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The Nanomaterials Innovation Center is pleased to announce additions to their science and technical staff. The NMIC appointed John W. Matteson, as technical manager. Matteson brings over 20 years’ engineering and materials processing experience across several industries inclusive of manufacture of industrial furnaces and kilns, new plant development, energy conservation, and thermal processing system development. He has held positions as furnace manager for MWI Inc. and has also served as senior project engineer at Corning Inc. and manager of new technology for Harper International. Vera Dansoh, NMIC’s new process engineer, is a graduate of Alfred University, earning a BS in materials science engineering with a minor in physics. Her technical experience includes X-ray photography and characterization services, working with SEM and optical microscopy using deposition machines, and CVD. NMIC is an open-access research laboratory providing client services in microwave and high-temperature processing applications.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirty-six newly granted patents for Apple Inc. last week. This report describes two of Apple’s patents. The first patent relates to Apple’s ongoing work with advancing multi-touch displays which Apple first introduced with their iPhone in 2007. The second patent relates to new processes that Apple invented for shaping glass for iDevices like the iPhone and iPad so that they would be both esthetically pleasing while eliminating processes involving dangerous chemicals and gasses.
With the introduction of Ladle Vibe 88 in the late 1980s, Allied Mineral Products became the first refractory producer in the world to apply dry vibe technology to steel ladle safety linings. Replacing brick linings with dry vibratable materials offer the following advantages: better resistance to steel penetration, improved operating safety, and reduced operating cost. Products in this series offering special benefits include Ladle-Lite 123A (patented technology offering a 45% reduction in thermal conductivity abd substantially lower steel shell temperature), Ladle Vibe No Bond (an intermediate safety backfill between working and safety lining, with a strong monolithic barrier to penetration), Dri-Vibe 481A (designed to zone in highest wear areas behind the working lining), and Dri-Cast 581A and 591A (designed for hot patching high wear areas of the working lininginstalled by tossing the material into a hot ladle forms a strong refractory hot patch with high permeability improves stir plug reliability).
Asylum Research is pleased to announce that it has been acquired by Oxford Instruments Plc., a publicly owned company based in the UK. Oxford Instruments is a leading provider of high technology tools and systems for research and industry. They design and manufacture equipment that fabricates, characterizes, manipulates and analyzes matter at the atomic and molecular levels. Combining our leading SPM and AFM technology with Oxford Instruments strengthens our position in the worldwide nanotechnology market. Our partnership will also allow us to make significant investments in additional R&D that will translate into new product development bringing the most innovative AFM instrumentation to market faster. This will accelerate research in the world for material and life sciences, energy research and other emerging applications. From the first MFP-1D that shipped out to Cambridge University in December 1999 to the Cyphers and MFP-3Ds that went out the door yesterday, you, our customers, have made it all possible. Our passion will always be to make the best, most reliable AFMs on the planet and to continue to support our customers at the same high standard we have always had. We are looking forward to our future within Oxford Instruments plc where we can raise that bar to an even higher level and move on to the next great discoveries.
Today’s demands for superior quality, performance, reliability, minimized downtime, and ever-tightening delivery schedules in foreign and domestic markets requires a new level of timely, comprehensive aftermarket service. Harper’s comprehensive Pulse team service offers one-call technical support, domestic and overseas field service, proactive preventative maintenance programs, fast-turnaround genuine replacement parts, and engineered solutions for a broad spectrum of your service and maintenance requirements. The Pulse team brings a passionate, collaborative and innovative focus nurtured by years of process technology know-how to bring timely and practical solutions to the most difficult challenges. The Pulse team is the one-call solution to all of your technical and commercial needs, including parts, technical, service, and aftermarket support.
Owens-Illinois Inc. says it applauds Congress for passing H.R. 6582, the “American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act.” The legislation directs DOE, in coordination with the industrial sector and other stakeholders, to conduct a study on legal, regulatory, and economic barriers to deployment of industrial energy efficiency efforts. The study will estimate energy savings from the use of recycled material in manufacturing processes. Jay Scripter, O-I’s vice president of integrated operations for North America, testified in support of the bill, saying “we know that a one percent increase in energy efficiency equals $10 million in savings to O-I and enhances global competitiveness and job preservation in North America.” A company official says the legislation provides opportunities for America’s industries, including glass manufacturing, to work cooperatively with government to increase energy efficiency.
PPG Industries received the CSR Award–Special Prize for the third consecutive year and was named one of the top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) companies in China at the 2012 China Social Responsibility Annual Forum in Beijing. The award recognized PPG’s social responsibility practices as exemplary among more than 3,000 candidates. Cathy Yan, PPG general manager for government affairs and business development, Asia Pacific, also won recognition for her leadership of PPG’s corporate social responsibility endeavors in China with this year’s Award for Excellence in Social Responsibility for an Individual. The 2012 China Social Responsibility Annual Forum was sponsored by the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (CAEFI), China Foundation of Consumer Protection, China Private Economy Research Association and China Forum of Environmental Journalists (CFEG), in association with the Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Development Research Center of Tsinghua University and many other related institutions. The forum is regarded as one of the major events in the field of social responsibility and is now in its fourth year. Recognizing the needs and concerns of society is one of PPG’s key corporate values and is an integral part of the company’s sustainable growth strategy. PPG embraces corporate responsibility by actively and continuously supporting various charitable efforts across the Asia Pacific region and by investing in education, disaster rescue, care for disadvantaged groups and environmental protection efforts.
Keyence Corp. has announced its new IL Series, which represents a significant advancement in laser displacement technology, incorporating performance features typically not found in other systems. The measurement range of this compact triangulation based laser sensor reaches a full 11.48 ft (3.5 m) with 3.94 mil (100 µm) repeatability, regardless of target color. An easy-to-use interface offers a simple approach to measuring height, thickness, liquid fill level, roll diameter, part positioning, width, long distance or hot metal part sensing. The IL Series control system includes numerous built-in, application specific operation modes including thickness and step height, enabling most installations to be configured and operational within seconds after powering on the system.
Naresh Kumar joined Capital Refractories Ltd. on Dec. 1, 2012, as sales manager for India. Naresh has over 20 years’ experience working in and around the foundry industry; his previous position was sales manager for a leading international steel shot manufacturer. One of Naresh’s duties will be to liaise with Capital’s distributor to help with sales and technical visits and become a key link between India and the head office in the UK. His other duties will include expansion into key geographies and sectors, such as mini steel mills, for direct sales of our induction furnace product range.
So much to read, so little time. Maybe try anyway:
In a paper published in Nature Materials, a team of researchers report they have succeeded in creating a defect in the structure of a single-layer crystal by simply inserting an extra particle, and then watching as the crystal “heals” itself. The trick to this self-healing property is that the crystal, an array of microscopic particles, must be curved. This effect, which carries important implications for improving the conductivity of electronics and other realms of materials science, was predicted six years ago by physicist Mark Bowick of Syracuse University, along with David Nelson, Homin Shin and Alex Travesset, in research supported by the National Science Foundation. NSF also funded the new study. In order to prove their prediction experimentally, Bowick sought out Paul M. Chaikin of the Center for Soft Matter Research at New York University. Chaikin enlisted the help of Irvine while he was a postdoctoral scientist working in Chaikin’s laboratory. All three researchers specialize in the branch of materials science called “soft matter,” which studies a wide range of semi-solid substances such as gels, foams and liquid crystals.
(The Register) Apple has filed a patent application for the ability to hide some of a device’s components, such as its camera, biometric sensors, or even its entire display, until they are needed. “Electronic devices are becoming more and more sophisticated, capable of performing a multitude of tasks from image capture to identity verification through biometric sensors,” patent application 20120258773 notes. That’s the good news; the bad news is that each new sensor clutters up the seamless shiny-shiny of an iDevice. The solution to this visual junkiness? Hide the sensors needed to accomplish those tasks behind switchable curtains such as those enabled by a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal window, and make them visible only when needed. In addition to hiding sensors, those switchable windows—as you might assume—would be appropriately color-matched to blend seamlessly with the device’s case when they’re hiding the components behind them.
(Futurity) Thanks to a chance discovery, scientists now know how to make hollow, coated versions of a nanotech staple called quantum dots. The new “lava dot” particles were discovered accidentally by researchers using molten droplets of metal salt. The results appear in the journal Nanotechnology. The researchers also found that lava dots arrange themselves in evenly spaced patterns on flat surfaces, thanks in part to a soft outer coating that can alter its shape when the particles are tightly packed. “We’re exploring potential of using these particles as catalysts for hydrogen production, as chemical sensors, and as components in solar cells, but the main point of this paper is how we make these materials,” says coauthor Michael Wong, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University. “We came up with this ‘molten-droplet synthesis’ technique and found we can use the same process to make hollow nano-size particles out of several kinds of elements. The upshot is that this discovery is about a whole family of particles rather than one specific composition.” Like their quantum dot cousins, lava dots can be made of semiconductors like cadmium selenide and zinc sulfide.
The printing of 3D tissue has taken a major step forward with the creation at Wake Forest University of a novel hybrid printer that simplifies the process of creating implantable cartilage. The printer was recently described in IOP Publishing’s journal Biofabrication, and was used to create cartilage constructs that could eventually be implanted into injured patients to help regrow cartilage in specific areas, such as the joints. The printer is a combination of two low-cost fabrication techniques: a traditional ink jet printer and an electrospinning machine. Combining these systems allowed the scientists to build a structure made from natural and synthetic materials. Synthetic materials ensure the strength of the construct and natural gel materials provide an environment that promotes cell growth. In this study, the hybrid system produced cartilage constructs with increased mechanical stability compared to those created by an ink jet printer using gel material alone. The constructs were also shown to maintain their functional characteristics in the laboratory and a real-life system. The constructs were also inserted into mice for two, four and eight weeks to see how they performed in a real life system. After eight weeks of implantation, the constructs appeared to have developed the structures and properties that are typical of elastic cartilage, demonstrating their potential for insertion into a patient.
(GigaOm) If you think the Jawbone Up and Nike FuelBand are changing our perception of personal health, then wait until you see what Scanadu, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company, has planned for you. The two-year-old old company is the brainchild of Walter de Brouwer, a Belgian-born serial entrepreneur (EUnet-Quest and Star Lab) and member of TED, who in the recent past worked with Nicholas Negroponte on the One Laptop Per Child project. His team of a dozen-odd people, including biologists, chemists, data scientists and semiconductor engineers, is planning to develop a series of personalized health products that want to capitalize on the rapidly falling prices of sensors and other technologies and combine them with data and easy to use smartphone apps. It wants scientists and developers to figure out a handheld device that can diagnose 15 medical ailments based on sensors in the device. De Brouwer’s crew has come up Scanadu Scout, a square shaped device. that can be held next to the left temple when holding it with thumb and the index finger of the left thumb. The device communicates with your iPhone via bluetooth and a few seconds later you get a readout of your vitals such as heart rate, level of oxygen in your blood, pulse and body temperature. It is one of the many devices the company plans to build.
Exactly what goes inside advanced lithium-air batteries as they charge and discharge has always been impossible to observe directly. Now, a new technique developed by MIT researchers promises to change that, allowing study of this electrochemical activity as it happens. The reactions that take place inside a conventional lithium-air battery are complex, says MIT professor Yang Shao-Horn. “We focused on finding out what really happens during charging and discharging,” she says. Doing that required the use of a special kind of high-intensity X-ray illumination at one of only two facilities in the world capable of producing such an experiment: the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California. That facility made it possible to study the electrochemical reactions taking place at the surface of electrodes, and to show the reactions between lithium and oxygen as the voltage applied to the cell was changed. The tests used a novel solid-state version of a lithium-air battery made possible via collaboration with Nancy Dudney and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Lab. Using ALS, researchers were able to produce detailed spectra of how the reaction unfolds, and show that this reaction is reversible on metal oxide surfaces. This study showed that using metal oxides as the oxygen electrode could potentially enable a lithium-air battery to maintain its performance over many cycles of operation.
Global Industry Analysts announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Superhard Materials markets. Global Superhard Materials market is projected to reach $20.2 billion by 2018, driven by healthy economic, industrial and manufacturing activity in developing countries and the ensuing increased demand for highly efficient metal machining, boring, grinding, and nonmetal machining tools. Developing economies, on the road towards rapid industrialization, will continue to drive growth in the world market, especially in the machine tools sector. For instance, China is emerging into a major market for industrial diamonds encouraged by its low-cost export oriented manufacturing prowess. Technology innovations are also poised to benefit the market in the upcoming years. Growing demand for new abrasive products in manufacturing plants as a result of increased precision grinding needs in most end-user manufacturing sectors, is driving R&D investments in superhard materials. For instance, increased research focus is being shed on substitute materials to the traditional diamond such as, cubic boron nitride and polycrystalline boron nitride for cutting, grinding and machining applications. Rising environmental awareness and the ensuing focus on common rail diesel injection systems, given their ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, will create demand for superhard materials, such as ceramics in the manufacture of glow plugs, and piezoelectric-stacks in diesel engines. Also, as the diesel engine technology continues to develop in the future, ceramics will find potential applications in components, such as, turbocharger valve train components, glow plugs, piston, cap cylinders, exhaust train insulation, liners, air bearings, high-temperature bearings, and low friction liquid, lubricant-free bearings, among others.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows users to better determine the amount of charge remaining in a battery in real time. That’s good news for electric vehicle drivers, since it gives them a better idea of when their car may run out of juice. The research is also good news for battery developers. “This improved accuracy will also give us additional insight into the dynamics of the battery, which we can use to develop techniques that will lead to more efficient battery management,” says Mo-Yuen Chow, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State. At present, it is difficult to determine how much charge a battery has left. Existing computer models for estimating the remaining charge are not very accurate. The inaccuracy stems, in part, from the number of variables that must be plugged in to the models. But now researchers have developed software that identifies and processes data that can be used to update the computer model in real time, allowing the model to estimate the remaining charge in a battery much more accurately. While the technique was developed specifically for batteries in plug-in electric vehicles, the approach is also applicable to battery use in any other application. Using the new technique, models are able to estimate remaining charge within 5 percent. In other words, if a model using the new technique estimates a battery’s state of charge at 48 percent, the real state of charge would be between 43 and 53 percent (5 percent above or below the estimate).
Credit: Katie Fehrenbacher, GigaOm.
Bloom Energy is making a big push to establish a foothold along the Eastern Seaboard. Today, Bloom is holding a ground-breaking ceremony a its new “Bloom Box” solid oxide fuel cell manufacturing plant in Newark, Delaware, at a site that was once a Chrysler assembly plant (Bloom’s other manufacturing is in California, and this essentially doubles the company’s capacity). The company also announced several new customers in the East.
Plans for the Delaware manufacturing hub were actually revealed last summer, and the hope then was that the facility would employ 900. No specific job numbers were mentioned in today’s announcement, but the numbers discussed in 2011 are in line with the number of workers at Bloom’s California facility.
Interestingly, the property is owned by the University of Delaware, which is also developing a Science and Technology Campus on grounds, and the hope is that the Bloom facility will provide an anchor for the campus.
One of the deal-sealers for this development is an agreement between Bloom and Delmarva Power & Light, an East Coast utility, for a whopping 30 MW of Bloom Boxes.
The company also announced several new customers, including Owens Corning, Urban Outfitters, Washington Gas and AT&T (the latter already uses Bloom units in California facilities). Stories surfaced in March that Apple also had reached a deal to install Bloom energy servers in a North Carolina facility.
The company also is rolling out a new line of SOFC units that, according to the company, feature a 20 percent gain in efficiency and double the energy density (based on footprint of the installation).
It also touts that the fuel cells change the energy paradigm for their customers in that the Bloom Boxes will provide the basic power for the companies’ core operations. In other words, instead of the electrical grid providing the basic power and the fuel cells providing backup power, the SOFCs become the primary source and the grid becomes the backup.
Katie Fehrenbacher at GigaOm has the story in an interesting post and the above video interview with Bloom’s Asim Hussein, the company’s director of product marketing.
I guess this is old news to everyone else, but new news to me. Apparently this was first reported back in late February, and the story still seems to have legs. For example, here is what the ETNews/Korea IT News is reporting about Samsung (and Apple) :
According to industry sources, the next flagship phones of the companies are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts. The new phase of the rivalry is because neither one of them can get a decisive edge over the other solely with its OS and AP specifications, features or design.
The Galaxy S3, scheduled to be unveiled in London in May 3, is known to have a ceramic main body. The material is made by applying heat to a non-metallic inorganic substance. High-tech ceramic using silicon nitride is extremely light and comfortable to grip.
I suspect the “liquid metal” reference is actually about Liquidmetal Technologies, a company that has novel amorphous metal alloys. The company reportedly has been working with both Samsung and Apple.
CNET also is also reporting about the Samsung ceramic case.
ADDING: CMS Wire is also chiming in and suggesting that Apple may do something new with glass for the iPhone 5.
Here’s what we are hearing:
(Gigaom) couple sources that fuel cell maker Bloom Energy is the supplier behind Apple’s planned massive 5 MW fuel cell farm to be built at its data center in Maiden, N.C. However, neither Bloom Energy nor Apple would comment on any potential deal. Apple may already has a few Bloom fuel cells running on its campus. It would make sense if Bloom is involved. Last month, Apple unveiled that it planned to build one of the largest fuel cell farms at its data center in North Carolina. The planned 5 MW fuel cell farm is supposed to run on biogas (methane from organic waste) when installed, according to Apple. Bloom’s fuel cells are large boxes that suck up oxygen on one side and fuel (natural gas or biogas) on the other to produce power. That means that with the fuel cells (and a solar array that will be built) Apple’s data center will have a source of cleaner distributed power that isn’t coming from the local utility via the grid.
Momentive Performance Materials Inc., a global provider of silicones and advanced materials, announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility and application development center in Chennai, India. Spanning more than 15 acres, the state-of-the-art facility, which opened in 2009, focuses on manufacturing high-end specialty silicones to serve the growing needs of customers in India, the Middle East and South Asia. The expansion of the Chennai facility, along with the opening of a regional headquarters and global research and development center in Bangalore later this year, is part of Momentive’s long-standing commitment to India and the surrounding regions. Additionally, the Chennai facility has been designated to become a zero-discharge plant, underscoring Momentive’s commitment to sustainability. Local Momentive employees will participate in training programs on running the plant efficiently and in compliance with the highest safety standards.
The German version of the CeramTec Group international website is now online with a completely new design. The website was completely overhauled and features clear menu structures and straightforward user navigation that leads visitors interested in technical ceramics to the desired information quickly and directly. The English-language version of the international CeramTec website will be online in spring 2012 and plans are underway to launch a Chinese and Spanish version as well.
FEI, a leading instrumentation company providing imaging and analysis systems for research and industry, today announced that a highly advanced microscope has been inaugurated at the Ernst Ruska-Center in Julich, Germany. This microscope was funded by ER-C’s “PICO” project, and is based on FEI’s Titan3 G2 60-300 scanning transmission electron microscope. It is one of only two of its kind in the world and the first one in Europe with chromatic aberration correction. With the new instrument, ER-C has reached a record resolution of 50 picometers, which allows scientists to resolve atomic structures to unprecedented levels.
Plibrico Company is pleased to welcome Ed Moore as a new srea general manager for the Plibrico Refractory Materials Division. With his 20+ years of experience in refractory sales and marketing, Moore will be providing the highest level of customer service to Plibrico’s current customers in the Southern and Eastern United States. Moore will be based out of Plibrico’s sales office in Birmingham, Ala.
Innovnano, the manufacturer of innovative nanostructured ceramic oxide powders and products, is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. Redesigned is an attractive, informative, easy-to-navigate site, with access to downloadable technical data and brochure material, the website also provides current news about Innovnano activities and the events it will be attending.