- 2000 MAR 02 -


00-03-02          0730                To CANMET …..

            I spoke with FOGG about the magnesium parts and what could be used in the seawater tests.  He said that he would be contacting Paul FIOCCA and be discussing it with him.  He had no idea at this time what could be used but would certainly let me know.


            Had a chance to discuss again the FIB process.  Dr. BROWN advised that the cut wedge would be about 100 microns wide by possibly 20 microns deep.  The intent is to remove a large enough slice that it will be easily handled and manipulated under the microscope (SEM, TEM, or AES).  This will allow a cross-sectional view of the layers and will allow identification and quantification of the elements present.  Gallium may or may not become a contaminant, but because it is rare and has not been detected in any of the samples to date, it therefore can be removed from the analysis as a contaminant.  In contrast, the diamond blade in the microtome method is mainly carbon, which also is present in nearly every bead.  Therefore, we would not be able to determine how much is contamination from the blade and cannot remove that amount from the total atomic percent.


            On speaking with FOGG, who was involved in the conversations, it was learned that they also are totally against any destruction of the wire melts.  They would not be happy with slicing the beads into thin pieces, as it is the same as total destruction – if done by a mechanical means such as a blade.  They would be happy with the FIB method as described above. 

I advised FOGG that it is my understanding (as indicated by John GARSTANG) that under the TSB legislation, written notification of intent to analyse to destruction is to be provided before anything such as the wire melts can be analysed to destruction.  He advised that Paul FIOCCA, once advised in writing, would submit a letter stating their disagreement with and protest of the destructive analysis.  I also suggested that the results of Sky Scan could be argued as a suitable substitute for the grinding method.

            Dr. BROWN arranged a tour of the FIB faculty for Larry FOGG & me at 1430 hrs.  It is located in the same complex, actually through the parking area that we normally use.  Michael PHANEUF, M.Sc. Eng. is president of the company called Fibics Incorporated, 556 Booth St Suite 200, Ottawa, On K1A 0G1.   …..

 They rent space in CANMET, and apparently pay for it by supplying equipment time.  So CANMET and Fibics Inc work hand in hand.  PHANEUF is in his late twenties and is obviously very educated and knowledgeable in his field.  …..  He worked on a piece of the Mars meteorite that supposedly had evidence of life in it.  It was learned that SIDLA had used the company for some work on computer chips from this aircraft earlier in the investigation.  But it was also learned that BROWN & SIDLA had spoken some time ago to great length about the FIB system for this work.

            PHANEUF communicates at a much higher level than that which I was able to understand.  That is one thing about Jim BROWN; he is able to bring the technical jargon down to my level.  But BROWN and PHANEUF communicate well, and he was able to provide answers to PHANEUF’s technical questions.

The FIB system is a Micron 2500 Focused Ion Beam.  Generally, the system will cut out a section about 5 microns front to back, ten or so microns deep, and as wide as is available.  This will be removed from the melted area in a manner suitable for analysis by either a SEM or a TEM supplied by CANMET.  The slice is large enough to allow for structural analysis by SIDLA as well as chemical and element analysis.  In addition, it will provide enough structure to be able one to determine if there are any pores or cracks in the surface at that point to allow seawater seepage.  The areas cut would be away from the areas already analysed by AES as that area has been etched away and the material no longer exists on the melt.  It will provide a backup area of analysis to that already done by AES.

            The costs involved will probably amount to $1500 per examined melt.  This will provide the data for BROWN to analyse, as PHANEUF only supplies the system to cut out the samples.  PHANEUF gave this as a rough estimate, and he seems willing to absorb any cost over runs if they are incurred.  He feels that this will be a normal process for fire investigations in the near future, as he was on a seminar just a few months ago in which that subject was on the agenda.  While not committing us to anything, I asked that Jim BROWN arrange with PHANEUF to put forward a proposal for analysis after he has determined which of the wire melts will require further examination.  BROWN advised that he will contact FOOT to get permission to show PHANEUF the data that he has collected, and they will take one of the test wires supplied from the hangar and use it as a test project to see what will be required for the proposal.  PHANEUF asked about a time line, and I suggested that it would be after JUNE at the earliest before anything is done.

            This is likely correct.  Before this can be done, the seawater tests will have to be analysed, and the other tests of insulation make-up, etc. will have to be completed and the data supplied to BROWN.  After all, if a source is located, these FIB tests might not be necessary.

            BROWN later mentioned that FOOT had contacted him about the seawater plans that I had sent both of them.  BROWN did not elaborate, but FOOT certainly is aware that they are going ahead (but he still has not said anything to me).  BROWN commented that the number of wires was more than he expected, so I told him that it would be up to him to select what wires he wants to examine once they have been prepared.  I would not influence the test by limiting the numbers.  This will also leave enough to be examined by others at a later date if necessary.



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