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August 2nd, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on August 2nd, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here’s what we are hearing:

Morgan Technical Ceramics’ bioceramic hip joints improve quality of life for patients

Vitox AMC, an alumina matrix composite bioceramic material for hip joints from Morgan Technical Ceramics, is proven to have exceptionally low wear rates compared with alternative materials. This provides a reliable solution without the potential health risks associated with metal hip joints, whilst being longer lasting, and enabling patients to continue to lead active lifestyles. Developed in conjunction with the National Institute for Applied Sciences at the University of Lyon (France), and Durham University (UK), Morgan Technical Ceramics has produced two new studies in hip joint wear: “Comparative ageing behavior of commercial, unworn and worn Y-TZP and zirconia-toughened alumina hip joint heads” and “Wear performance of advanced new generation ceramics: zirconia, alumina and zirconia toughened alumina applied in hard-on-soft and hard-on-hard hip prostheses.” In the study with Durham University, a polyethylene UHMWPE cup loaded against the zirconia-based heads produced the wear rate of 0.9307 mm3/106 cycles. However, comparatively there was considerable wear reduction for full ceramic couples. The steady-state wear rate was 0.0053 ± 0.0032 mm3/106 cycles (mean ± SD) for Vitox AMC cups.

“Solar Meets Glass” conference at Glasstec/Solarpeq 2012

On Oct. 22 and 23, 2012, the conference “Solar Meets Glass: 3rd Industry Summit for Markets, Costs and Technology” will be held at the Congress Center East at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. The event, which starts one day before Glasstec 2012, will include experts from the glass and solar systems industry. The goal is to promote an exchange between both industries to show the glass industry new sales opportunities while providing the solar industry with new opportunities to achieve higher efficiency rates and lower costs. The speakers will provide comprehensive coverage of current topics that will cater to both the glass and PV industries as well as to suppliers and customers. In addition to a market and technology overview for photovoltaics, the first day of the conference will deal with manufacturing technology, efficiency as well as materials and costs associated with PV glass. Themes include ultrathin glass, the differences between float and rolled glass for PV purposes and the progress made in anti-reflection coatings for solar cover glass. The second day will cover two central themes: trends, new markets and technologies revolving around building-integrated photovoltaics and recycling of PV modules.

Texas Technical Ceramics Inc. awarded 3-year contract with Backer EHP

Texas Technical Ceramics Inc. announced that it has been awarded a three-year contract with Backer EHP for mass production of approximately 45 million ceramic parts per the contract terms. The specialized ceramic parts consist of various electrical insulators made of steatite, a crystalline form of magnesium silicate, which offers superior strength and safety for temperatures up to 2,000°F. TTC has proudly served the electrical market for more than 25 years and continues to be a trusted partner offering high quality products and superior customer service, at competitive prices. Backer EHP has been a leader in electric heat applications for almost 100 years. Formerly known as Chromalox, Backer EHP is globally recognized for providing high quality products for the cooking, water heater, dish washing, lighting and HVAC markets. offers advanced ceramic products to an array of markets to include: electrical, oil and gas, power, agriculture, aerospace and defense. TTC has extensive experience with custom and mass production of parts using the most innovative materials such as alumina, cordierite, spinel, wollastonite, YTZ and zirconia.

Pfeiffer Vacuum introduces new gas analysis systems for pressure ranges up to 50 mbar

Pfeiffer Vacuum, one of the world’s leading producers of vacuum products and services, has introduced the Sputter Process Monitor SPM 220 and High Pressure Analyzer HPA 220 gas analysis systems. Both system solutions are based on the proven mass spectrometer PrismaPlus in combination with a dry compressing HiPace turbo pumping station and are used to monitor and document vacuum processes, such as coating architectural glass or thin-film solar cells. The SPM 220 and the HPA 220 are available in mass ranges of 1-100 and 1-200 amu; the HPA 200 is also available from 1-300 amu. The SPM 220 is characterized by a specially developed ion source, which enables a direct connection between the analyzer and the process chamber. This enables the vacuum conditions of sputter processes and similar applications to be monitored without the time delays of an inlet system, at a pressure up to 10-2 mbar. An additional orifice system allows the pressure range to be expanded up to 10 mbar.

FEI announces new Verios extreme high resolution SEM

FEI, a leading instrumentation company providing imaging and analysis systems for research and industry, extends its leadership in the high-resolution scanning electron microscopy market with the launch of the new Verios XHR SEM. The Verios provides the subnanometer resolution and enhanced contrast needed for precise measurements on beam-sensitive materials in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and materials science applications. Trisha Rice, FEI’s vice president and general manager of the Materials Science Business Unit says, “For materials scientists, the Verios will also enable important new insights by extending sub-nanometer imaging and characterization to novel materials being developed today. This will allow researchers to capture the high resolution, high contrast images required, without the need to transition to TEM or other imaging techniques.” The Verios system allows any user to switch quickly between various operating conditions, maintain sample cleanliness, and obtain sub-nanometer resolution at any accelerating voltage from 1 kV to 30 kV. The optimized signal collection and advanced filtering abilities not only provide higher and more flexible contrast generation, but also allow for a greater range of samples to be investigated. Many beam-sensitive or nonconductive materials can now be accurately observed at the nanoscale, without any preparation.

Special offer: Discounted flights for Tecnargilla 2012

Rimini Fiera SpA has chosen Lufthansa LUFTHANSA as its official carrier for Tecnargilla, offering special conditions and prices for all those participating on the Expo. The offer is valid for all flights to Bologna, Milan, Rimini or Venice from Sept. 17 to Oct. 5, 2012. Also, there will be a free shuttle bus running every day between the Rimini and Bologna expo centers Sept. 25-28. Bookings for the shuttle service can be made by calling +39 0541/744626 For the timetable click here.

Report: Aerogel market by form and application-global trends and forecasts up till 2017

This report analyses aerogel market by geography, applications and forms. By geography, the report is segmented into Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. The products included in this report are mainly based on aerogel application types. The applications covered in this report are building insulation, oil and natural gas, aerospace, automotive, industry, cryogenics, etc. In various applications the purpose of using aerogel product is different and ranges from thermal insulation to catalyst agent hence depending on the application aerogel market is segmented by form. The aerogel market is estimated from production side of the market. This report estimates the market size of the global aerogel market both in terms of volume and value. It discusses market drivers, restraints and opportunities, raw materials, and product price trends. It also includes value chain analysis, Porter’s analysis, product life cycle analysis, and patent analysis. The report also deals with market share by participant for the overall market. It also tracks the recent activities of market players in terms of product launches, expansion plans, supply contracts, and partnerships and collaborations. In addition, the top 11 players of the aerogel market have been profiled in this report. The aerogel market report covers its production across regions. The aerogel market is analyzed in terms of volume (metric tons) produced in each region. The increasing awareness about energy efficiency, increasing environmental concerns and emission reduction targets are driving the growth in aerogel production. In addition, aerogel performance and multiple possible applications for achieving energy efficiency are acting as key driver for a high growth rate in aerogel production. Aerogel is manufactured by a critical manufacturing process called supercritical drying. Costs associated with its manufacturing are high which results in high pricing of material. High prices are acting as restraints for aerogel market growth.

Munson offers new high-torques screen classifying cutter

Munson Machinery Co.’s new high-torque, low-speed model SCC-15-SS screen classifying cutter reduces hard materials and friable products into controlled particle sizes. A proprietary rotor design is comprised of cutter bits attached to a helical array of staggered holders called “interconnected parallelograms,” that continuously cut and crush oversize materials against twin, stationary bed knives. Unlike high-shear cutters that rotate at high speeds, the high-torque cutter is equipped with a direct-coupled, gear-reduced drive that rotates the shaft at speeds down to 10 RPM to cut or crush tough materials using low shear, and/or to minimize fines when cutting friable materials. The cutter bits, which are available in stainless steel, tool steel and tungsten carbide, can be slid onto holders and secured with one retaining socket-head screw, allowing rapid replacement. The SCC-15-SS positions the bits along the entire shaft, with no frontal gaps, reducing material into uniform pieces with minimum imperfections or fines, and little to no generation of heat.

Pair of Union Process tandem grinding attritors used to mill nanoparticles

Union Process Inc., known globally as a manufacturer of size reduction and dispersing equipment for a broad range of industrial applications, has produced a pair of dry grinding attritors for a high-tech advanced materials company. The 30SD and 50SD attritors will work in tandem for a customer, with one unit milling a dry powder for nanoparticle reduction and then transferring the material to the other unit for complete and thorough dispersion and blending in a second stage wet process. The dry powder material created in the 30SD is transferred via dry powder pump into the 50SD for this two-stage process. Both attritors include a one-piece stainless steel tank cover with Meco shaft and a variable frequency drive that is housed in a NEMA 4X/12 wash down duty enclosure. An LCD operator interface module displays agitator RPM, motor AMPS and motor HP being used. The 50SD is powered by a 75 HP, TEFC inverter duty motor while the 30SD has a 40 HP motor. The mills are also equipped with a specially designed process control timer package per the customer’s request, which includes a process run timer, temperature warning and cut-off switch, as well as cooling water flow sensors.

HIG acquires the specialty aluminas activity of Rio Tinto to create Alteo

After many years as part of Pechiney, then Alcan and most recently Rio Tinto, the Specialty Aluminas business is from today an independent company following the sale to HIG Capital Europe. The new name for the business will be Alteo. The business will maintain the existing production setup based upon the four facilities in Europe, headquartered in Gardanne, France, producing a unique range of products from specialty calcined aluminas to tabular and fused aluminas. The key markets for these products are ceramics, refractories, abrasives and glass, supported by an expanding global commercial network in Europe, Asia and the United States.Substantial investments in application based R&D and environmental sustainability will confirm the position of Alteo as the leading, fully-integrated, global supplier of specialty aluminas.


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