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July 13th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on July 13th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing:


Surmet’s transparent, tiled, three-panel ALON armor window. Credit: Surmet.

Advances in making large ALON transparent armor windows

Surmet continues its advances in fabricating cost effective large area ALON transparent armor windows for many applications. Current capability allows for monolithic ALON windows to be fabricated in sizes as large as 15×27 in. (38cm x 68.5cm) with plans for making windows of even larger sizes. ALON Armor typically consists of an outer ALON strike face laminated to layers of glass and polycarbonate. Since the glass and polycarbonate sheets are available in very large sizes, this construction allows ALON armor windows to be assembled by assembling and laminating multiple ALON tiles of smaller size on the surface of monolithic layers of glass and polycarbonate. As shown in the picture, the seams between ALON tiles can be engineered to maximize the ballistic performance with minimal optical obscuration. With appropriate seam design, tiling provides multi-hit ballistic performance and producibility over monolithic windows. Tiled ALON armor windows have successfully defeated 30 cal and 50 cal AP threats even when shot directly at the seam locations, as well as defeating IED threats.

H.C. Starck and Japan New Chisso Corp. join forces for future market electromobility: CS Energy Materials joint venture started production of cathode materials for high performance lithium-ion batteries.

In June 2012, the newly built production facility of CS Energy Materials in Minamata, Japan, has been inaugurated by representatives of both joint venture partners, H.C. Starck and the Japanese chemical company Japan New Chisso Corp.. Immediately after completion of the facility construction, the plant successfully commenced test operations. With the German-Japanese joint venture CSEM, the two joint venture partners H.C. Starck and JNC Corp. have secured a good starting position to enter one of today’s most important future markets: the manufacture cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. This type of batteries is a key technology in the electric and hybrid vehicle market, which is expected to have above average growth rates worldwide. Thanks to a new and patent-pending manufacturing technology, CSEM will be producing cathode materials with extremely high performance quality. Research and development of the cathode material and the manufacturing technology takes place at the CSEM site in Goslar, Germany, at H.C. Starck’s registered office. CSEM will be able to deliver industrial-scale volumes of high-quality cathode materials to the electric and hybrid vehicle industry. CS Energy Materials was founded in September 2010.

Morgan Thermal Ceramics offers Pyro-Bloc modules

Morgan Thermal Ceramics announces the availability of its exclusive Pyro-Bloc modules, ideally suited for furnace and boiler lining applications, that reduce the risks of hot spots and lining failures. They are the only monolithic fiber modules on the market and combine the insulating material advantages of high temperature insulation fiber with rapid furnace installation. Compared to standard folded modules, Pyro-Bloc modules feature higher density, better tolerance compliance, superior resistance to erosion from high velocity gas, and significant installation advantages. They are ideal for applications such as stack, flare, and ductwork linings, as well as kiln car block and seals, burner blocks, and peep sights.

Ceramics manufacturer expands customer base with new facility

(Design-2-Part Magazine) International Ceramic Engineering recently added a new satellite manufacturing facility in Morrisville, N.C., which will augment its main facility in Worcester, Mass. The new 9,000 square foot facility accommodates R&D capabilities, prototype through production manufacturing, technical assistance services, and a clean room. The Research Triangle Park region is quickly growing with an influx of high-tech industries that could provide a solid customer base for ICE. ICE President Jay Higgins, explained that the company had outgrown its Worcester location and couldn’t move its kiln to a bigger facility. So Higgins decided to open an entirely new plant in North Carolina because one of their biggest customers is located in the area and the addition will broaden the company’s East Coast customer base. The region is a “growth area,” Higgins said, explaining that the new expansion added 40 percent capacity and that he plans on hiring 10 to 20 workers for the North Carolina plant.

GM, Daimler and Toyota lead automakers in emerging technology partnerships

Megatrends like sustainability, urbanization and materials revolution are forcing OEMs to build a web of partnerships that drive innovation—or to risk being left in the dust. Technologies like alternative fuels, electric vehicles, and advanced composites are partial responses to these megatrends, but understanding their impact on the industry requires looking at all of them in complete automotive ecosystems, according to a new Lux Research report. Lux Research analysts examined the growing web of cross-cutting industry relationships to separate the leading innovators from the lone wolves. Among their findings: General Motors leads the partnership race.

AGC to start providing sensor modules featuring world’s smallest microvibration power generator (pdf)

AGC President and CEO Kazuhiko Ishimura announced that a sensor module equipped with one of the world’s smallest microvibration power generators will be available for purchase beginning August 2012. This sensor module was developed jointly by AGC and three other companies, based on collaborative basic research with the University of Tokyo.Installation locations and applications of sensors are limited due to the need for wiring to supply electric power, battery replacement and other maintenance issues. To solve these issues, AGC and the three other companies have jointly worked on the marketing and product development of a microvibration power generator that converts small vibrations into electrical energy. One of the key materials of this generator is CYTOP, an amorphous fluorine resin developed and manufactured by AGC. CYTOP increased the electricity output of the micro-vibration power generator tenfold or more compared to conventional materials, and is fully capable of supplying power to acceleration sensors and other devices. AGC’s CYTOP has excellent workability for its thin-film coating, which greatly helps to create smaller and lighter-weight generatorss.


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