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October 23rd, 2012

Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on October 23rd, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

Have a look at what’s happening.

MTC reduced, reused, recycled and reorganized their way to an 8,000 square feet expansion of production capability without increasing the building’s footprint. Credit: MTC.

Morgan Thermal Ceramics’ Elkhart, IN manufacturing site finds novel way to expand facility

Morgan Thermal Ceramics’ Elkhart, Ind., manufacturing site found a way to expand its facility by 8,000 square feet to accommodate a planned doubling of its output, without hammering a single nail or spending a single dollar on disposal. The facility, which manufactures high temperature insulation and fire protection materials, reclaimed the valuable space by clearing out a huge production tooling storage area that had accumulated massive amounts of obsolete equipment over the last twenty years. A multi-departmental  team conducted a careful review to ensure that useful equipment was retained, the contractor, who specializes specializes in salvaging, repairing and reselling older industrial equipment, staged a three day event, during which the material was sorted and cleared. Usable industrial equipment will be repaired and resold. Facility managers estimate that about 175 tons of waste was recycled, including metals, plastic, wood, and cardboard. The company estimates it saved about $10,500 in waste disposal costs and more than $3,000 in indirect labor savings. In addition, the site received a rebate of $5,500 for metals recycled during the event.

Bowland named ‘Composites Person of the Year’ by Society of Plastics Engineers

The Composites Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers recently named Creig Bowland, research associate for PPG Industries’ fiber glass business, as “Composites Person of the Year.” The award was presented during the 12th annual SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition in Troy, Mich. The award acknowledges individuals who have provided significant guidance and support to the Composites Division of the SPE and who have made important contributions to the composites industry as a whole. Bowland’s professional expertise is in application development and design of long fiber thermoplastic composites for structural automotive parts, and he has worked for more than 20 years in the composite industry. He designed and developed the long fiber compounding technology PPG offers to its customers.

Coal gasification demonstrated

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory has developed a molten catalytic process for converting coal into a synthesis gas consisting of roughly 20% methane and 80% hydrogen using alkali hydroxides as both gasification catalysts and in situ CO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) capture agents. This hydrogen- and methane-rich output from the gasifier could be sent to gas turbines or solid oxide fuel cells in order to generate electricity with CO2 emissions significantly less than 1.0 lbs of CO2 per kWh of electricity. A patent application on this topic has been submitted and a paper entitled “Molten Catalytic Coal Gasification With In Situ Carbon and Sulphur Capture” was published by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal Energy & Environment Science.

Berkeley Lab researchers propose a practical space-time crystal

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, an international team of scientists led by researchers with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has now proposed a method which could provide the basis for actually constructing such a space-time crystal. The scheme starts with an ion trap, an arrangement of electric and magnetic fields, which confines ultracold particles at their lowest energy state. The mutual Coulomb repulsion of the charged particles arranges them in a ring inside the trap, and if the ring were nudged into rotation, over time the constituent ions would periodically return to the same or equivalent positions. A space-time diagram would reveal that the ring-shaped crystal in space forms a spiral-cylinder crystal in time.

Purdue to increase engineering faculty by a third

Purdue University is embarking on a program to increase its College of Engineering faculty by 30 percent over the next five years. The additional faculty will allow the college to grow enrollment and expand the breadth and depth of its research efforts. Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering, said faculty growth hasn’t kept up with other growth in the college. From fall 2006 to fall 2011, Purdue’s undergraduate enrollment grew by 17 percent, graduate student enrollment grew by 28 percent and the annual research expenditures grew by 79 percent. During that same time, faculty growth was six percent,according to the dean. The university developed a five-year plan for strategic growth that will add up to 107 faculty members, growing the faculty from the current 358 to 465, a 30 percent increase. With the additional faculty, undergraduate enrollment will grow by almost 10 percent to more than 7,750 and graduate enrollment will grow by 750 to 3,500.

Obama Administration announces $20 million for 10 public-private partnerships to support American manufacturing and encourage investment in the US

Ten partnerships have been selected through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. These public-private partnerships consist of small and large businesses, colleges, nonprofits and other local stakeholders that “cluster” in a particular area. The funds will help the winning clusters support local efforts to spur job creation through a variety of projects, including initiatives that connect innovative small suppliers with large companies, link research with the start-ups that can commercialize new ideas, and train workers with skills that firms need to capitalize on business opportunities. The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is a partnership between the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the US Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation.


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