scientist created an eBook that takes a look at some of the emerging uses of GC-MS. From measuring volcanic emissions to predict eruptions to developing the ultimate untargeted technique with GCxGC-MS, these articles explore a variety of topics.

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Spring has Sprung: Fatigue Fracture Surface Evaluation by Optical Microscopy

April 21, 2023

Most fasteners are essentially springs, and when these fasteners fail it is usually abrupt, "out of nowhere," and caused by fatigue. Fatigue failure is estimated to account for 80-90% of all fastener breaks. However, by its very definition, fatigue damage happens over time, due to repeated loading that stresses an already weakened location. ASTM E1823-10a, Terminology Relating to Fatigue and Fracture Testing, defines fatigue as: "The process of progressive localized permanent structural change occurring in a material subjected to conditions that produce fluctuating stresses and strains at some point or points and that may culminate in cracks or complete fracture after a sufficient number of fluctuations." Preventing fatigue failure is a critical part of engineering designs.

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