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.
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.
• At meeting on May 3, the supervisory board of RHI AG approved a concept presented by the management board to adjust the production capacity in Europe to the growth rates, which are expected to stay low in the future. For this reason, the Duisburg plant in German will be closed this year. The Duisburg site currently employs 122 people and primarily produces magnesia-carbon bricks for the steel industry.
• Is glass cullet burning in US?: 1) In Lawrenceburg, W.V.: A pile of recycled glass caught fire Friday afternoon in Lawrenceburg, releasing a smoke cloud that could be seen for miles away. Fire officials in Anderson County received the from the Dlubak Glass Co. on Industry Road, that one of their piles of glass was engulfed in flames. 2) In North Las Vegas, Nev.: Fire officials are investigating what caused a glass recycling plant to go up in flames on May 5 afternoon. It happened near Craig and the I-15. Firefighters said the wind was a huge concern, because it helped the fire accelerate quickly; the plant was open and operating at the time of the fire, and firefighters estimated the flames grew to nearly 50 feet.
• Talga Resources has discovered near surface, high grade flake graphite in first drilling at its Raitajärvi project in northern Sweden. Importantly, initial assays have delivered both high grades over significant thicknesses and broad zones of mineralization not previously recorded by historic works.
• Alcoa has sent a fresh wave of nervousness through its 2,800-strong Western Australia workforce after announcing it could close more of its global aluminium operations because of the metal’s continued price decline. In yet another indication of the tough conditions sweeping through the global aluminium market, Alcoa said yesterday it would review 460,000 metric tons of smelting capacity over the next 15 months “for possible curtailment.”
• The globally respected entrepreneur Chandra Kumar Somany (known to the glass industry fraternity as “C K”), has been honored with the 43rd Phoenix Award, “Glass Person of the Year 2013.” Somany is presently serving the HNG Group as the non-executive chairman.
• Ardagh Group and US food processing company HJ Heinz have formed a packaging development partnership to create a 300g jar for the European launch of a new culinary ketchups range.
• A Longueuil facility that prepares about 70 percent of Quebec’s glass for recycling is shutting down, and the company’s management says it isn’t sure where the glass will end up. Klareco processes more than 100,000 metric tons of glass in Quebec each year and sends most of it to the United States, where it is used to make insulation.
• Emhart Glass, a division of Bucher Industries, and Owens-Illinois, Inc. have signed a supplier agreement for glass forming machines and parts to all of O-I’s plants worldwide.
• Siam Glass Industry Co., Thailand, has reconfirmed its collaboration with Bottero. Having recently started up its new Rojana plant (with one furnace and three IS12 T.G. 4 ¼ machines, and a recent negotiation for the upgrade of two machines in the Samutprakarn plant), Siam Glass has decided the supply will once again come from Bottero.
• RHI has acquired an additional 26 percent share of Orient Refractories Ltd., India, through a public offer. The group had bought a 43.6 percent of the share of Orient in early March.
• Mexico’s Vitro is to invest more than $146 million to increase its melting capacity in its glass containers and automotive glass divisions; 89 percent of the budget will go to operations in Mexico, mainly to increase the manufacturing capacity of some of the furnaces and to improve and update its plants.
• The managing director of Sphinx Glass has declared that processing high quality flat glass will witness a strong growth in Egypt within the upcoming years, in the light of the domestic economic growth as well as growth in exports, especially to emerging markets in Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Southern Europe.
• On May 1, 2013, ANH announces to customers its successful emergence from bankruptcy on April 30, 2013; ANH and its affiliates originally filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter 2002.
• Refractory maker Vesuvius India Ltd. (VIL) will soon make the new manufacturing unit at Visakhapatnam operational. According to the company sources, this would be the third plant of VIL in the port city of Andhra Pradesh. VIL has four operating units in the country; the two existing Andhra Pradesh units have a capacity of 60,000 metric tons a year. The new unit will host an R&D centre.
• Officials with the Corhart Refractories plant in Buckhannon, WV, say up to 64 of the plant’s 150 employees will be temporarily laid off starting July 1. Corhart makes refractory products for the glass industry. Spokesman Bill Seiberlich of parent company Saint-Gobain SEFPRO said demand for some products in the industry has declined recently.