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PartTec Announces License Agreement with ORNL to Manufacture Advanced Neutron Detector System

PartTec Announces License Agreement with ORNL to Manufacture Advanced Neutron Detector System

Bloomington, IN (April 9, 2010) - PartTec, an Indiana-based manufacturer of radiation detection equipment, has signed an agreement to manufacture and market a neutron detector system jointly developed at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and by PartTec with an SBIR grant from the Department of Energy.

The Plastic Scintillator Neutron Detector system was developed for DOE's Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) complex, the world's most advanced neutron science facility. This one-of-a-kind facility provides the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development.

With this licensing agreement, PartTec's detector will now be available for commercial uses ranging from other neutron science facilities to security applications like monitoring land, air, and sea shipping for fissionable material. During the past five years, PartTec manufactured its detectors exclusively for the DOE's Spallation Neutron Source. They are the sole detectors used in two SNS instruments, the POWGEN powder diffractometer and the VULCAN engineering diffractometer.

The lab's scientists developed the detector system to provide the very large detection areas and high rates required by the SNS. Advances were made in neutron capturing scintillators, light collecting optics and data collection electronics. The data collection electronics use a new and unique method of determining the neutron event location by encoding a bit pattern produced by single photons.

"The system is modular so that very large detector arrays can be built," said Ron Cooper, a member of the development team at the SNS. "You can have greater than 50 square meters of detector coverage. It has high rate capability, good position resolution and features modern distributed personal computer-based electronics." Both PartTec and the Oak Ridge National Lab believe their system is the leading solution to replace helium-3 detectors at neutron scattering facilities around the world.

"PartTec has supported the work of the Spallation Neutron Source's detector team for nearly five years with engineering, manufacturing, and management expertise," said Herschel Workman, chief executive officer of PartTec. "Our detector is proving itself in the POWGEN and VULCAN instruments at the SNS." Recently, it became apparent that the global inventory of helium-3 was nearly gone and that sources of new helium-3 are inadequate for the current high demand for neutron detectors, according to Workman. PartTec responded by re-engineering the DOE's detector system as an alternative to existing helium-3 detectors.

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to two of the world's most advanced neutron scattering research facilities: The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor. The research conducted in these facilities has tremendous implications for both science and industry. About 600 dedicated staff operate both facilities. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Find more information at www.ornl.gov.

About PartTec, Ltd.
PartTec, Ltd. has an established track record as leader in scientific research and advanced manufacturing services for laboratories. PartTec will market its new advanced neutron detectors to research laboratories, the military, and homeland security agencies. PartTec has administrative and scientific offices in Bloomington, IN., and engineering, design, and manufacturing facilities in Linton, IN. Find more information at www.parttec.com.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Herschel Workman, CEO
812.323.0541
herschel.workman@parttec.com