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.
Recent innovations in LEDs have improved the energy efficiency of streetlights, but, until now, their glow still wastefully radiated beyond the intended area. A team of researchers from Taiwan and Mexico has developed a new lighting system design that harnesses high-efficiency LEDs and ensures they shine only where they’re needed, sparing surrounding homes and the evening sky from unwanted illumination. The team reported their findings in the open-access journal Optics Express. The proposed lamp is based on a novel three-part lighting fixture. The first part contains a cluster of LEDs, each of which is fitted with a special lens, called a Total Internal Reflection lens, that focuses the light so the rays are parallel to one another instead of intersecting. These lens-covered LEDs are mounted inside a reflecting cavity, which “recycles” the light and ensures that as much of it as possible is used to illuminate the target. Finally, as the light leaves the lamp it passes through a diffuser or filter that cuts down on unwanted glare. The combination of collimation and filtering also allows researchers to control the beam’s shape: the present design yields a rectangular light pattern ideally suited for street lighting, the researchers say. In addition to cutting light pollution and glare, the new model could also save energy. A general LED street light could reduce power consumption by 40 to 60 percent. The increased efficiency of the proposed design would likely save an additional 10 to 50 percent. Furthermore, the module would be simple to fabricate, since it comprises just four parts, including a type of LED bulb commonly used in the lighting industry.
The union of theory and practice makes broadband, low-loss optical devices practical, which is why two groups of Penn State engineers collaborated to design optical metamaterials that have custom applications that are easily manufactured. In the past, to control the optics of metamaterials, researchers used complicated structures including 3-dimensional rings and spirals that are difficult if not impossible to manufacture in large numbers and small sizes at optical wavelengths. From a practical perspective, simple and manufacturable nanostructures are necessary for creating high-performance devices. ”We must design nanostructures that can be fabricated,” says Theresa S. Mayer, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and co-director of Penn State’s nanofabrication laboratory. Designing materials that can allow a range of wavelengths to pass through while blocking other wavelengths is far more difficult than simply creating something that will transmit a single frequency. Minimizing the time domain distortion of the signal over a range of wavelengths is necessary, and the material also must be low loss. The design team looked at existing fishnet structured metamaterials and applied nature-inspired optimization techniques based on genetic algorithms. They optimized the dimensions of features such as the size of the fishnet and the thicknesses of the materials. One of the transformative innovations made by the researchers was the inclusion of nanonotches in the corners of the fishnet holes, creating a pattern that could be tuned to shape the dispersion over large bandwidths.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln materials engineers have developed a structural nanofiber that is both strong and tough, a discovery that could transform everything from airplanes and bridges to body armor and bicycles. Their findings are featured on the cover of the American Chemical Society’s journal, ACS Nano. “Our discovery adds a new material class to the very select current family of materials with demonstrated simultaneously high strength and toughness,” says the team’s leader, Yuris Dzenis, McBroom Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and a member of UNL’s Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience. Dzenis and colleagues developed an exceptionally thin polyacrilonitrile nanofiber, a type of synthetic polymer related to acrylic, using electrospinning. Dzenis suggests that toughness comes from the nanofibers’ low crystallinity. In other words, it has many areas that are structurally unorganized. These amorphous regions allow the molecular chains to slip around more, giving them the ability to absorb more energy.
Resistive memory cells (ReRAM) are regarded as a promising solution for future generations of computer memories. They will dramatically reduce the energy consumption of modern IT systems while significantly increasing their performance. Unlike the building blocks of conventional hard disk drives and memories, these novel memory cells are not purely passive components but must be regarded as tiny batteries. This has been demonstrated by researchers of Jülich Aachen Research Alliance. The new finding radically revises the current theory and opens up possibilities for further applications. The research group has already filed a patent application for their first idea on how to improve data readout with the aid of battery voltage. In complex experiments, the scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University determined the battery voltage of typical representatives of ReRAM cells and compared them with theoretical values. This comparison revealed other properties (such as ionic resistance) that were previously neither known nor accessible.”The demonstrated internal battery voltage of ReRAM elements clearly violates the mathematical construct of the memristor theory. This theory must be expanded to a whole new theory–to properly describe the ReRAM elements,” says Eike Linn, a specialist for circuit concepts.
(Berkeley National Lab/YouTube) A worldwide race is on for scientists to develop ever more powerful X-ray microscopes. With ultra-high resolution X-ray optics at ultra-bright synchrotrons—such as the 120-meter-long Hard X-Ray Nanoprobe (HXN) being developed for the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven Lab—researchers will see structure and chemistry deep inside natural and engineered materials as they address some of the biggest questions in materials science, physics, chemistry, environmental sciences, and biology. Unprecedented capabilities, however, bring critical technical challenges, but scientists at Brookhaven Lab are on the job. In this video of the 486th Brookhaven Lecture, Yong Chu illustrates unique challenges and innovative approaches for X-ray microscopy at the nanoscale. He also discusses measurement capabilities for the first science experiments at NSLS-II. Chu joined the Photon Sciences Directorate at Brookhaven Lab as group leader for the HXN beamline at NSLS-II in 2009.
The innovative research of a Montana State University student, Neerja Zambare, a senior from Pune, India, majoring in both chemical engineering and biological engineering, was selected as one of the country’s undergraduate researchers for her poster about a bio-cement that effectively plugs cracks near wells and drilling sites. Zambare exhibited her research poster, “Biofilm induced biomineralization in a radial flow reactor,” at the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Posters on the Hill Exhibition April 23-24 in Washington, D.C., one of the country’s most prestigious undergraduate research fairs. Zambare was accompanied by Robin Gerlach, MSU professor of chemical and biological engineering and Zambare’s research mentor. Gerlach said Zambare convinced him that she would be the right person to join his lab group in the Center for Biofilm Engineering. The group trained her and then asked her to join a project that the lab had been working on for some time—a bacterium that makes calcium carbonate and has potential applications in sealing ponds, plugging cracks emitting carbon dioxide near carbon sequestration wells as well as abandoned wells.
(arXiv) Two modifications have been made to a miniature ceramic anvil high pressure cell (mCAC) designed for magnetic measurements at pressures up to 12.6 GPa in a commercial superconducting quantum interference (SQUID) magnetometer. Replacing the Cu-Be piston in the former mCAC with a composite piston composed of the Cu-Be and ceramic cylinders reduces the background magnetization significantly smaller at low temperatures, enabling more precise magnetic measurements at low temperatures. A second modification to the mCAC is the utilization of a ceramic anvil with a hollow in the center of the culet surface. High pressures up to 5 GPa were generated with the “cupped ceramic anvil” with the culet size of 1.0 mm.
(GigaOm) It’s all very well talking about the evolution of wearable computing and the internet of things, but something has to power these thin and/or tiny devices. For that reason, it’s a good thing that so many ideas are popping up in the field of energy harvesting and storage. Some of these ideas were on display this week at the Printed Electronics Europe 2013 event in Berlin, which took in a variety of sub-events including the Energy Harvesting & Storage Europe show. The concepts ranged from the practical to the experimental, so let’s start with the practical.
Finding a way to exponentially double the hydrogen atoms to create a sustainable amount of hydrogen regeneration so that a new form of energy can be harvested is the ultimate goal of researchers at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Rajesh Shende, PhD, and Jan Puszynski, PhD, of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, have been awarded a $299,975 NSF three-year grant to test high-temperature water splitting in multiple thermochemical cycles. Using thermally-stabilized redox materials, particularly ferrites, already the team has documented reliable multiple-cycle results, sparking hope that sustainable hydrogen energy through the use of thermal hydro-splitting will one day be feasible, says Shende. Just two other US. locations, and possibly a third, are conducting similar research, according to Shende. One of the aspects that makes the Mines experiments unique is that the group has successfully split water molecules during multiple cycles at significantly lower temperatures than other documented research efforts. While others have demonstrated thermochemical splitting at 800-1,500°C, the School of Mines has documented multiple cycles at 700-1,100°C, which could potentially lead to a more affordable large-scale effort.
(YouTube) Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany have created a new synthetic hybrid material with a mineral content of almost 90 percent, yet extremely flexible. They imitated the structural elements found in most sea sponges and recreated the sponge spicules using the natural mineral calcium carbonate and a protein of the sponge. Natural minerals are usually very hard and prickly, as fragile as porcelain. Amazingly, the synthetic spicules are superior to their natural counterparts in terms of flexibility, exhibiting a rubber-like flexibility. The synthetic spicules can, for example, easily be U-shaped without breaking or showing any signs of fracture. This highly unusual characteristic, described by the German researchers in the current issue of Science, is mainly due to the part of organic substances in the new hybrid material. It is about ten times as much as in natural spicules. The synthetic material was self-assembled from an amorphous calcium carbonate intermediate and silicatein and subsequently aged to the final crystalline material. After six months, the synthetic spicules consisted of calcite nanocrystals aligned in a brick wall fashion with the protein embedded like cement in the boundaries between the calcite nanocrystals.
Ceramics could be the key to providing soldiers with lighter and more effective body armor, according to a British research team attracting interest from the Ministry of Defense. “Most people are familiar with ceramics in the house—your plates, mugs and possibly your toilet,” says material scientist Hywel Jones of Sheffield Hallam University. The ceramics he hopes to use in body armor are in some ways similar being hard, light and brittle, but they are specialized versions known as engineering or technical ceramics. Jones is working with Anthony Pick, a ceramics consultant to develop new armor materials. The work is being carried out by XeraCarb, a spin-out business created by Sheffield Hallam to take its technology into production. They have produced a low-density composite ceramic which is mainly silicon carbide. Its manufacture requires lower furnace temperatures than similar materials, making it more energy efficient and cheaper to produce.
(MIT Technology Review) Buyers considering an electric car must bear in mind that using battery-powered heating and air conditioning can decrease the car’s range by a third or more. But, a heating and cooling system being developed by researchers at MIT almost eliminates the drain on the battery. The researchers are working with Ford on a system that they hope to test in Ford’s Focus EV within the next two years. The work is being funded with a $2.7 million grant from the ARPA-E. The researchers describe their new device as a thermal battery. It uses materials that can store large amounts of coolant in a small volume. As the coolant moves through the system, it can be used for either heating or cooling. In the system, water is pumped into a low-pressure container, evaporating and absorbing heat in the process. The water vapor is then exposed to an adsorbant—a material with microscopic pores that have an affinity for water molecules. This material pulls the vapor out of the container, keeping the pressure low so more water can be pumped in and evaporated. This evaporative cooling process can be used to cool off the passenger compartment. As the material adsorbs water molecules, heat is released; it can be run through a radiator and dissipated into the atmosphere when the system is used for cooling, or it can be used to warm up the passenger compartment. The system requires very little electricity-just enough to run a small pump and fans to blow cool or warm air. Eventually the adsorbant can’t take in any more water, but the system can be “recharged” by heating the adsorbant above 200°C. This causes it to release the water, which is condensed and returned to a reservoir.
In honor of DOE Secretary Chu’s last day at the department, here’s a look back at his time overseeing important investments in science, innovation, and clean energy technologies that are making America more competitive and helping us win the race for a clean energy future. For more than four years, he has provided remarkable leadership in pursuing both President Obama’s nuclear security agenda as well as an all-of-the-above approach to energy that invests in clean energy, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, addresses the global climate crisis, and supports the clean energy jobs of the future.
The same material that formed the first primitive transistors more than 60 years ago can be modified in a new way to advance future electronics, according to a new study. Chemists at Ohio State University have developed the technology for making a one-atom-thick sheet of germanium, and found that it conducts electrons more than ten times faster than silicon and five times faster than conventional germanium. The material’s structure is closely related to that of graphene—a much-touted two-dimensional material comprised of single layers of carbon atoms. As such, graphene shows unique properties compared to its more common multilayered counterpart, graphite. Graphene has yet to be used commercially, but experts have suggested that it could one day form faster computer chips, and maybe even function as a superconductor, so many labs are working to develop it. Joshua Goldberger, assistant professor of chemistry at Ohio State, decided to take a different direction and focus on more traditional materials.In a paper published online in ACS Nano, he and his colleagues describe how they were able to create a stable, single layer of germanium atoms. In this form, the crystalline material is called germanane. Researchers have tried to create germanane before. This is the first time anyone has succeeded at growing sufficient quantities of it to measure the material’s properties in detail, and demonstrate that it is stable when exposed to air and water.
Here is what we are hearing:
Morgan Technical Ceramics, a market leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality ceramic solutions, is extending its material portfolio with the launch of a new piezoelectric material. PZT5K1 is suitable for applications in the fields of scientific instrumentation, maritime, medical, energy harvesting. and general industry. PZT5K1 is just one of a range of PZT materials supplied by the company. The new material’s high density and low porosity mean the material can be used for machining 1-3 composite structures in highly sensitive sonar and medical ultrasonic transducers, as well as high-performance actuators, specialist sensors, and energy harvesting devices. Using an innovative new core process, Morgan manufactures the material to offer optimised voltage charge coefficients. Its high d33 rating improves the electrical charge generated in energy harvesting applications, while its high d31 coefficient enhances the levels of displacement in actuators. Bimorph components are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, as squares, rectangles and discs. Sizes range from 6-74mm in length and 1-43mm in width. Discs and components up to 254mm in diameter can be manufactured in an extensive range of thicknesses, between 3-35mm. Components are typically supplied with fired-on silver electrodes although options include thin nickel electrodes.
The conference will be held in conjunction with the exhibition and will provide a platform for the hollow and container glass manufacturing industries to meet in an intimate, relaxed environment and do business with decision makers involved in all aspects of design, process and production. The program will discuss market trends and analysis, technology developments, case studies and innovation. Speakers include: Stölzle Glass, FEVE, Glass Global, British Glass, Polish Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials, Tses Glass, TU Freiberg (Freiberg University), Arc International, AGMS, Glass Service, Pneumofore, Forehearth Services, Xpar Vision, Heye International, Ilis GmbH, MSC & SGCC , JLI Vision, Athena, and Vertech
Osram is illuminating the tenth cruise ship of the Aida Fleet with 9,000 lamps and more than 1 kilometer of LED strips. The “swimming city” has a total length of 253.33 metres and a width of 32.20 metres, and offers space for around 2,500 passengers. “Cruise ships with their complex range of demands are in reality lighthouses for lighting applications,” commented Martin Nüboldt, the manager responsible for the project at Osram. The ship was inaugurated with the name of Aidastella in Warnemünde, Germany, on March 16, 2013. Diverse areas were equipped with 9,000 Osram halogen Eco lamps and 1,200 metres of flexible LED modules ensure both white and coloured light.
PANalytical, the world’s leading supplier of analytical X-ray equipment and software, is set to launch its new software for X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems. PANalytical developed Stratos, a brand new software package, for both the Epsilon 3 and Axios spectrometer ranges. The company will also be releasing an upgrade of the FingerPrint software for the Epsilon 3 range. Stratos features built-in intelligence and can quickly and accurately analyze the thickness and composition of coatings, surface layers and layered structures. Multi-layer samples can be analyzed with bulk standards, without the need for in-type standards that are sometimes hard to source. Another significant advantage of the software is its flexibility and the ease of use provided by the ‘Virtual Analyst’. This unique tool is a consultant for advanced method development and provides optimum measurement settings for analysis, which can be time-consuming for complex stack structures. Stratos is able to analyze more than 16 layers, depending on their thickness and composition. It is also easily combined with PANalytical’s Omnian semi-quantitative software.
Morgan Thermal Ceramics announced the availability of Cerox fired refractory shapes, offered in a range of material compositions, including many specifically used for the manufacture of rotating and non-rotating airplane components and automotive turbochargers. Dense, hard, and chemically stable, Cerox fired refractory shapes offer resistance to chemical attack from acids, slags, and gases to produce the cleaner, contaminant-free metal desired by end users in aerospace and automotive steel foundries. Fired shapes manufactured from Sillimanite Cerox 200 are composed of 74 percent alumina and fired mullite, which are prized for their chemical attack resistance, good thermal shock, and excellent non-wetting characteristics at temperatures as high as 2,850°F. Other materials available include Cerox 700 which has a high alumina content as well as versatile shape capability, making it ideal for products with complex shapes, including crucibles, tundishes, and launder systems. For complex shapes, Cerox 720 which also features a high alumina content, is particularly adapted to developing shapes with thin walls, due to its fine grain and high strength.
To provide clean and green energy alternatives at an affordable cost, Mayur Renergy Solution (a Pune- & Boston-based corporation) has signed a contract with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), Germany, to develop solid oxide fuel cell products for the markets in developing countries. The main goal is the development of a fuel cell product at local prices that will help to solve the electricity situation in India and other developing countries. Envisioned is a micro power plant which will be installed in every house. As part of this promising project Fraunhofer IKTS will develop prototypes based on the established Eneramic fuel cell system, which will be extended for higher power classes. Mayur’s vision is to combine solar, wind, biogas and fuel cell technologies to provide energy independence to rural India and thus bringing prosperity and stability to the rural economy. Fraunhofer IKTS will develop first prototypes until 2014 and transfer the know how to Mayur, who in turn will work on commercializing the technology.
H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of customer-specific powders and components made from technology metals and advanced ceramics, has sustained its position in 2012 despite a more difficult market environment. The company achieved 862.9 million euros in sales, after 883.2 million euros in the extraordinary strong growth year 2011. As of December 31, 2012, the company had 2,926 employees (2011: 2,816). “H.C. Starck was able expand its market position in all major industries, maintain its sales at the level of the previous year despite falling metal prices, and achieve the second best result in the last ten years,” says Andreas Meier, chairman. The company was able to strengthen its powder business by gaining market share for high capacity tantalum powders and expanding its niobium business significantly. In the business segment of fabricated products and components, H.C. Starck has successfully responded to strong demand from the semiconductor industry and the chemical processing industry. Also, the company successfully expanded into the rapidly growing market of high temperature furnaces with the production of highly complex heat shields and crucibles made of molybdenum and tungsten for sapphire furnaces used in LED production. The company invested a double-digit million euro sum in the expansion of its Asia business and in the targeted expansion of production capacities at its German sites. Research and development activities of H.C. Starck focused on a new generation of high-capacity tantalum powders. The company also will continue to drive future technologies. Since mid-2012, H.C. Starck operates a joint venture with Japan New Chisso Corp. for cathode material for high-performance lithium ion batteries. Part of H.C. Starck’s long-term strategy is the recycling of raw materials. In the procurement of primary raw materials, the company continues to rely exclusively on conflict-free raw materials in accordance with the guidelines of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition.
Vector Strategy’s 2013 US military body armor procurement analysis is available for immediate purchase and delivery effective. This report provides an analysis of 2000 to 2013 US military body armor procurement and three scenarios for 2014 to 2020 procurement. Each scenario is based on a different set of assumptions about procurement of next generation body armor systems, sustainment of legacy body armor systems, and industrial base sustainment policies or outcomes. We have outlined tradeoffs that the DOD will need to make as they develop future funding requirements for the Army’s Soldier Protection System and the USMC’s Modular Scalable Protection System. The report also provides an in depth analysis of 2008 to 2013 US military sustainment awards and questions DOD’s strategy regarding the sustainment of their body armor inventory. This report is essential for organizations who need to understand future US military body armor procurement and the tradeoffs made when optimizing modernization, sustainment, and the industrial base in an era of severe DOD fiscal constraint.
Here is what we are hearing:
Lynas Corp. is pleased to confirm that the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Malaysia (LAMP) has produced its first Rare Earths products for customers. Lynas announced on Jan. 7, 2013, the successful commissioning of the cracking and leaching rare earth extraction units at the LAMP. The recovery rates from the cracking units continue to be high, in excess of 90 percent of the contained rare earth oxides (REO). Following commissioning of the cracking and leaching circuits, the company has been working through early stage production issues that are typical for any start up of a new plant. Our focus is on increasing throughput and optimizing use of equipment. These issues have not materially impacted on the overall production ramp-up schedule. The company’s target for the Phase 1 nameplate production capacity of 11,000 tons per annum of REO remains Q2 2013.
A report from Companiesandmarkets.com says that the North American market for technical and advanced structural ceramics was $3.2 billion in 2010 and $3.4 billion in 2011. The report predicts this value will 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. The increasing global nature of the advanced and structural ceramic market is evidenced through the companies discussed and their subsidiaries.
The European ceramic industry further strengthens its representation in Brussels. Newly appointed Construction and Sustainability Manager Nuno Pargana encountered his first kiln early as a child of a Portuguese ceramic decorator. After having worked for Reuters in Poland and finishing his dissertation on the LCA of thermal insulation materials, Nuno now augments Cerame-Unie’s technical expertise and handles everything concerning construction policy and sustainability for the ceramic industry. Among the eight sectors represented by Cerame-Unie, Nuno will be responsible for the clay pipe and the sanitaryware markets. To increase the industry’s visibility, the Austrian Benjamin Wilhelm got promoted to communications manager, who until recently coordinated the genesis of the remark-able Ceramic Roadmap to 2050. The team will be further strengthened by the arrival of Anne-Sophie Gerst, detached by the French association FFTB. Anne-Sophie explored the cement industry in parallel to her studies. Specialized in European affairs and energy issues, she will now work particularly on ETS and environment with Directors Adolfo Aiello and Astrid Volckaert. Director General Renaud Batier is certain “the ceramic industry’s voice will be heard loud and clear in 2013.”
Bryan A. Shinn, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., says “2012 was truly exceptional for U.S. Silica, starting with our successful initial public offering at the beginning of the year and concluding with record financial results for the full twelve months. Our success is due largely to the power of our business model, our strong customer relationships and the drive and determination of our talented group of employees.” Shinn continues, “Looking ahead, we have strategically positioned ourselves well in all of our major markets to provide a strong platform for sustained growth and increased profitability in 2013.” Revenue totaled $441.9 million compared with $295.6 million in 2011, driven primarily by strength in the oil and gas proppants segment. Overall sales volumes increased to 7.2 million tons or 14% above the prior year sales volume of 6.3 million tons. Contribution margin totaled $193.7 million compared with $120.6 million in 2011. Adjusted EBITDA was $150.6 million or 34.0% of revenue compared with $93.6 million or 31.7% of revenue in 2011. Net income was $79.2 million or $1.50 per basic and diluted share compared with $30.3 million or $0.61 per basic and diluted share for the full year 2011.
SRI Ventures VP Norman Winarsky sits down with TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha to discuss SRI’s spin out philosophy and process, our current and future projects, and the contemporary ecosystem of innovation from incubators to research institutes. From the creation of the first computer mouse to the development of Siri, SRI International has been propelling tech innovation for over half a century. The nonprofit research institute is responsible for advancements across any number of fields, from media to medicine, education to economics, ARPANET to modern AI. SRI has created and launched more than 40 Ventures, with a total market capitalization exceeding $20 billion, and hundreds of high value licenses for their IP. Behind this effort is a process of research, development, deployment and commercialization for ventures and licenses that brings to bear its own innovative practices. In this conversation, TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha sits down with Winarsky to discuss SRI’s spin out philosophy and process, their current and future projects, and the contemporary ecosystem of innovation from incubators to research institutes.
Schott North America Inc. is sponsoring a wood stove design challenge to promote clean-burning wood stoves. In addition to its sponsorship, the company will offer expertise in glass-ceramics to the challenge’s finalists in hopes of finding new innovations in home heating as well as raising awareness about clean-burning wood stoves Wood stoves have been heating homes for hundreds of years, but not the way today’s high-tech, clean-burning stoves do. Modern woodstoves have seen major upgrades that have made them efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, and new innovations are uncovered every day to make them more sustainable. That’s why Schott, supplier of Robax, a glass-ceramic for environmentally friendly woodstoves and fireplaces, is partnering with and sponsoring the design challenge, which seeks out next-generation stove designs and draws attention to clean-burning wood stoves. As part of its sponsorship, Schott will make available its expertise in glass-ceramic materials to the 14 challenge finalists, whose stoves will be tested and judged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in Nov. 2013. The Wood Stove Design Challenge seeks to promote next-generation stove designs, build a community of innovators, and showcase stove innovation to the public. Few consumers, homebuilders, and politicians are aware of the technological advancements in wood stoves that have turned such units into highly efficient heating units.
Refractron Technologies Corp. is proud to announce that it will be exhibiting at INTERWIRE 2013 at booth 870, from April 23-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. As the largest and longest-running wire and cable marketplace in the Americas, the international trade event draws speakers, attendees, and exhibiting companies from over 50 different countries and spans dozens of industries. Wire Association International, the organizer of the event, is a worldwide society for wire and cable industry professionals. This year, Refractron will be promoting its Izory tetragonally toughened zirconia drawing cones, guides and eyelets. Izory is ideal for applications like wire drawing that require tough, wear and corrosion resistant products. Izory products can be used in a variety of industries including oil and gas, chemical processing, and food service. That means that Interwire is going to be the perfect place to display our products!