Somany Ceramics Ltd. says improved sales resulted in net profit of Rs 10.14 crore ($1.88 million) for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, a year-on-year increase of 19.85 percent. The tile manufacturer’s net sales also rose to Rs 333.71 crore ($61.8 million) for the quarter, compared with Rs 275.86 crore ($51.1) in the year ago period. Net sales for the year rose to Rs 1,046.24 crore ($193.8 million) versus Rs 870.36 crore ($161.2 million) for the last fiscal year. Somany recently acquired a 26 percent stake in two tile producers that increased its annual production capacity of vitrified tiles from 5.3 million to 9.1 million square meters.
The UK-based company Ceram will be holding a free breakfast forum “Re-Engineering Materials—Reduce Waste, Ensure Future Raw Materials Supply and Save Money,” on Friday, June 14 at its headquarters in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent. The forum will focus on how raw material shortages and ensuing market price increases are accelerating the need to re-engineer both “waste” and scarce materials in order to meet future industry demands. Andrew Bloodworth, science director for minerals and waste at British Geological Survey, a world-leading geoscience center, will give an independent view on future raw material supply issues. The forum will run from 8:00-11:15 am and include a buffet breakfast, presentations, Q&A session, breakout session with discussion, and networking opportunities.
APC International is pleased to offer custom shear mode piezo half-rings. Shear mode piezo half-rings are poled around the circumference of the ring. Epoxy silver electrodes are then applied to the top and bottom surfaces of the ring or to the outer and inner diameters of the ring. Alternative electrode materials will be considered upon customer request. Shear mode half-rings can be manufactured from APC 850, APC 855, APC 840, APC 841, and APC 880 materials. If desired, APC’s skilled in-house assembly team can bond two shear mode half-rings using a conductive epoxy to create a shear cylinder. Why consider a shear mode piezo half-ring? Sensing applications: Piezoelectric ceramics poled in shear mode are approximately 20 percent more sensitive than piezoelectric ceramics poled in the standard 3-direction. Piezo motor applications: By bonding two shear mode piezo half-rings together with a conductive epoxy the user can easily create a piezo motor that moves in a circular motion.
AVX Corp., a leading manufacturer of advanced passive components and interconnect solutions, has introduced the smallest thin-film 10W 3dB directional couplers available in today’s market. Based on AVX’s proven thin-film technology, the new 0603 3dB 90° couplers exhibit excellent high-frequency performance in ranges spanning 800-6,000MHz and are currently unique in their ability to provide 10W continuous power handling. “Although designed for use in a wide variety of wireless communications applications, the power handling capabilities, expansive frequency range, and miniature size of our new thin-film 10W 3dB couplers makes them especially attractive for portable communications devices, as this particular market segment continues to demand smaller and smaller components in order to keep pace with consumers’ demands for the smallest and sleekest portable technology available,” says Larry Eisenberger, senior marketing application engineer at AVX. Utilizing land grid array (LGA) packaging technology, AVX’s new 10W 3dB directional couplers feature an inherently low profile, low parasitics, excellent solderability, and improved heat dissipation in addition to self-alignment during reflow. Surface mountable and RoHS compliant, the DB0603N couplers also feature low loss, high isolation, and rugged construction for reliable automatic assembly.
From medical engineering to mechanical engineering to automotive industry applications—for years piezo-ceramic actuators have been an integral part of a broad range of applications and have proven their effectiveness millions of times over. The only problem: the actuator’s vulnerability to high humidity and the associated reduction in its durability. CeramTec has now succeeded in developing piezo-ceramic actuators with hermetically sealed protection that also offer outstanding long-term stability. This opens up a world of exciting new possibilities in industry and technology. CeramTec piezo-ceramic actuators are made from hundreds of layers of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) films and exhibit a charge separation when subjected to the deformation process by an external force. With a speed of up to 0.1 milliseconds, they can react very quickly while simultaneously exerting a force of one to two kilonewtons. Conventional piezo-ceramic actuators are protected by a polymer or ceramic coating. However, micro fissures may form during operation, allowing water molecules to come into contact with the piezoceramic. The stray current that arises as a result of this process reduces the performance capability of the actuator and can even destroy it.
Deltech has announced that its control systems is now ETL certified by Intertek. Intertek certifies that Deltech furnace control systems conform to UL508A standards. Standard safety features of Deltech control systems include an emergency stop, door interlock, a safety relay, and isolation switches. Intertek’s ETL Listed Mark is proof of product compliance to North American electrical safety standards. Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) in 50 states and Canada accept the ETL Listed Mark as proof of compliance.
The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation has announced that its introduction to refractories course is now full. The three-day refractory ceramics short course is scheduled for June 24-26. Foundation officials say that anyone who would like to be added to the wait list and notified when the next course will be held should please contact group.
It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing Haldor Frederik Axel Topsøe, founder of Haldor Topsøe A/S. Topsøe was born on May 24, 1913, and passed away on May 20, 2013, shortly before his 100th birthday, after a brief period of illness. Topsøe will be greatly missed by his entire family and by the company’s employees. He remained actively involved in the daily operations of the company as working chair of the board until a few weeks before his death. During his long life, Haldor Topsøe made significant contributions to the world in terms of technological and scientific innovation to address global challenges within energy, food supply, and the environment. Topsøe has created a truly unique company, a world leader in the field of catalysis, which is instrumental in solving these issues. Henrik Topsøe, his son and vice chair, says,” We have lost the inspiring and loving head of our family—just as science and business have lost a brilliant leader, and the larger world has lost a great man. Due to his perseverance and dedication, and his technological and scientific contributions, my father improved the lives of millions. He has set standards within many fields, and he never stopped pushing the technological boundaries.”
Oxide CMC exhaust ground test demonstrator consists of a 1.60-m diameter nozzle and 1.14-m diameter × 2.34-m conical centerbody with titanium end cap inspection portal. Credit: Steyer; IJACT.
Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials can benefit aerospace in propulsion and exhaust, thermal protection, and hot primary structure applications, according to Todd E. Steyer of The Boeing Company (Huntington Beach, Calif.).
Reviewing aerospace-related presentations from last July’s 4th International Congress on Ceramics in a recent paper in the ACerS International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, Steyer outlined several emerging aerospace opportunities for CMCs, including propulsion and exhaust, thermal protection, and hot primary structure applications.
In the propulsion area, gas turbines have long been dominated by the use of nickel-based superalloys and titanium alloys. According to Steyer, engine manufacturers are now taking a closer look at CMCs for use in engine hot sections. Silicon carbide-based composites can handle temperatures to 1200°C while reducing weight and cooling requirements, resulting in reduced fuel burn and improved performance.
According to an article in MIT Technology Review, new engines being developed by CFM, a partnership between GE and France’s Snecma, feature CMC components that will reduce fuel consumption by about 15 percent—enough to save nearly $1 million per year per airplane, assuming a fuel cost of $2.50 per gallon.
CFM’s LEAP engine uses SiC-reinforced CMC parts that don’t require cooling, enabling air that would normally be diverted to keep superalloy components from melting to be used to generate thrust. It also uses parts produced using a 3-D printing process, according to the MIT article.
The company already has orders for 4,500 of the new engines. In addition to saving money, the engines will help users comply with current and anticipated emissions regulations.
In engine exhaust systems, work is underway to produce an alumina-fiber reinforced aluminosilicate matrix composite centerbody and exhaust nozzle for commercial aircraft. Currently in ground testing, the ceramic nozzle will reduce weight and engine noise and increase component lifetime, Steyer wrote.
Ceramic materials have long been used in aerospace thermal protection applications—for 30 years, ceramic tiles with glass-based coatings provided thermal protection for the US’s now-retired space shuttle fleet. Initially composed of silica fibers with a nominal density of 0.14 g/cm3 and a glaze aimed at controlling emissivity and limiting catalysis for oxygen and nitrogen recombination from the plasma on reentry, the tiles provided effective insulation but required heavy maintenance between flights. Engineers improved durability over the shuttle’s service life using new tile substrates and coatings.
For new thermal protection applications, Steyer reported on CMCs developed and tested by NASA researchers for use at temperatures to 1700°C. Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation-Resistant Composite (TUFROC) materials build on the success of insulating fibrous tiles with high-emissivity/low-recombination-efficiency coatings using a refractory ceramic carbon-insulated layer for dimensional stability.
Supersonic and hypersonic flight vehicles present unique challenges for primary hot structural materials, and ultrahigh-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) have been emerging as a promising class of materials for leading edges for hypersonic vehicles. The refractory nature of this class of carbides, borides, and nitrides makes them good candidates for the highest heat flux areas as well as areas with high integrated heat load as a function of time, Steyer wrote.
Particulate, whisker, and chopped or continuous fiber reinforcements are resulting in improved mechanical properties, but the materials’ relatively high density and difficulty in large-scale processing are potential drawbacks. Steyer reported one recent example in which CMCs consisting of 0.5- to 1-mm long chopped Hi-Nicalon SiC fibers in a ZrB2 matrix hot-pressed at 1700°C showed significantly improved chevron-beam fracture toughness at compositions containing up to 20 vol.% fiber.
Increased use of CMCs in aerospace will require microstructure optimization, a path to entry into service, and improved affordability. Steyer believes fundamental and applied research in damage accumulation mechanisms/models, life prediction methodologies and modeling, nondestructive inspection techniques, and robust field and depot-level repair methods will result in more CMCs in aerospace applications.
The Corning Inc. Board of Directors approved an increase in the company’s quarterly common stock dividend. Corning’s second quarter dividend will rise to $0.10 per share of common stock held, versus $0.09 per share previously. Corning previously increased its dividend payment to $0.09 per share from $0.075 in October 2012. It is the third dividend increase in the past 18 months. Additionally, the board authorized a share repurchase program to acquire up to $2 billion of the company’s common stock from time to time through open market or private transactions. “We believe the future for Corning is very bright. Our business results are improving, and we have seen two consecutive quarters of year-over-year core profitability improvements. In the display industry, we have stabilized our market share, moderated price declines and we are reestablishing positive momentum in the business. And, we are seeing positive signs of earnings growth across all our other businesses,” Wendell P. Weeks, chairman, chief executive officer and president, says.
(GigaOm) A Swedish startup is introducing a new approach to making next-gen thin film solar panels, using techniques from optical disc manufacturing. However, the solar manufacturing sector is facing a brutal year in 2013 and as solar manufacturers continue to suffer losses, it could be a difficult time to launch a new production technique. Midsummer, based in Jarfalla, Sweden, has developed equipment and processes to make thin film solar panels, using the material copper indium gallium (di)selenide, or CIGS. Midsummer’s approach is to produce individual CIGS thin film cells on a stainless steel substrate. The cells are “punched out” of the stainless roll before deposition. “We wanted to produce many small thin film solar cells and then later on put them together in a module,” says CEO Sven Lindström. This approach draws on optical disc manufacturing techniques, treating each individual CIGS cells in much the same was a CD or DVD would be created. It certainly marks a departure from current thin film semiconductor deposition, which tends to be employed in a continuous process, either onto a glass substrate or a roll of stainless steel.
Saint-Gobain received the “European Cleantech Corporation of the Year” award at the 9th European Cleantech Forum in Bilbao, Spain, organized by Cleantech Group, a global network that brings together investors, start-ups and industrial groups in the area of green technology. This award singles out a company for its significant action to promote innovation in green technology and environmentally friendly products and services. Saint-Gobain was selected for its sustainable habitat strategy, for continuing its strategic investments in 2012, and NOVA External Venturing’s contribution to speeding up innovation. Tasked with identifying start-ups and encouraging partnerships with Saint-Gobain Activities, NOVA’s international team promotes a culture of innovation that embraces the world outside Saint-Gobain. “We were struck by Saint-Gobain’s consistent approach to cleantech innovation, underpinning its sustainable habitat vision, as shown by the gradual growth in new products as a percentage of its sales. In 2012, despite a tough economic context, its commitment to sustainability, innovation and energy efficiency prevailed, with notably the acquisitions of Celotex and Sage Electrochromics, and the running of the 4th NOVA Innovation Competition,” explains Richard Youngman, managing director for Cleantech Group in Europe.
Research and Markets’ new report, “Global Cement Market to 2017: Market Size, Growth and Forecasts in Nearly 80 Countries” is a comprehensive package that enables readers the critical perspectives to be able to evaluate the world market for cement. The package provides the market size, growth, and forecasts at the global level as well as for each of the following countries: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Vietnam. The market data covers the years 2006-2017
Cemex announced a collaboration agreement with the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) at Columbia University and City College of New York in which EEC will conduct a year-long study of the life cycle effects of using alternative fuels in cement manufacturing. This study will result in a better understanding of the role that alternative fuels play in society and the environment. “This collaboration with EEC underscores the urgency of searching for alternative fuels given the continuing rise of oil prices and the increase of waste in landfills,” says Luis Farias, Cemex’s senior vice president of energy and sustainability. “The alternative fuel strategy has already enabled Cemex to avoid the emission of approximately 2.5 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.” Led by Nickolas Themelis and Marco Castaldi, from Columbia University and the City College of New York, respectively, the study will focus on waste combustion technologies implemented in Cemex kilns in the United States and Mexico. “The study is of great interest to the EEC because cement production is the largest materials-based high-temperature process worldwide, therefore, cement kilns present a great potential to reduce the amount of wastes in landfills,” explains Themelis. “This study provides EEC with the opportunity to develop a knowledge position similar to that EEC has attained in the global waste-to-energy technology and industry.” Cemex is on track to achieve its target of a 35 percent alternative fuel substitution rate in cement production by 2015.
Schott is now the first manufacturer to offer special optical glasses of the tolerance level 0.5. The maximum deviation from the nominal values listed in the datasheet is only ± 0.0001 with the refractive index nd and ± 0.1 percent with the Abbe number νd with this new level of quality. This means Schott has the narrowest optical tolerances available in the market. Glasses of the tolerance level 0.5 are particularly well-suited for use in high-precision lenses. To achieve the best possible resolution, several lenses must be precisely in tune with each other. The narrow optical position of the glasses helps to improve the quality of the lenses used in inspection systems in industry or microscopy. In response to the growing demand, Schott now offers the following preferred fine annealed and prepared glass types in the tolerance level 0.5 from stock: N-BK7 and N-BK7HT, N-KZFS4 and N-KZFS4HT, N-KZFS5, N-KZFS8, N-PK51 and N-FK51A. Other glasses of the tolerance level 0.5 are available upon request. Schott is able to achieve these extremely narrow tolerances by closely controlling the melting and annealing processes with the help of state-of-the art techniques used in glass manufacturing. Then, these glass products are measured extremely precisely and further referenced inside a V-block refractometer at Schott.
(Business Courier) David Joyce, CEO of Evendale-based GE Aviation, said last week the company will make an announcement in the next 60 to 90 days about a ceramic matrix composites production site.
Joyce, who was meeting with reporters after parent company General Electric Co.’s first quarter earnings were reported, didn’t share any additional details about the production site. Ceramic matrix composites, or CMCs, are expected to play an increasing role in new jet engines from GE Aviation. Ceramic matrix composites combine the heat resistance of ceramics with the strength of metal. GE Aviation recently tested an engine core that achieved the highest combination temperatures ever recorded inside the compressor and the turbine, a core made of lightweight and heat-resistant CMCs. The hotter the engine can get, the more efficiently the engine can run, which could result in improved fuel efficiency of as much as 25 percent.
The Youngstown, Ohio, based National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) hit the ground running and this week announced its first $4.5 million in awards for seven projects. Matching funds from proposal winners bring the value of the awards up to $5 million.
The Obama administration established NAMII in August 2012 as the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and President Obama brought the Youngstown institute to the nation’s attention when he mentioned it in January’s State of the Union address. The public-private-academic consortium comprises 40 companies, nine research universities, five community colleges, and 11 nonprofits. (Obama announced the NNMI concept just one year ago, in March 2012, and provided it with $45 million in federal funding from DOD, DOE, Department of Commerce, NSF, and NASA.)
According to the press release, all seven winning projects come from the ranks of NAMII consortium members and are R&D projects that address aspects of NAMII’s four thrust areas are technology development, technology transition, additive manufacturing enterprise, and education/workforce outreach.
Based on what I can see in the press release, none of these projects specify research on ceramic materials-the focus seems to be on polymers and metals. (I was not able to reach anyone at NAMII this morning.) NAMII says it will announce its second call for proposals in June at the RAPID 2013 Conference and Exposition in Pittsburgh, Pa. Let’s hope they add ceramic materials to the mix. We have often reported in CTT, additive manufacturing is an excellent fabrication technology for ceramics, as this example and this example show.
Here are the awards (from the press release).
“Maturation of Fused Depositing Modeling (FDM) Component Manufacturing“
Rapid Prototype + Manufacturing LLC (RP+M)
Led by small business part producer, RP+M, in partnership with equipment manufacturers and large industry system integrators and the University of Dayton Research Institute, this project will provide the community with a deeper understanding of the properties and opportunities of the high-temperature polymer, ULTEMTM 9085. Some of the key outcomes from this project include a design guide; critical materials and processing data; and machine, material, part and process certification.
“Qualification of Additive Manufacturing Processes and Procedures for Repurposing and Rejuvenation of Tooling“
Case Western Reserve University
Led by Case Western Reserve University, in partnership with several additive manufacturers, die casters, computer modelers, and the North American Die Casting Association, this project will develop, evaluate, and qualify methods for repairing and repurposing tools and dies. Die casting tools are very expensive—sometimes exceeding $1 million each—and require long lead times to manufacture. The ability to repair and repurpose tools and dies can save energy and costs, and reduce lead time by extending tool life through use of the additive manufacturing techniques developed by this team.
“Sparse-Build Rapid Tooling by Fused Depositing Modeling (FDM) for Composite Manufacturing and Hydroforming“
Missouri University of Science and Technology
“Fused Depositing Modeling (FDM) for Complex Composites Tooling“
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Two projects focusing on fused depositing modeling are to be co-led developed in close collaboration by Missouri University of Science and Technology and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, in partnership with other small and large companies and the Robert C. Byrd Institute’s Composite Center of Excellence. These projects address a key near-term opportunity for additive manufacturing: the ability to rapidly and cost-effectively produce tooling for composite manufacturing. Polymer composite tools often involve expensive, complex machined, metallic structures that can take months to manufacture. Recent developments with high-temperature polymeric tooling, such as the ULTEM 9085 material, show great promise for low-cost, energy-saving tooling options for the polymer composites industry. In addition, these projects will explore the use of sparse-build tools, minimizing material use for the needs of the composite process. Composites are high-strength materials that are used in a wide range of industries and can be used for lightweighting, a key strategy for reducing energy use.
“Maturation of High-Temperature Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Technologies and Infrastructure“
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Led by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, in partnership with several industry team members, this project will develop a selective laser sintering process for a lower-cost, high-temperature thermoplastic for making air and space vehicle components and other commercial applications. In addition, recyclability and reuse of materials will also be explored to maximize cost savings and promote sustainability.
“Thermal Imaging for Process Monitoring and Control of Additive Manufacturing“
Penn State University Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP 3D)
Led by Penn State University, in partnership with several industry and university team members, this project will expand the use of thermal imaging for process monitoring and control of electron beam direct manufacturing (EBDM) and laser engineered net shaping (LENS) additive manufacturing processes. Improvements to the EBDM and LENS systems will enable 3D visualization of the measured global temperature field and real-time control of electron beam or laser power levels based on thermal image characteristics. These outcomes will enable the community to have greater confidence on part properties and quality using these technologies.
“Rapid Qualification Methods for Powder Bed Direct Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes“
Case Western Reserve University
Led by Case Western Reserve University, in partnership with leading aerospace industry companies and other industry and university team members, this project will improve the industry’s ability to understand and control microstructure and mechanical properties across EOS Laser Sintering and Arcam Electron Beam Melting powder bed processes. Process-based cost modeling with variable production volumes will also be delivered, providing the community with valuable cost estimates for new product lines. The outcomes from this project will deliver much needed information to qualify these production processes for use across many industries.
Some recent new developments:
Kyocera America, Inc. was recognized by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) for Supplier Excellence in 2012, representing the company’s second consecutive 3-Star Supplier Excellence award. This honor acknowledges Kyocera’s performance in overall quality, on-time delivery, customer satisfaction, and total business and financial health. The Supplier Excellence selection process is undertaken annually by SAS to determine those most exceptional suppliers who display consistent support for Raytheon’s critical Mission Assurance. Evaluation of supplier performance includes objective data as well as input from the Raytheon buyers and Material Program managers who deal with the suppliers regularly. The winning suppliers in 2012 represented less than one percent of Raytheon SAS’ supply base.
PPG Industries’ fiber glass business is featuring industry-standard products, updates on glass operations and composition research, and information on technology currently in development during JEC Europe 2013 in Paris, March 12-14. The company is featuring its Chopvantage HP 3610 chopped fiber glass, an industry standard for hydrolysis-resistant polyamides in long-life coolant systems, is the first to have all of its ingredients approved for the positive list of the Commission Regulation (EU) 10/2011. PPG is is also displaying its The portfolio of Innofiber specialty glass composition fibers that have been updated. Finally, the company will be presenting information information on recent upgrades and reinvestment in technology and equipment for the constructions of L.E.X. and Texo texturized yarns have enabled PPG to continue offering these products to customers worldwide.
Asahi Glass Co. has made an investment totaling $2.1 million in Triton Microtechnologies Inc., which owns cutting-edge via-fill technology for interposer substrate, to enable next-generation semiconductor packaging products using ultra-thin glass. By combining its unique technologies on ultra-thin glass and micro-hole drilling process with Triton Microtechnologies’ via-fill technology, AGC will contribute to the acceleration of next-generation semiconductor packaging development using glass. Next-generation high density semiconductor packaging is a promising solution for smaller and higher-function mobile devices, and the key to this advancement is interposer technologies that interconnect the Si chip and the printed circuit board. AGC has developed carrier glass technology that enables its customers to handle ultrathin glass at their sites and micro-hole drilling technology to manufacture ultrathin glass interposers. For the commercialization of ultrathin glass interposers, the via-fill technology has been needed and this investment will help AGC to put its innovative product into practical use. Triton Microtechnologies owns a proprietary via-hole filling technology for micro-holes with a high aspect ratio. This technology uses a copper paste to fill holes, which allows a highly productive and efficient continuous processing. By using a copper paste with the same coefficient of thermal expansion as glass, this method can also help increase the quality of electrodes.
Bosch Thermotechnology is pushing ahead the market launch of future-proof energy systems. This fuel cell-based system facilitates the decentralised generation of power and heat for new and modernised one and two-family homes. It is based on a ceramic solid oxide fuel cell, operating at high temperatures of 700°C. This results in an electrical efficiency of 45 percent. As a member of the ene.field project, Bosch Thermotechnology will install some 70 of these power-generating heating systems for demonstration purposes in Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France starting 2014 in order to pave the way for the market launch. Aisin Seiki supplies the power-generating module, based on the appliance already launched in Japan. Bosch Thermotechnology integrates it into an overall system in accordance with the respective requirements of the individual European heating technology markets. The ene.field project is the largest European demonstration programme for fuel cell-based solutions facilitating the decentralised generation of power and heat for residential buildings. Industrial companies, research partners and utilities cooperate in the project to promote these micro-CHP plants.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. is pleased to announce its participation in the Miami Bauxite & Alumina, Hong Kong Mines and Money, and Roth Capital conferences. On Feb 4, 2013, Orbite announced it signed an exclusive worldwide collaborative agreement with Veolia for the remediation of red mud using the Orbite proprietary processes. Veolia is the largest environmental solutions company in the world. Specific milestones were established within the agreement for the construction of a first red mud remediation plant expected to begin in 2014. These milestones include selecting the site, determining the optimal operating capacity, and concluding negotiations on the ownership and funding structure. Veolia will be the operator of the plant and intends to construct red mud remediation plants worldwide. Red mud is the caustic waste by-product of smelter-grade alumina production from bauxite ores using the industry standard Bayer process. To date there has been no commercially viable remediation technology, resulting in the disposal of red mud using vast stockpiles, or in some cases even using ocean-disposal, thus creating a long-term liability for alumina producers. There is currently an estimated 3 billion tons of red mud held in stockpiles worldwide. With over 100 million new tons produced each year by the industry, at this rate red mud stockpiles are expected to reach 4 billion tons by the end of the decade. The Orbite proprietary processes, which generate no wastes or tailings, are the only commercially viable and eco-friendly technology for remediating red mud.
Valveless, ceramic pumps from Fluid Metering Inc. provide the solution for metering high viscosity grease at low pressure for precision lubrication of industrial robot gearboxes. To maximize productivity and eliminate downtime, industrial robots require continual lubrication. The PDS-100 Programmable Dispensing System utilizes FMI’s unique valveless pumping design to accurately deliver gearbox lubricating grease, independent of viscosity. More importantly, it accomplishes this at pressures low enough to prevent any seal damage to the gearbox. The pump is available in both single- and dual-channel configurations and is easily integrated with industrial process controllers. Dispense and metering rates range from a few microliters per dispense up to 768 ml per minute continuous metering. FMI’s valveless, ceramic pumps have only one moving part in contact with the fluid. The sapphire-hard internal components and valveless design of FMI pumps eliminate accuracy drift typical of pumping systems that rely on valves, diaphragms, peristaltic tubing, and pressurized feed lines for fluid delivery.
Morgan Technical Ceramics announces its range of piezo ceramic Air In Line (AIL) sensors, ideal for use in medical equipment, including infusion pumps, enteral feeding pumps, and dialysis equipment. The sensors are available as either a standard or custom-manufactured model to suit specific OEM needs, the AIL sensor can be adapted to suit tube diameter, tube holding and clamping method, additional sensing features, mounting arrangement, or interface with a disposable cassette. MTC’s standard AIL sensor includes a bubble detector for a 4-5 millimeter tube, designed to minimize the footprint with a short flexi circuit for easy connection via a standard zero insertion force connector. The sensor can be mounted in any orientation and is designed to be dry-coupled to PVC or silicone tubing. AIL sensors can be customized to meet specific OEM requirements for housing geometry, color, mounting arrangement, electrical terminations, tube diameter, adaptation to specific tubing, and any special functional features. The sensors are available in a variety of forms, from bare-tuned piezo ceramic discs or plates, to a fully functional packaged sensor.