Ceramics and glass business news of the weekPublished on December 1st, 2011 | By: Eileen De Guire
Here’s what we’re hearing:
Saint-Gobain Sekurit has developed sgs ClimaCoat, an all-weather windshield. In winter, at the push of a button, this latest-generation glazing deices and demists the windshield in less than two minutes, even when outside temperatures fall as low as minus 5°C (23°F). In summer, its mirror effect reduces the amount of heat that enters the passenger compartment by reflecting the sun’s rays. This also gives the driver better visibility and improves safety and comfort for all vehicle occupants, while reducing CO2 emissions.
Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a passenger vehicle regenerative braking system, called ‘i-ELOOP’, which will begin to appear in Mazda’s vehicles in 2012. The regenerative braking system is unique because it uses a capacitor that temporarily stores large volumes of electricity. Compared to batteries, capacitors can be charged and discharged rapidly and are resistant to deterioration through prolonged use. ‘i-ELOOP’ efficiently converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electricity as it decelerates, and uses the electricity to power the climate control, audio system and numerous other electrical components. In real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, ‘i-ELOOP’ improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent.
Chinese solar-panel manufacturers dominate the industry, but a new way of making an exotic type of crystalline silicon might benefit solar companies outside of China that have designs that take advantage of the material. GT Advanced Technologies, one of world’s biggest suppliers of furnaces for turning silicon into large crystalline cubes that can then be sliced to make wafers for solar cells, recently announced two advanced technologies for making crystalline silicon. The new approaches significantly lower the cost of making high-end crystalline silicon for highly efficient solar cells.
The high-performance ceramics of Nanostart-holding, ItN Nanovation AG, will be able to demonstrate their unique characteristics during an ESA mission to Mercury, which is currently in preparation.
A Nanostart Investments reporter spoke to Dr. Frank Meyer, head of research and development at ItN Nanovation AG, about the orbiter, its mission and how the ItN high-performance ceramics will be contributing to the success of the overall mission.
Surmet Corporation of Burlington, Mass. has won a Phase I SBIR program from the US Department of Energy entitled: “Durable ALON Windows for High Power RF Accelerator Applications.” ALON, aluminum oxynitride, is a synthetic ceramic with an excellent combination of mechanical, physical, electrical, chemical and optical properties. It is transparent from the ultraviolet to the mid-wave infrared. Because it is transparent in its polycrystalline form, it can be produced using conventional powder processing techniques in large sizes and complex geometries.
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