We provide testing services to certify product and materials compliance, support quality control, and ensure the health and safety of workers and their environment. We provide assistance for clients who are not sure what tests they need. Our accredited materials characterization laboratory is the foundation of all the services of RJ Lee Group provides, including standardized testing for compliance, industrial hygiene and environmental analyses, quality control, and materials research and development.

We provide credentialed expertise supported built by robust scientific data. We provide significant support to industrial clients for product development, industrial hygiene and overall production support.

RJ Lee Group maintains a visible and respected reputation within the legal community, having offered scientific support in civil litigation matters for nearly 30 years. 

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From our core business of providing scientific solutions to our clients, we have developed innovative products. Some are produced internally, and some have arisen from partnerships with other research organizations. 

For example, we build lab software solutions to help manage and streamline your labs data, and environmental testing products for a variety of applications. 

  • IntelliSEM is a powerful automated particle analysis system.
  • ParticleID is  a customizable cloud hosted web application used to identify foreign particulate matter and  assist with root cause investigations. 

Other products we create count particles and help keep the air and environment safe.

RJ Lee Group is a materials analysis laboratory and consulting company which serves many different industries. We offer scientific solutions such as industrial forensics services, laboratory and testing services, litigation support, and laboratory software to many industries:

EBSD Challenges Conventional Asbestos Identification Methods

Bryan R. Bandli, Ph.D.

August 5, 2015

RJ Lee Group has a long history of providing high-quality asbestos analysis and litigation expertise, supported by the research of our subject matter experts.  Brian Bandli, Ph.D., a Principal Investigator with our materials group, presented a paper (Microscopy & Microanalysis, Vol. 20, pp. 1805-1816) that outlines how electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) can successfully identify asbestos reference materials and particles of varying morphology for sizes from asbestiform to massive, plus identify minerals from real world samples. 

The ability to correctly identify asbestos particles is critical to protecting public health. This task has become more difficult in recent years.  The challenges posed by newly identified materials and environments where asbestos-like particles may be found require different analytical approaches than have been employed in the past.  However, the tools used in this field have changed little over the last four decades. Recent research employing EBSD for phase identification of amphibole asbestos minerals may help streamline analysis of challenging samples. The purpose of the paper was to determine if EBSD can successfully be used to collect crystallographic information that would be useful for the identification of asbestos fibers.

The first test was to examine reference samples of known asbestos materials. This test indicated that while the quality of diffraction patterns varied among the different asbestos types, most particles analyzed were successfully identified using EBSD. Compositional information was also collected with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The second test was to determine if EBSD could measure shape-preferred orientation in samples of varying morphology. Morphology of particles is important because the size and shape of a particle can influence how it behaves in the environment.

The final test examined a real-world sample to determine if particles from a talc ore could be identified. This result was mixed, as some particles were able to produce high quality diffraction patterns. However, many were not. Particularly, the asbestiform particles that had caused specific health concerns could not produce usable patterns.

EDS Spectrum

Figure 1: Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) spectrum and secondary electron micrograph (inset, cross designates point of analysis) of representative anthophyllite particle from sample TV_plates. b: Transmission electron backscatter diffraction (tEBSD) pattern collected from particle in a. c: tEBSD pattern from b with blue lines showing position of simulated anthophyllite EBSD pattern diffraction bands with orientation of unit cell inset. Blue line on unit cell orientation corresponds to [001], which is parallel to particle elongation.

EBSD has been a powerful tool for phase discrimination since its advent. Accurate phase discrimination for the analysis of asbestos is critically important, as inaccurate results lead to confusion when searching for the source of potentially harmful fibers. The research conducted for this paper determined that using the EBSD and/or transmission electron backscatter diffraction (tEBSD), in conjunction with existing microanalytical platforms used for asbestos fiber testing, demonstrated significant gains in speed and accuracy.

From the editor: This paper is the first published work demonstrating that EBSD can be successfully used for asbestos identification. Dr. Bandli will be receiving an award for this paper from the editors of Microscopy and Microanalysis. The paper, which has been named the “Best Materials Application Paper” was published in Microscopy and Microanalysis in 2014 for research he has done on investigating the utility of EBSD for asbestos analysis.  The award is chosen by the journal editors based on the technical merit and number of downloads of the paper, and represents the significance of this work to the greater microscopy community. To read the whole paper, please click here.

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