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.”
Schott reports progress in manufacturing ceramics for use in advanced lens systems and LED technology
There is increasing interest in the use of transparent and translucent ceramics, but much of the work in this field has been done in developing proof-of-concept and small-run products. The interest is driven in large part because ceramic-based optical components would have several property and manufacturing advantages over their glass counterparts. A big thing that has been holding back the use of ceramics is the perfection of large-scale production techniques, but now Schott Research and Development says in a news release that it has laid important foundations on manufacturing optical ceramics in a reproducible manner.
Although Schott is largely associated with glass R&D and manufacturing, the company entered into a special joint project funded by Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) called “OptokeraMat.” To be a little more precise, OptokeraMat falls under a BMBF initiative begun in 2007, “Materials Innovations for Industry and Society” (WING). According to its webpage, WING is described as
[T]he first program to integrate traditional materials research with the basic discipline of chemistry and with nanotechnology. Besides combining basic research and applied materials research with the aim of accelerating the transfer of results, the new program also takes account of technology-driven changes in market conditions. The materials manufacturers have often only a minor share in the eventual high value creation with the component or system produced although they have covered most of the cost for research and development. Furthermore, the market needs ever-smaller amounts of ever more specialized materials such as functional or layered materials. The increasing specialization of materials therefore requires increasing cooperation. Only R&D collaborations enable small and medium-sized companies to occupy profitable market niches.
OptokeraMat, one of those collaborations, has been a three-and-a-half-year effort begun in 2009. The basic benefits of ceramic optical components are that they have high IR and UV transmission, high refractive indices, are chemically stable, can be easily and reliably doped and can be made relatively efficiently. German public and business officials wisely realized that they have a tremendous potential in nearly all optical applications (future markets related to lens, scintillators and LEDs are particularly attractive) and launched OptokeraMat to gain a foothold for the nation in this burgeoning R&D field.
Besides Schott, a partial list of participants in OptokeraMat includes Perkin Elmer, Braunschweig University of Technology, IBU-tec, B&M Optik, Ceramtec, and the University of Erlangen.
One of the most significant achievements claimed is that the collaborators succeeded in developing methods to manufacture and reproduce ceramic sintered parts for optical and fluorescent applications.
With reproducible optical ceramics, Schott says engineers can now exploit the superior thermal and mechanical qualities, the high optical refractive indexes (some greater than 2), improved dispersion properties, and the ability to create gradient materials. “This opens up new areas in the Abbe diagram, which systematically depicts the properties of optical materials, which glass was never able to address before. In other words, optic designers now have a larger toolbox to work with,” explains Volker Hagemann, senior scientist at Schott.
According to the company, here are the implications: Camera lenses can be smaller and contain fewer color defects and aberrations. In addition, the lenses will enable new classes of cameras used for geo-observations that could be used on Earth and in space in searches for raw material deposits.
For energy efficiency and lighting applications, Schott predicts a new era when engineers will use ceramic materials for color conversion use with LEDs. Typically, part of the light from blue LEDs must be converted to white for commercial lighting. Schott says in the release that the current color conversion materials are “not nearly as heat resistant as a fluorescent ceramic manufactured at temperatures in excess of 1,600°C. In combination with high-intensity LEDs or laser diodes, the outstanding temperature stability and thermal conductivity of these ceramic converters allow for new light sources to be developed. Their luminance is two to three times higher than that of a typical xenon burner. Areas of application include beamers, next-generation digital projectors and headlights.”
One application area I am curious about that Schott didn’t address in its release is the medical scintillation market, including uses in Computed Tomography machinery. This is an area where GE has already made a lot of progress, but the company made it clear in a 2010 presentation (pdf) that it considered the scintillator market to have a lot a future value.
Energy, environment, and functional ceramics are theme of PACRIM 10; early bird registration ends next week!
It is almost April 24th.
Why, you ask, is that important?
April 24th is the “Early Bird” deadline for the 10th Pacific Rim Conference on Ceramic and Glass Technology and the Glass and Optical Materials Division annual meeting that will take place June 2-7, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.
Why, you may well ask again, is that important? Good question.
For an answer, I called PACRIM 10 organizer, H.T. Lin, leader of the ceramic science and technology group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“Energy and environment are the biggest challenges to society—to every society, not just the United States, but across the globe,” Lin says. “For this PACRIM, we asked, ‘In what ways can we as ceramic scientists—as materials scientists—help society improve the environment? What technology can we develop to meet the energy needs and help create a clean and zero-emission environment?’”
According to Lin, the PACRIM 10 conference will be a forum to exchange ideas and progress on ceramics R&D to meet current and future challenges in energy, environment, and human health. It also facilitates establishing new contacts with peers from different continents.
Building on 2009’s PACRIM 8 in Vancouver with the same theme, Lin says the meeting topics for the June conference combine fundamental science with theoretical modeling for applications, focusing on ways functional ceramics help solve energy and environmental challenges, and will have sessions including functional ceramics, structural ceramics, methods, and characterization.
With 24 symposia and more than 1,000 abstracts submitted, the technical program offers comprehensive coverage of energy, environmental, and related health technologies.
Many of the symposia focus on specific energy or environment topics, such as ceramics and glass for solid oxide fuel cells, thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, nuclear energy, photocatalysis, and energy storage. There are also symposia on “environmental impact” as it relates to the manufacture of ceramics, with sessions on novel and “green” approaches to manufacturing, ceramics for pollution control, and low-temperature biomimetic synthesis.
Tying in to the ideas promoted by the Materials Genome Initiative and modeling and simulation to drive materials development, Lin turned to Wai-Yim Ching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to organize a symposium titled, “Ceramics by Genome.”
Lin had his organizers focus on applications, even in the context of modeling and simulation. He says, “In the beginning stage of materials design, you know your application environment criteria from the beginning. You have a target there so you know what parameters you are designing to, and you will not waste lots of time to repeat the process to optimize the properties to achieve the application target.”
The meeting opens with a plenary session, and the four speakers’ talks on energy will provide a framework for the rest of the meeting. The speakers are Jeffrey Wadsworth, Battelle Memorial Institute; Hong-Kyu Park, LG Chem Battery R&D, Korea; Tomoyoshi Motohiro, Toyota Central R&D, Japan; and M.K. Badrinarayan, Corning Inc.
A quick review of the plenary topics and technical program shows that this PACRIM is designed to focus on functional ceramics for specific applications. Combined with the large international participation that is expected, Lin says, “Right now there is a lot of globalization in terms of research and development. This is the best place for [researchers on all] continents to come together, to get to know each other, to begin to work together”
The “Let’s focus on applications” approach appealed to corporate sponsors of the conference. United States sponsors include Corning Inc. and Battelle Memorial Institute. Reflecting the strong Asian participation and global reach of the conference, sponsors also include the Three Circle Group, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, and Northwestern Polytechnical University from China; UBE Industries (Japan); and Geniatech and Duckseong Green Tech (Korea). Sponsor support also is being provided by ACerS International Journal of Applied Glass Science and the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids.
In addition to the PACRIM conference, the ACerS Glass and Optical Materials Division will be holding its annual meeting at the same time. There is not a separate registration fee—one registration effectively gains admission to two world-class meetings.
The GOMD’s traditional line-up of award lectures promises to be as stimulating as ever, and this year includes a new award lecture, the Darshana and Arun Varshneya Frontiers of Glass Science Lecture. Walter Kob from the University of Montpellier, France, has the honor of delivering the inaugural lecture.
I’ll have more on the GOMD annual meeting and its events in a separate post.
The PACRIM/GOMD meeting will be held at the Hotel Del Coronado. The cutoff date for the conference rate is May 3, 2013.
Finally, Lin offers one more reason to be in San Diego this June—”Come to see me!” he says with a laugh.
The formation of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, announced M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering. The new department will be jointly operated by the College of Engineering and College of Science. The new Department of Materials Science and Engineering will offer Master of Science, Master of Engineering and PhD degrees. More than 100 graduate students will transfer to the new department and are already working on a wide range of materials-related interdisciplinary research projects. The new department will include 41 faculty members from several disciplines, including aerospace engineering, biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering and physics. An undergraduate program is under consideration for the future.
A consortium led by CSL Capital Management, LLC announced today it has sold PyraMax Ceramics, LLC (”PyraMax”) to Imerys S.A. for a total consideration of USD 235 million and additional payments of up to USD 100 million, subject to meeting certain industrial and commercial performance criteria. PyraMax is in the final stages of completing a state-of-the-art, 500 million pounds per year manufacturing facility comprised of two production lines located in Wrens, Ga. Imerys’ acquisition of PyraMax, added to its current production capacity, will significantly enhance its ability to supply high-quality ceramic proppant to the fast-growing North America non-conventional oil and gas market.
Morgan Crucible has combined its two divisions Morgan Ceramics and Morgan Engineered Materials to create a unified business under the new name Morgan Advanced Materials. The simplified structure completes the company’s journey over recent years to create a unified and coherent “one Morgan” business that better reflects its activities in a wide range of technically demanding, high performance engineering applications. The change will allow the Group to promote its full range of products and technologies more effectively and help position it for continued growth in its chosen markets in the energy, transport, healthcare, electronics, petrochemical and industrial sectors. Morgan Advanced Materials designs and manufactures performance materials engineered as high specification components, assemblies and systems. Much of its business involves the design and manufacturer of precision-engineered bespoke parts developed in close collaboration with customers to help them make step change improvements in the performance of their products, some of which operate in extreme environments.
The Orton Ceramic Foundation has announced the dates for its next “Introduction to Refractories” Short Course to be held June 24-26, 2013. The course is designed to provide an intense overview for engineers and technicians working in the field of refractories. The highlight of the course is the “hands-on” labs conducted at the Orton Testing facility. The labs are designed to give participants experience with common refractory tests and the application of standard ASTM test methods. Registration is limited.
Schott opened submissions for the Otto Schott Research Award, which honors outstanding scientific achievements in the field of international glass research. First awarded in 1991, this honor alternates with the Carl Zeiss Research Award every other year. Valued at 25,000 euros, the award is aimed at world-class researchers. Candidates must provide references of their outstanding scientific achievements in fundamental research or technology development in the areas of glass and related advanced materials, components, and systems in the fields of optics and electronics, solar power, health, and living. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2013. Applications can be submitted by email or traditional mail to the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany, Barkhovenallee 1, 45239 Essen (Heidhausen), Germany. Detailed information on how to apply, the award itself, and previous award winners can be found at www.otto-schott-research-award.de.
The dates for glasstec 2014, International Trade Fair for Glass Production–Processing–Products, are set. The event will be held from October 21–24, 2014 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. Exhibitor applications for glasstec 2014 will be available online at www.glasstec-online.com. At the first Advisory Board meeting for glasstec 2014, a number of key decisions were made regarding future stagings. Solarpeq—International Trade Fair for Solar Production Equipment 2014—will be completely integrated into glasstec. In the future, it will enhance the product ranges of the world’s largest glass trade fair and feature manufacturing technology for crystalline and thin-film photovoltaics as a special themed area. Glasstec is renowned for its unique array of product ranges across all stages of the value chain and its versatile special themes.
Hundreds of executives from construction companies, engineering and architectural firms and other service providers gathered in Canton and Pittsburgh this week to hear a single message from oil and gas midstream developers: Get ready for billions of dollars of development in and around eastern Ohio—and be prepared to participate, because there is plenty of work to go around. The executives met Tuesday, April 9, at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Oil & Gas Midstream Seminar, and also April 10-12 at the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) East in Pittsburgh. At both events, representatives of the midstream companies developing pipelines as well as processing and storage facilities for the Utica and Marcellus plays talked of their big plans for the region and their need for help in executing them.
The International Centre for Diffraction Data released the names of its 2013 Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship. The group says its Scholarship Committee selected thirteen recipients on a competitive basis from sixty-nine commendable applications:
The recipients are:
Ercan Cakmak, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn., USA; Investigation the effect of martensitic phase transformations and texture evolution on the deformation micromechanics in TRIP alloys as a function of stress-state using synchrotron X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques
Martin Donakowski, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., USA; Toward molecular control of early-transition metal oxide fluoride materials
Rebecca Fischer, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA; Phase diagram of SiO2 at high pressures and temperatures
Marco Jost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., USA; X-ray crystallographic investigation of the light-responsive transcription factor CarH
Wang Hay Kan, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Formation, characterization, and application of nontemplated mixed conductive nanotubular CeO2/BaCeO3 composites for solid oxide fuel cells
Christopher Kane, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA; Low packing fraction crystalline cavitands exhibiting molecule-sized cavities
Yu Liu, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; Defects and deformation-induced new properties in SiC and related materials
Evgeniy Losev, Institute of Solid State Chemistry and Mechanochemistry SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation; The formation of solid phases in the system (amino acid + dicarboxylic acid)
Nadine Rademacher, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany; High pressure pair distribution function measurements in diamond anvil cells for the analysis of the local structure of compounds consisting of small molecules and their reaction products under extreme conditions
Yezhou Shi, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., USA; Understanding the surface structure-activity relationship in ceria-based electro-catalysts using in-operando surface X-ray diffraction
Sarah Spisak, University of Albany, SUNY, Albany, N.Y., USA; Multi-electron reduction of fullerene fragments: structural studies
Jennifer Urban, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Studying self-assembled small molecule hydrogels using X-ray crystallography
Shavait Yamini, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India; An impediment towards the advent of breast cancer: Structural analysis of LPO with various ligands
The ICDD will present each of these students with a check in the amount of $2,500 to assist in the continuation of studies in their selected fields of crystallographic research.