October 2013

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Welcome to McLinc’s October 2013 newsletter

Barry Stephenson

President/CEO McLinc

In the October Newsletter from Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc. (McLinc) we celebrate our support of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland and of Rotary and the Roane State Foundation. McLinc is a corporate sponsor of CASA. We enjoy events such as the Annual Night with the Arts and the BBQ and Bluegrass event in the spring. More importantly, we appreciate the opportunity to support the work done by CASA. Likewise, the Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge provides a showcase for local talent and entertainment for all who participate while raising money to provide scholarships to Roane State Community College students through the Roane State Foundation. We know that many of you feel as we do about supporting these organizations since we see you at these same events.

Our instrument highlight this month is contributed by Michele Sanders, Laboratory Manager at McLinc. Michele introduces the TGA/MS technology used by McLinc to explore the identity of gases liberated from materials upon heating. The technology has many applications and you are invited to give us a call to see if this may be a tool we can use to solve a problem for your process or product.

McLinc employees are sharing results of some of our internally-funded research with other members of the analytical testing community. Jack Hall, McLinc’s Director of Quality presented results of a study designed to test the effectiveness of a thermal decomposition technique for the analysis of mercury in soil and fish tissues at the annual workshop for DOE Consolidated Audit Program laboratories. The workshop was held this year in Asheville, North Carolina. This month McLinc will present on the topic of Nuclear Forensics at the 2013 Tennessee Valley Corridor Forensics Symposium in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Thanks to each of you who came to McLinc’s Customer Appreciation Ice Cream Social and to the Pig Roast at Stephenson Farm. We enjoy getting to visit with you at these events. It is our pleasure to provide a token of our appreciation for your business and an opportunity to socialize. Watch for the announcement of our customer appreciation events. We really want you to be there.

We hope you enjoy the Newsletter. Please pass it along to others who might enjoy it. Send us your suggestions for improvements and future articles. We hope to see you at the 14th Annual ETEBA Business Opportunities Conference to be held November 12 – 14, 2013 at the Knoxville convention Center. McLinc will provide conference bags to all attendees. Drop by booth number 110 and register to win a door prize.

Thanks for your Business and Your Friendship,

Instrument Highlight:

By: Michele Sanders

Thermogravimetric Analysis is an essential laboratory tool used for material characterization in many types of samples from various industries such as environmental, food, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical.  The mass of a sample is monitored as a function of temperature and/or time as the sample is heated in a controlled temperature program in a controlled atmosphere.  As a sample is heated, it will experience a weight loss which is recorded versus temperature. McLinc’s Thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA), a Seiko SII Exstar TG/DTA 6300, is uniquely coupled with a mass spectrometer detector (MS) which allows identification of the mass of decomposition products obtained from samples.  The mass spectrometer detector is a Pfeiffer OmniStar GSD 301.  This unique coupling of a TGA with a MS detector means that weight loss of a sample can be measured while detecting and identifying the molecular weight of the species being lost.  The maximum mass that the OmniStar can detect is 300AMU (atomic mass units).

The TGA furnace is capable of a temperature range of 25 to 1,000°C at a maximum ramp rate of 10°C/minute.  The ramp rate is variable within a temperature program and other parameters such as holding the sample at a temperature for a determined amount of time and then resuming the heating cycle can be controlled.  The MS detector is connected to the TGA via a silica capillary which is heated to prevent condensation of decomposition products from the sample.

The amount of sample that is used for TGA analysis is small, usually only 10 to 30mg of sample is required.  The TGA contains a microbalance which is located in the furnace and is capable of weighing a sample to 0.1mg.  Furnace atmosphere is delivered from compressed gas cylinders and current atmospheres available are Zero Air, Nitrogen or Argon.

Some projects that have been completed on the TGA-MS are:  Characterization of Precursor Materials for Carbon Fiber Manufacture, Characterization of Carbon Fiber, Characterization of Polymers and Polymer Mixtures, and Investigation of Used Synthetic O-Rings.  Examples of the type of information obtained from TGA-MS that would be of interest are:  weight of water lost (occurs at 100°C); temperature and weight loss of a functional group such as -NH2, -CH3 or –Cl from an organic compound; or decomposition temperature of a polymer.

The TGA-MS can be utilized for investigations of many different types of materials.  At McLinc, this instrument is one of many tools available to determine the source of product or process failures, identify unknown residues, and conduct forensic investigations.  Contact Michele Sanders, Barry Stephenson or one of our analytical project managers to learn how we may be able to help you.

091213-001aStreet Painting Festival

Barry Stephenson (right), President of MCLinc, presented a Gold Sponsor check for the Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival to Melinda Hillman (center), Vice President of the Roane State Oak Ridge Campus.Past President of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge Bill Martin (left), who conceived and organized the first Street Painting Festival in support of the Roane State Community College Scholarship Fund, looked on. The Street Painting Festival was held on October 5, from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Roane State campus and it was open to artists of all ages.This year the event generated over $14,000 for scholarshipsat RSCC! Thank you to all sponsors and participants who made this event possible.

Ice Cream Social

McLinc would like to thank everyone who attended our annual Customer Appreciation Ice Cream Social. The afternoon was a success as guests stopped in at the McLinc Conference Center at K-1000 for an afternoon snack. The employees of McLinc prepared and served delicious homemade waffle cones and Ice Cream Sundaes. McLinc also hosted a drawing at the Ice Cream Social for one guest to have a donation made to the Rural Community Stem Initiative (RCSI) Fund in their name. The donation was made to the Roane State Foundation to be used to help fund RCSI “lab-in-a-box” project. Learn more about the program at www.eteconline.org. Click on “championing” the “Educational Outreach.”  The winner of this drawing was Jim Sumner; Project Director and Global Nuclear Science Technology Director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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McLinc’s 30th Annual Pig Roast 

The 30th Annual Pig Roast was another great success! The event was held Sunday, October 13 at the Barry and Lucy Stephenson Family Farm just east of Kingston. There was plenty of Barbeque and Bluegrass Music for all. Barry Stephenson, President and CEO of McLinc, was delighted to see many return guests and new ones. Barry’s famous Pig Roast quote is “once invited to the Pig Roast, always invited!” If you were able to attend we hope to see you again next year and if not, well, we hope to see you next year as well!

DOECAP Workshop and Presentation

By: Jack Hall

The Department of Energy Analytical Services Program (ASP) has an annual workshop which was held in Asheville, NC this year. MCLinc was represented by Barry Stephenson and Jack Hall. The (ASP) Workshop provides a forum to present changes in the DOE Consolidated Audit Program (DOECAP) quality program which are significant this year with the blending of the DOE and DOD analytical laboratory requirements into one document. DOECAP is the assessment group for the laboratories performing work for DOE. The workshop also reviews new methods, the performance sample program (MAPEP), latest sampling techniques and supporting software, and status of waste treatment facilities that are covered by DOECAP. On behalf of MCLinc, Jack Hall presented a paper on the use of a Thermo-decomposition Analyzer for the analysis of fish and soils to develop data on the precision and accuracy of the procedure. The procedure allows the direct analysis of fish tissue and soil with no preparation. The statistical results were good with both soil and fish and provide a fast and efficient alternate to analyze these matrices without all the preparation.

Internationally Acclaimed Forensics Leaders to Gather at MTSU to Discuss the Past, Present and Future of Forensic Science

Forensics experts from around the region will come together to discuss criminal, anthropological, nuclear, industrial and cyber forensics at the second annual Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Forensics Symposium.  The Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Forensics Initiative is a coalition of organizations and experts in the forensics industry who are located in the TVC— a region encompassing five states and 10 congressional districts strategically linking the technology-rich region from North Alabama through Tennessee into Southwest Virginia, Western Carolina and Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

The event will be held October 29-30, 2013 at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), and special guests include:  Dr. William Bass, founder of the Forensic Anthropology Center, the “Body Farm,” and Professor Emeritus at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Tom Holland, scientific director of the Joint POW Accounting Command – Central Identification Lab (CIL). James Markey, retired Sergeant for the Phoenix Police Department and Owner of Investigative Lead, LLC. Paulette Sutton, internationally known blood stain pattern analyst and an expert in the field of forensic retired  Director of Investigations for the Division of Forensic Pathology Shelby County (Memphis, Tennessee) Medical Examiner’s Office and retired Assistant Director of Forensic Services at the University of Tennessee, Memphis.  Dr. Richard Raines, Cyber Portfolio Manager, Global Security Directorate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The symposium will include a tour of the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy, where attendees will experience hands-on demonstrations of, arson investigation, fire suppression, and fire rescue while visiting the 330-acre training facility for fire service professionals, as well as a special student competition that will highlight research happening across the Corridor.

Pre-registration for the event is required, and space is limited.  Student rates are available, along with a special “lunch only” rate for those who are interested in hearing from Dr. Bill Bass during lunch, but who cannot attend the full event.

To view the full agenda, please click here.

To register to attend the event, please  click here.

For questions, contact Jennifer Wiggins at jwiggins@akinsps.com.

The 2013 Tennessee Valley Corridor Forensics Symposium is sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center, the University of Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, RJ Lee Group and Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc.

CASA Night

With the Arts 

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) hosted their 4th annual Night with the Arts fundraiser on October 11, 2013. The event was held at the Pollard Technology Center in Oak Ridge. Guests enjoyed a Paris themed evening with Live Music, dinner, and an art auction.  McLinc is a proud corporate sponsor of this event.



Special Announcement

Beth Sanders, daughter of Mickey and Michele Sanders, was married to Adam Tuesburg on September 28, 2013 at Maple Grove Inn.  The happy couple honeymooned in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and will reside in Kingston, TN

About McLinc 

McLinc provides both consulting services and characterization analyses in three primary areas:

1. Specialty Environmental – the “specialty” category may be defined by the sample origin, its categorization as an unknown, a matrix difficulty that requires a method modification, the presence of radioactive or hazardous material in the sample or the need for an analysis for which there is no published or routinely utilized methodology.

2. Forensic Investigation – the use of trace evidence to establish sample origin or the source of a product or process failure relies heavily on the powerful fusion of the technical staff’s expertise and McLinc’s broad array of instrumental capability, which includes four electron microscopes.

3. Process Optimization – McLinc’s ability to build bench-scale models of chemical processes and test those models has enabled us to develop solutions in accident investigations, waste treatability studies, chemical process optimization, formulation for non-radiological surrogates for highly radioactive waste treatments, recipes for onsite groundwater treatment, materials compatibility for chemically hostile environments and improvement of manufacturing techniques in a variety of industrial processes and failure investigations.

We look forward to continuing to serve you here at McLinc. Your questions regarding new work or current projects can be directed to the following individuals:

Michele Sanders, Laboratory Manager
(865) 574-3896

Barry Stephenson, CEO
(865) 576-0201

Mary Hall, Quality Assurance Specialist
(865) 574-9923

Visit us online at www.MCL-inc.com.