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October 11th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on October 11th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here’s what we are hearing:

Morgan Ceramics promotes efficiencies in Asia’s power sector through next-gen thermal insulation solutions and precision-engineering capabilities

Morgan Ceramics, a division of Morgan Crucible Co., one of the world’s leading advanced materials companies, continues to strengthen working relationship with Asia’s power sector to maximize efficiencies in power generation and transmission in the region. Its thermal ceramics business supplies high performance, high temperature thermal insulation solutions for heat recovery steam generation plants including global and Asian customers. Its technical ceramics business delivers precision-engineering capabilities that are increasingly being used by designers and manufacturers to develop components and subassemblies for new products aimed at meeting green standards in power delivery. Morgan Ceramics’ thermal and technical ceramics businesses are exhibiting at Power Gen Asia 2012, and is showcasing its Superwool Plus range of insulating fiber products, the company’s patented technology for energy efficient and cost effective power plants and a range of precision-engineered materials, components and assemblies that meet the demanding, ever-changing and harsh environments in power generation and transmission sectors.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón cuts ribbon to open 2012 Innovadora Conference with innovative technology: Ceramic scissors from Kyocera

In a tribute to industrial innovation and technology, Mexican President Felipe Calderón today used ceramic scissors from Kyocera in a ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the Tijuana Innovadora 2012 global technology conference, which continues through October 21 at the Tijuana Cultural Center. While most scissors are everyday household items, Kyocera’s highly specialized ceramic scissors reflect the high-tech theme of the conference, which showcases the city as a center for innovation and technology. Ceramic scissors are used for specialized tasks in the laboratory and in manufacturing because they are chemically inert, non-magnetic, electrically non-conductive, and less likely to transmit electrostatic energy to semiconductors or other sensitive electronic devices. Kyocera is among more than 50 exhibitors displaying their latest products at Tijuana Innovadora. The Kyocera exhibit at Pavilion 4, directly across from Café Cecut, includes solar energy modules and semiconductor packaging products made in Tijuana and San Diego. Kyocera is also exhibiting selected products that it manufactures in other regions of the world – including innovative wireless handsets, engineered ceramic components, ceramic and cermet industrial cutting tools, and ceramic kitchen cutlery.

Nexceris to continue the mission of NexTech Commercial Services

Matthew M. Seabaugh announced the launch of the Nexceris brand of services to continue the mission of NexTech Commercial Services, while embracing broader markets and more innovative business agreements. Seabaugh, director, says, “Nexceris will continue to help clients solve materials issues at all the stages of product development and manufacturing. This assistance includes the communication, discretion and innovative materials solutions that clients have come to expect. Nexceris is also extending its reach to manufacturers and developers in automotive, chemical production and energy storage businesses. We have already used technology from fuel cell development (advanced ceramics, catalysis and corrosion protection solutions) to improve products in these sectors.” Nexceris has also expanded its services to include electrical and electrochemical testing, catalyst performance testing and toll catalyst production. Seabaugh also say he anticipates that the most significant differences customers will notice are the new logo and e-mail address.

AVX Corp’s multianode tantalum capacitors power Curiosity’s ChemCam laser on Mars

AVX Corp., a leading manufacturer of passive components and interconnect solutions, developed and supplied the 630 tantalum multianode capacitors that are responsible for powering the ChemCam laser module on-board Curiosity, which successfully landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. The ChemCam laser module, a combination of chemistry and camera equipment, is designed to analyze the chemical composition of rocks on Mars. Curiosity successfully fired its laser for the first time on Mars, interrogating a fist-sized rock called Coronation. The laser on the rover’s ChemCam hit the rock with 30 pulses in a 10-second period, each of which delivered more than one million watts of power for approximately five one-billionths of a second. The ChemCam’s laser power sources had to meet extreme requirements, including small size, very lightweight packaging, and very high-power performance, and consist solely of well-established, high-reliability components.

Pure Energy Centre helps get Africa’s first wind-hydrogen system launched

The First African initiative to make hydrogen from water using green energy has been successfully installed in Morocco. The Pure Energy Centre, the UK pure fuel, renewable energy and energy storage company, in collaboration with Sahara Wind Inc. and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, announced the completion of Africa’s first wind-hydrogen system. The hydrogen system has been installed to enable the storage of excess wind energy. The installed system demonstrates that the intermittency of the wind and excess production can be resolved. Sahara Wind Inc. of Morocco, has coordinated the installation of a wind farm consisting of three wind turbines at Al Akhawayn University, one Moroccan’s top universities. The installation of the wind turbines meant that green energy could be used around the wniversity campus. The Pure Energy Centre, an expert company in renewable and energy storage technologies, installed the hydrogen system that consisted of a hydrogen electrolyser, a hydrogen store and a fuel cell.

Sturtevant appoints director of sales and marketing

Sturtevant Inc., has announced the appointment of Sam Rajkovich to the position of director of sales and marketing. Sturtevant is a leading international manufacturer of material processing equipment including, crushers, fine grinders and air classifiers. “We welcome Rajkovich to our team and look forward to him sharing his expertise and skills in further enhancing our global presence and reputation,” said W. Sturtevant English Jr., the company’s president and CEO. “I am confident he will be a strong addition to the company bringing with him a wealth of sales, management and marketing knowledge.” Rajkovich comes to Sturtevant Inc. with over ten years of international and domestic sales and marketing management experience. He earned his MBA from Ohio State University and held management positions at Tomkins Building Products and Comet Automation Systems.

Plant delays nudge Lynas closer to raising equity

(Wall Street Journal blog) For Lynas, the hurdles just keep coming. Not only has work under its recently granted operating license been suspended for at least a month by a Malaysian court, but the company now also faces more obstacles in terms of cash flow, market analysts say. While it’s likely Lynas can get through the immediate period with an expanded working capital facility, the Sydney-based company could well need alternative funding if the start-up of its newly built Malaysian refinery is further delayed. There have even been suggestions of an equity raising. To be sure, Lynas clearly ruled out an equity raising only last month and a spokesman for the company declined to comment further Thursday. However, cash flow is tight and exactly when the company may secure funds from its first rare earth sales is now uncertain. Shareholders in the Australian rare earths company had breathed a sigh of relief when Malaysian authorities finally awarded a temporary license, known as a TOL, in early September. And despite repeated legal delays since, Lynas had publicly stuck by its timetable to begin processing its first rare earths at the plant in October.

BCC Research report: Top ten companies in technical and advanced structural ceramics

BCC Research is offering a new report on ceramic companies involved in advanced structural and technical ceramics. BCC ways the North American market for technical and advanced structural ceramics was $3.2 billion in 2010 and $3.4 billion in 2011. This value is expected to increase to $4.4 billion in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 5.1 percent between 2011 and 2016. Bioceramics, the largest segment constituting 64 percent of the 2011 total technical and advanced ceramics market, should continue to hold that much of the market over the next five years. The advanced armor and military market is expected to show slower growth than in the recent past due to the gradual US disengagement from Iraq and Afghanistan. The qualitative and quantitative judgments in this report represent a valuable contribution to the knowledge of leading companies in advanced and structural ceramic materials, components, processing techniques, applications and markets. Though emphasis is on company expertise and their market niche, direction is given in each structural ceramic application category and their respective properties, processing technologies, and properties. Findings are based on information derived from interviews with developers, producers and potential producers of advanced structural ceramic materials, components and powders; industry experts; and people who perform R&D on monolithic ceramic and ceramic matrix composites. End users were contacted to evaluate the projected demand for technical and advanced structural ceramics. Secondary data were obtained from trade publications, technical journals, government statistics and BCC Research databases.

Australia prepares to celebrate brick design and architecture

Think Brick Australia, the peak industry body representing the clay brick and paver manufacturers of Australia is proud to announce that judging of the annual Horbury Hunt Award, which celebrates vision and inspiration in brick architecture and design has been completed. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on October 25. The prestigious Horbury Hunt Award was first included in the Think Brick Awards in 2006 at the request of the architecture community and named after the renowned architect of the same name. They encourage architects, designers and builders to re-think the possibilities of brick and to innovate with their creations. Each year the awards recognise Australia’s best brick architecture and craftsmanship in commercial, residential and landscape projects. They are also an exhibition of the latest building trends and products from Australian brick manufacturers.


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