Credit: I. Kirton/United Bottlemakers of Yorkshire
Mark your calendars—this sounds like fun!
From Ian Kirton via LinkedIn:
Bringing together the largest group of bottle makers the world has ever seen. Bottle makers have been invited from the seven glass container plants in Yorkshire to bring their families out and have a fun day. Yes there will be fair ground rides and bouncy castles all the fun of an English country fair and, yes, there will be a bar selling good English ale and, yes, the Army and Navy will be recruiting as I said all you would expect to see at a country fair, but this country fair is a bottle makers fun day so how could the United Bottle Makers of Yorkshire miss out on the chance to capture that knowledge and history. We will be creating a potted history of the glass industry; we are inviting glass workers new old and retired to leave us with a story or two of their experiences in the glass industry. These people are the real Glassperts. We are expecting stories going back 50 years; we will try and capture this living history before the Glassperts take it to the grave. If there is there any companies out there who wish to support GlassFest and Glassperts please feel free to contact me.
The festival has its own Facebook page, too.
We need something like this in the US, both for glass making and ceramic making.
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.”
• Austrian fireproof materials maker RHI is considering building a new plant in the United States, the company said, to join the growing number of European industrial firms attracted by cheap energy prices across the Atlantic. RHI said it would make a decision in the fourth quarter and could invest about €50 million to build or take over a plant.
• Vesuvius said it expects its 2013 revenue to fall following restructuring and disposals. Trading has been broadly flat this year and production of steel and foundry has been affected by difficult market conditions; production fell 5.0 percent in Europe and North America in the first four months of the year, offsetting a 6.4 percent growth in Asia.
• Pretoria Portland Cement Company of South Africa plans to build a 1 million metric tons per year plant costing $200 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The South African cement producer aims to make at least 40 percent of its sales outside of South Africa by 2016.
• Australia’s CSR Ltd. has warned its Viridian glass division will be a continued drag on earnings in the year ahead, even after a reorganization and a $196 million provision booked in the latest financial year.
• PPG Fiber Glass has sold its 50 percent interest in the PPG-Devold glass fiber joint venture to Hexagon Devold. The 50-50 joint venture was created in 2007 to manufacture glass fiber reinforcement fabrics for use in turbine blades for wind energy.
Owens Corning and Constellation today announced the development of a 2.6-megawatt solar generation project that will supply clean energy to the company’s thermal and acoustical insulation plant in Delmar, N.Y. Scheduled for completion in late 2013, the solar project is designed to supply more than 6 percent of the plant’s annual electricity needs and will support Owens Corning’s 2020 Environmental Footprint Goals for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. “The Delmar Plant is committed to environmental sustainability and advancing both our plant and Owens Corning toward our 2020 sustainability goals,” says John Becker, Delmar plant leader for Owens Corning. “In addition, this project is part of our continuing efforts to implement innovative programs that improve and protect New York State’s environment, and have a positive impact on the state’s economy.” Constellation will finance, build, own and maintain the system. Electricity generated by the system will be purchased by Owens Corning under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Constellation.
A recently added market report by Transparency Market Research on “Energy Efficient Materials Market—Global Industry Size, Share, Trends, Analysis And Forecasts 2012-2018″ is now available. Energy efficient materials are largely used for thermal insulation of buildings as a result of which, demand for these materials is on the rise. Thermal insulation is the most efficient and effective way to improve the energy utilization and efficiency in the building. This method will preserve the indoor heat during winter while keeping the building cool from inside in summers thus improving comfort and saving energy. Some important factors which are necessary for energy saving potential include thermal insulation, efficient lighting system, insulation of windows etc. The most common energy efficient material is fiber glass which is largely used in constructing energy efficient windows. Energy efficient materials industry has a huge market potential in developed countries of America and Europe however, this technology is expected to catch momentum in developing markets of Asia Pacific in near future owing to the increasing adoption of the concept of energy efficient homes. Energy efficient materials market is also driven by increasing consumer demand for operating various appliances and increasing standard of living. In America about 38 percent of total energy consumption is used for heating and cooling purpose in buildings while China accounts for 47.2 percent of total energy consumption.
U.S. Silica exceeded all of its 2012 Sustainability Targets including those for workplace safety, community investment and environmental protection. The company released its third annual Sustainability Report, Connected, which provides a summary of the company’s goals and accomplishments over the past year. Under the guidance of the company’s Sustainability Council, the 2017 Bold Goals and Annual Targets are focused on three distinct areas: People, Planet and Prosperity. Building off of the company’s last two reports, Connected reflects U.S. Silica’s commitment to employees, neighbors, shareholders and the natural environment. It also underscores U.S. Silica’s leadership in sustainability efforts, ranging from tree plantings and wildlife preservation initiatives to financial and in-kind support for local charities and outreach groups.
(Reuters News) From whitewares to solar panels, ceramic products imported from China are about to become much more expensive for European consumers after the European Commission agreed to impose punitive duties on Chinese ceramic imports to counter what it says is dumping at artificially low prices. Imported Chinese whitewares are now subject to tariffs of between 13.1 and 36.1 percent, according to the EU’s official journal. The European Commission says ceramic tableware and kitchenware imports from China totaled €728 million in 2011. After an investigation of alleged dumping by Chinese producers of €21 billion of solar panels and components, the commission also imposed punitive tariffs of 47 percent on Chinese solar goods and said it is also ready to launch an investigation into Chinese imports of mobile telecom equipment.
Growth in industrial markets, more regulations and a shortage of skilled metallurgists all mean the same to NSL Analytical Services Inc.: more business. The independent commercial testing company recently invested more than $1.6 million to buy and renovate a new metallurgical laboratory in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, thus expanding that component of its business. At 11,500 square feet, the new building offers more than double the space of its old metallurgical lab, with more than $560,000 of that investment going to new microscopes, testing machines and other equipment. NSL Analytical, made up of a chemical testing lab and a metallurgical lab, has embarked on an aggressive growth plan in recent years, doubling its revenues and adding 17 employees since 2007, says company president Larry Somrack. He declined to share the company’s annual revenues, but cited the hiring increase as a sign of success. NSL is setting itself up to double its revenue again during the next three years, and Somrack says he plans to hire another 19 employees in the next three to five years. NSL currently has 66 employees. Somrack thinks opportunities exist to support that growth. A rise in regulations in recent years has led to a greater need for outside testing. Also, chief metallurgist Kevin Holland says in an email that he’s seen growth in the oil and gas industry and in manufacturing since the end of the recession.
After spending years supporting charitable work in Africa, John Coors, chief executive of CoorsTek, the US ceramics manufacturing giant, reached the conclusion that philanthropy was not the answer to fostering economic development. A defining moment came in rural western Kenya about two years ago, when he and a team of doctors and dentists had to turn away lines of people seeking medical help at an orphanage they supported because they could not meet the demand. High quality global journalism requires investment. The experience was the catalyst for Mr Coors to come up with an alternative view, shifting from a charitable approach to capitalism. The result is an initiative that aims to attract investment from influential, wealthy families into a private equity-type fund that has an initial target of raising $300m to invest in sub-Saharan Africa. The One Thousand & One Voices (1K1V) project was launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town with the concept that money would be put to better use if it was invested in growing African businesses and boosting job creation.
3M reports first-quarter earnings of $1.61 per share, an increase of 1.3 percent versus the first quarter of 2012. Sales rose 2.0 percent year-on-year to $7.6 billion, an all-time first-quarter record. Organic local-currency sales grew 2.1 percent and acquisitions added 1.7 percent to sales. Currency impacts reduced sales by 1.8 percent year-on-year. Operating income was $1.6 billion and operating income margins for the quarter were 21.6 percent. First-quarter net income was $1.1 billion and free cash flow was $670 million. “We achieved record first-quarter sales and solid operating margins in the face of a low-growth economic environment and the strong U.S. dollar,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M chair, president and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we further strengthened the company through increased investments in innovation, commercialization and manufacturing.” The company paid $440 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $805 million of its own shares during the quarter.
University of Manchester and National University of Singapore researchers have shown how building multi-layered heterostructures in a three-dimensional stack can produce an exciting physical phenomenon exploring new electronic devices. The breakthrough, published in Science, could lead to electric energy that runs entire buildings generated by sunlight absorbed by its exposed walls; the energy can be used at will to change the transparency and reflectivity of fixtures and windows depending on environmental conditions, such as temperature and brightness. Collectively, such 2D crystals demonstrate a vast range of superlative properties: from conductive to insulating, from opaque to transparent. Every new layer in these stacks adds exciting new functions, so the heterostructures are ideal for creating novel, multifunctional devices. The Manchester and Singapore researchers expanded the functionality of these heterostructures to optoelectronics and photonics. By combining graphene with monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC), the researchers were able to created extremely sensitive and efficient photovoltaic devices. Such devices could potentially be used as ultrasensitive photodetectors or very efficient solar cells. In these devices, layers of TMDC were sandwiched between two layers of graphene, combining the exciting properties of both 2D crystals. TMDC layers act as very efficient light absorbers and graphene as a transparent conductive layer. This allows for further integration of such photovoltaic devices into more complex, more multifunctional heterostructures.
A shattered windshield has a story to tell. The key to hearing it is counting the cracks. The number of cracks that emerge in a plate of glass or Plexiglas relates to the speed of the object that broke it, researchers demonstrate in Physical Review Letters. This simple relationship could prove useful for forensic scientists, archaeologists and even astronomers. Over the past century, most research into cracks has focused on parameters that determine whether a material remains intact when struck. Nicolas Vandenberghe and his colleagues at Aix-Marseille University in France decided to try something different: They wanted to push glass and other materials past their breaking points and study the resulting fractures. They wondered if they could connect the patterns of cracks to the properties of the impact that created them, something no one had done before, Vandenberghe says. So he and his team set up a shooting gallery. Knowing that cracks emerge within a matter of microseconds of impact, Vandenberghe employed a high-speed camera to capture the instant of collision. The photographic evidence revealed a clear connection: After taking into account the type of material and its thickness, the number of cracks doubled for every fourfold increase in the ball’s speed. For example, a 70-kph pellet caused an average of four cracks in 1-millimeter-thick Plexiglas plates, while a 280-kph one made eight.
Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery—and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye. Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new microbatteries out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics. “This is a whole new way to think about batteries,” says William P. King, a Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering. “A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought. In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all of that. Now the power source is as high-performance as the rest of it.” With currently available power sources, users have had to choose between power and energy. For applications that need a lot of power, like broadcasting a radio signal over a long distance, capacitors can release energy very quickly but can only store a small amount. For applications that need a lot of energy, like playing a radio for a long time, fuel cells and batteries can hold a lot of energy but release it or recharge slowly.
Professor Jeremy Kilburn (vice-principal for science and engineering) and Professor Martin Dove (director) launched the new Materials Research Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, on April 15, 2013. The afternoon consisted of talks from Queen Mary academics and internationally-acclaimed experts, who presented recent developments in the area of materials research. The talks were followed by a reception held in the Queens’ Building Senior Common Room, and provided an opportunity for informal discussion and networking. The launch was a success, which received excellent feedback from visitors and colleagues.
In Kanpur, India, Defense Materials and Stores Research and Development (DMSRDE), a unit of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), has been working in frontier area of non-matellic materials. To celebrate DRDO Technology Day, DMSRDE organised an open house for the students to show their products and technologies abilities. Around 500 students, along with their teachers from different schools, came to DMSRDE on this occasion to see the exhibition. The students therein saw different defense-related product, such as bullet proof jackets, coils used in the bofors gun, camouflage and stealth materials etc. DMSRDE is working in very important area of material development for high temperature structural applications. It has developed capabilities to produce the polycorbosilane precursor materials which are used in production of silicon carbide based strategic products. This material in turn can also be converted to high heat resistance silicon carbide fibers for composite development which have enormous applications in defence, atomic energy, and aerospace industries. It can withstand temperature between 1,500–2,000°C. These materials were displayed in the exhibition.
The possible future restrictions to the supply of critical materials have been the subject of debate for several years. In response to these an international consortium has been brought together to develop new solutions to the European requirement for rare earth metals. Remanence is an ambitious program designed to dramatically increase the amount of rare earth materials recovered and remanufactured from existing waste streams. The project brings together European industry and academia across the supply chain to develop the innovative technologies, business models and market information required to exploit this valuable resource reducing dependence on primary sources. The partners will develop new and innovative processes for the recovery and recycling of neodymium iron boron magnets (NdFeB) from a range of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE). Advanced sensing and mechanical separation techniques will be developed in combination with innovative processes to recover the rare earth magnets in the WEEE. Remanence brings together Europe’s leading experts in sensing, disassembly, recycling technology and materials processing in a multi-disciplinary project able to deliver significant technical advances. C-Tech Innovation Ltd will lead a consortium including University of Birmingham, Stena Technoworld AB, ACREO Swedish ICT AB, Leitat Technological Centre, OptiSort AB, Chalmers Industriteknik, Magneti Ljubljana and Kolektor Magnet Technology GMBH.
(MIT Technology Review) A new generation of engines being developed by the world’s largest jet engine maker, CFM (a partnership between GE and Snecma of France), will allow aircraft to use about 15 percent less fuel-enough to save about $1 million per year per airplane and significantly reduce carbon emissions. The first of these new engine, called LEAP, will feature a technology that has never been used in a large-scale production jet engines before: ceramic composite materials that weigh far less than the metal alloys they’ll replace and can endure far higher temperatures. The engine will also make use of parts produced through 3D printing, a new kind of manufacturing that can produce complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to make with conventional manufacturing techniques. These technologies could eventually be used to make more parts of the engine, leading to further advances in efficiency, says Gareth Richards, LEAP program manager for GE Aviation.