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July 26th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on July 26th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing:

Prematech Advanced Ceramics adds technical and marketing strength with hiring of Bruce Gretz

PremaTech Advanced Ceramics, a leader in the design, engineering and machining of high-purity silicon carbides and other advanced ceramic materials and components, has named Bruce Gretz senior technical salesperson. In that capacity, Gretz is responsible for developing new business opportunities from customers requiring adaptive ceramics used in semiconductor, aerospace & defense, R&D, life sciences, commercial and microwave applications. “I am pleased that Bruce is helping us build upon more than 30 years of industry leadership,” says Harvey Clough, PremaTech’s general manager. “His combination of management and sales experience puts us in a strong position to retain established customers while attracting new ones in these challenging times.” Prior to joining PremaTech, Gretz worked in engineering management for a variety of software development and systems integration companies on the East and West Coasts. He began his career with Rockwell International’s Allen-Bradley Division. Gretz holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

Superior Technical Ceramics launches new website

Superior Technical Ceramics is thrilled to launch its new website. “Our goal is always to provide superior service, and we think that this new site will make it easier for customers to see how our services can help them” commented Simon Doran, Sales Manager. “I was really happy when I saw the new site. It’s elegant, simple, and functional; exactly what our home on the web needs to be.” STC has been recognized as a “legacy” company in the material area since its start in 1898. Our commitment to materials development and continuous improvement set us apart from most of our competition. STC has complete in-house capabilities to assist with design, engineer, tool and manufacture of technical ceramics to customer requirements. Superior Technical Ceramics invests in state-of-the-art equipment and in highly skilled, knowledgeable employees to produce the industry’s best components. Through the use of ISO 9001:2008, AS9100, 5S and lean practices and policies, STC achieves the control and quality necessary to compete, cost effectively, worldwide.

Fooken taking over as H.C. Starck’s new head of R&D

On Sept. 1, 2012, Michael Fooken will take over the research and development activities for the H.C. Starck Group in Goslar (Germany). Fooken has extensive experience in the field of research and development in the chemical industry. Over the past 12 years, he has held various global positions within the Honeywell Group, including head of research for the Fine Chemicals Division. Before that he spent many years in production as well as in research and development. Fooken studied chemistry at the University of Münster (Germany) and earned his doctorate in electrochemistry in 1995. He holds more than 20 patents in the fields of energy storage materials and inorganic salts. Dr. Fooken is 47 years old, married, and has two children. His predecessor, Gerhard Gille, is retiring on Oct. 31, 2012, after more than 20 years at the company.

MTC introduces expert custom brazing services

Morgan Technical Ceramics announced that its Wesgo Metals site in Hayward, Calif., now offers custom brazing services, including active metal brazing, a process that allows metal to be bonded directly to ceramic without metallization. Active metal brazing eliminates several steps in the joining process and creates an extremely strong, hermetic seal. MTC uses active metal braze alloys, a process is especially beneficial in medical, aerospace and oil exploration applications. MTC has developed several braze alloy compositions, which will directly bond ceramic to metal or even graphite and diamond. Applications include brazing industrial diamonds onto ceramics or metal components for heat spreaders or ceramic windows, as well as brazing graphite to substrates such as titanium for incredibly stable ion traps. Alloy compositions vary and include those designed for use in a variety of settings, from very low temperatures to very high temperature applications, around 500 to 1,000°C. MTC selects the alloy to meet the specific service temperature conditions as well as the requirements of all the components to be joined. MTC’s high end brazing services are used in the medical market for implantable hearing aids and minimally invasive surgical tools. For the aerospace industry, MTC offers compositions of ceramics ideal for brazing to metals for use in the extremely high temperatures found in modern day jet engines. Applications here include ceramic nozzles for turbine engines, new turbine vane systems and super alloy engine parts.

Mettler Toledo offers in-process-control white paper

New high-resolution weigh modules from Mettler Toledo offer surprisingly fast and simple solutions for 100% in-process-control. They can be used to check completeness of parts, kits or modules as well as quality of surfaces where material is added or subtracted. Mettler Toledo now offers a white paper that explains how weigh modules are applied for in-line testing with high throughput rates. Traditional methods for in-process-control and end-of-line-control use electrical resistance, optical imaging, spectrometry, light beam and mechanical sizing. It wasn’t until recently, that weighing technology was used in spot checking mode. This was mostly due to the design of traditional balances and scales, which didn’t fit seamlessly into machines and instruments. It also wasn’t obvious that dimensions, coatings, shapes or completeness could indirectly be checked while looking at weight deviations or differences.

Rockwood opens new lithium hydroxide facilities in North Carolina

Rockwood Lithium has inaugurated its expanded manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, N.C. The company is leveraging a $28.4-million investment from the Recovery Act to expand its North Carolina lithium production facility with a new lithium hydroxide plant as well as its production operations in Silver Peak, Nev. In addition a new technology center containing new lab facilities, offices, and seminar rooms was opened. The new plant will produce 5,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide a year enough for about 500,000 electric cars. The company, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Rockwood Holdings Inc., was awarded the grant because of its potential to advance battery technology for electric cars, said Chris Johnson, project manager for the DOE. Steffen Haber, president of Rockwood Lithium added that the new research and development center will add to the existing facilities to explore new materials for lithium containing batteries as well as for other industrial applications.


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