Published on February 26th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD0
Ceramic and glass business news of the weekPublished on February 26th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD
With the challenging economics of today’s global aluminum industry driving significant changes in the North American non-metallurgical alumina industry, Almatis has the commitment and capability to deliver its customers uninterrupted, secure local supply for their specialty alumina needs. The recent announcements of curtailment and financial protection of the three other U.S. alumina refineries exposes the potential vulnerability of non-metallurgical alumina buyers to swings in metal values.
Despite an increasingly difficult market environment in the steel industry, Slovenian-based refractory specialist Seven Refractories has finished a highly successful year of 2015 and starts with new projects and products into 2016. Nonetheless, despite a very positive development in 2015, there are clear market signs that 2016 will prove to be a challenging year.
3M Deutschland GmbH and Schuberth GmbH have joined forces to develop new and improved ballistic head protection systems for military and law enforcement applications. The agreement outlined plans to collaborate and create custom solutions for end users in the European market. Schuberth will also be a distributor of 3M ballistic helmets manufactured by Ceradyne Inc., a 3M company.
Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials announced that its range of boron nitride products will be on display at the upcoming Ceramics Expo, April 26–28, Booth #601, Cleveland. Boron nitride ceramic material from Saint-Gobain is available in powders, hot-pressed solid components, and aqueous coatings.
Ceralink Inc. announced new offerings in metals testing to include fatigue testing from ambient to 1,200°C (2,192°F). Ceralink’s recent expansion of their Materials Testing Lab has opened up new opportunities to serve the aerospace industry’s stringent metal testing programs. The new offerings include load control High Cycle Fatigue and strain controlled Low Cycle Fatigue.
NIST announced a competition to award its first manufacturing innovation institutes that will join the nine already underway as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. This will be the first “open-topic” NNMI solicitation in which industry can propose institutes on any advanced manufacturing technology focus area not already addressed by another institute or competition.
A clay manufacturer has announced multi-million pound expansion plans to more than double its workforce—to cash-in on the continuing resurgence in Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery industry. Valentine Clays will transform a new distribution facility and visitor attraction, with workshops and a gallery.
Saint-Gobain has been growing at 20% per annum over the past two decades. Speaking to Bloomberg TV India, the company’s India Head Anand Mahajan said Saint-Gobain, which has a turnover of ₹5,000 crore now, will ideally like to double sales every five years.
In 2015, Keller HCW received from the Ibstock Group a fiercely contested contract to build an ultra-modern facing brick plant in the English village of Ibstock. Not only is it the third brick plant at this location for the U.K.’s largest brick manufacturer—but it is also the eighth plant from Keller. The new plant, scheduled for 2017, will produce approximately 100 million soft mud bricks.
Blasch Precision Ceramics Inc. announced the creation of a strategic role within its research and development group. Keith DeCarlo, previously Blasch’s Research and Development Manager, has been promoted to Director of Material and Product Development. In this role, Keith will oversee all activities and personnel within the company’s materials formulation department.
Schott will debut the significantly improved photosensitive glass Foturan II, which highlights the company’s expanded thin glass and wafer portfolio, at SPIE Photonics West. This material is characterized by advanced photosensitivity and homogeneity. These unique properties combined allow a high aspect ratio, and therefore enable substrates with significantly finer structures.
The Energy Department announced $3 million for ten new projects that will enable private-sector companies to use high-performance computing resources at the department’s national laboratories to tackle major manufacturing challenges. The projects range from improving turbine blades in aircraft engines and cutting heat loss in electronics to improving fiberglass production.
C-Therm regularly offers free online seminars to provide information on new applications and offer participants an opportunity to learn how C-Therm’s clients are using the innovative technology. One upcoming online seminar will review how C-Therm’s instruments are applied to ceramics characterization. The other offers an introductory tutorial on dilatometry.
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