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Morgan Advanced Materials announces that it will be showcasing a broad range of its products for the oil and gas production and exploration industries at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas. Morgan will be displaying a wide range of products and solutions, including fire protection, brazed assemblies, piezoelectric ceramic components, CVD Diamond and DLC coatings, and carbon and silicon carbide seals and bearings. The group’s new FireMaster Rigid Enclosure System will be on display. The system uses high-efficiency insulation materials providing a robust, weather protective enclosure solution for all equipment requiring jet fire protection, especially those with very low critical temperature limits. Also on display will be a variety of materials ideal for ceramic liner sleeves in large diameter tubes used in downhole drilling. Morgan’s alumina and Halsic-R recrystallized silicon carbide materials are ideally suited for highly demanding and harsh wear applications. Halsic-R features high thermal conductivity, thermal shock resistance, and good mechanical strength at high temperatures. While Morgan’s Alsint 997 alumina material provides good mechanical strength and electrical resistivity, operates at high temperatures, and is resistant to chemical attack.
Did you choose a technical study or have you worked in the high-tech industry in Twente or abroad? Do not miss the event ‘High-tech future for women in Twente’ on Tuesday, May 14 in Rabotheater Hengelo, Netherlands. This special event is organized by high-tech companies PANalytical, DEMCON and Thales. It will be a day entirely devoted to the high-tech woman. Together we discuss the many opportunities and challenges we face in the technical world and it will be a day full of inspiring speakers, stimulating debates and surprising twists. Watch a short video of whom you might meet on May 14.
Resodyn Acoustic Mixers has announced the dates for a demonstrations of their line of innovative industrial mixers. Demonstration appointments are available from May 13 though 24 in Minnesota, Illinois, and Texas pharmaceutical, technical, research, and industrial corridors. Resodyn manufactures noninvasive mixers for processing and materials applications in both production and laboratory environments. Demonstrating substantively faster mixing times and exceptionally high levels quality and dispersion, Resodyn sales engineers’ appointments include on-site prrof of technology uses both generic and customer-supplied materials. Demonstration reservations can be made by emailing.
A bauxite processing facility picked Izory zirconia ceramic trunnion bushings for use in high-temperature trunnion mounted ball valves to improve their longevity. Two years ago, a Texas valve company contacted Refractron to discuss the possibility of making Izory ceramic bushings for high temperature trunnion mounted valves used in the processing of bauxite materials. This valve company manufactures a variety of valves for controlling various fluids in many severe service applications. The valves range in size from ½” to 60″ in diameter. Typical application industries are power generation, oil and gas, refining, chemicals, pulp and paper, gasification, synfuels, mining, steam, and more. For our client, the application required a trunnion bushing that could withstand continuous use at 1,200ºF. The application had very little thermal shock, but had consistent high temperatures. At 1,200ºF, trunnion bushings made of polymer-based materials fatigue and wear; metal trunnion bushings fatigue, corrode, and wear. When the bushings made of polymers and metals suffer failure, it reduces or even stops the ability to open and close the valve properly. This valve failure would cause delays in the manufacturing process, and has the potential to cause injury to people in the area if the valve would crack or break. Trunnion bushings made with Izory Zirconia ceramic have no issue handling the high temperature, corrosion, or wear. Also, the coefficient of thermal expansion of Izory Zirconia ceramic for the trunnion bushing was very close to the expansion rate of the metal trunnion and the mating metal valve housing.
DePuy Orthopedics Inc. announced that the FDA has granted premarket supplement approval for its Ceramax Total Hip System with Biolox delta ceramic-on-ceramic 36-mm large femoral head. According to a company press release, this premarket supplement approval for the 36-mm size follows the initial PMA approval of the Ceramax Hip 28-mm size in 2010. With the launch of the Ceramax System this summer, the company’s Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System will offer the only FDA approved ceramic-on-ceramic bearing surface with Biolox delta femoral head, a next generation nanocomposite ceramic material with high strength and toughness. The Ceramax Hip System expands the Pinnacle Hip Solutions portfolio of high performance instruments, advanced implants, materials and solutions designed to provide surgeons flexibility in techniques and procedures and provide pain relief and a smooth range of motion for patients. In a clinical study of 264 patients who required hip replacement surgery for non-inflammatory degenerative joint disease, the researchers found no significant differences between the Ceramax System to a ceramic-on-polyethylene hip replacement in adverse events or survivorship. Patients also had similar pain relief and improved function and range of motion.
Further to its announcement on April 30, 2013, Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd., a developer of generators that use fuel-cell technology to convert natural gas into electricity and heat for homes and other buildings, has announced that it has conditionally raised £5.0 million (A$7.6 million). The company has conditionally raised £4.3 million (A$6.5 million) through the issue of secured convertible loan notes to a number of institutional investors and a further £0.7 million (A$1.1 million) through the placing of 32,710,300 new ordinary shares of nil par value in the company. Commenting on the fund raising, CEO Bob Kennett says, “Having proved the commercialization of our technology we are now rapidly moving towards a major increase in the volumes sold by the company. This fund raise will allow us to meet the working capital requirements of the initial phase of this ramp up and the Board considers that it would be in the best interests of shareholders to raise these funds in this manner to allow the company to take advantage of these opportunities.”
(The Express-Times) An officials with Essroc Cement says the company will comply with stricter environmental regulations by 2015. Delaying new federal environmental regulations on the US cement industry by two years will lead to increased health risks and missed work days due to sickness, environmentalists say. But, imposing those regulations immediately would cripple the cement industry and could cost jobs across the country and in the Lehigh Valley at three local plants, according to at least one lawmaker. The updated rules change the monitoring method and limits for particulate matter: a mixture of extremely small particles and droplets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The new requirements dramatically reduce the emission of mercury, acid gases, particulate matter and total hydrocarbons from existing cement kilns across the country and ensure that emissions from new kilns remain low, says EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones. The EPA won’t impose the restrictions until 2015 to allow some companies more time to reevaluate their emissions control strategies, Jones says.Cement plant grows greener to be of service
(KnoxvilleBiz.com) At the Cemex cement plant in Knoxville, what became a robust sustainability initiative and trend-setting conservation program began simply as an effort to be of service. ”Back then, it was an effort to be supportive of the community,” says Antonio DeLuca, the local plant manager. By “back then,” DeLuca means 15 years ago, before many local companies were thinking green. In the late 1990s, as communities were searching for an alternative way to dispose of tires in lieu of open burning and dumping, the Environmental Protection Agency asked Cemex to help investigate a solution. The cement-making process involves a large kiln in which rock mined for the purpose undergoes a thermal reaction process. Fired largely with fossil fuels, Cemex developed a process that utilizes tires. A resulting solid byproduct is also used as an ingredient in the cement. Cemex has burned 986,000 tires since 2010, contributing to a 9 percent reduction in the plant’s fossil fuel requirements. And, company executives continue to seek to turn waste into energy. At a sister plant in Georgia, peanut and pistachio shells provide 100 percent of the fuel for its thermal process. Tests are now underway to determine what type of waste stream might be viable in East Tennessee. One experiment, for example, used discarded items from the recycling sorting process.
Here is what we are hearing:
Asahi Glass Co. will newly set up a chemical strengthening facility for Dragontrail, a specialty glass used as cover glass for smart phones and tablet PCs, at its Kansai Plant in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. This new chemical strengthening facility can handle up to sixth-generation (1850mm x 1500mm) glass, enabling the efficient production of thinner next-generation touchscreens. Operation is scheduled to begin in March 2013. Conventionally, touchscreens of smart phones and tablet PCs have been triple-layered, consisting of a cover glass, a touch sensor and a display. Recently, however, demand for double-layered touchscreens, which can make the touchscreen even thinner, is expected to grow, and a technology to attach the touch sensor into the cover glass is drawing attention as a means to manufacture double-layered touchscreens. A large number of cover glass with built-in touch sensor can be manufactured at a time by neatly arranging touch sensors on a large sheet of chemically strengthened glass and cutting the glass into pieces of the intended size. As the touchscreens manufactured based on this method are increasingly adopted for use in smart phones and tablet PCs in 2013 onward, AGC’s high-quality G6-size chemically strengthened Dragontrail manufactured at the new facility will contribute to the creation of even thinner smart phones, tablet PCs, and other touchscreen devices.
A quest for energy efficiency is driving the next generation of technologies in architectural glazings, glass walls and windows for buildings. A short payback period is key to rapid adoption, and, according to Lux Research, technologies like daylighting glazings and skylights are hitting that mark today, with dynamic glazings not far behind. Technologies like double-pane low-e coated windows and daylighting glazing can have a payback period of two years or less, reaching a tipping point for adoption, says Lux Research. ”Double-pane, noble-gas-filled glazings have paved the way, but an explosion of innovation over the past five years has created a larger technology toolbox for the designer,” says Aditya Ranade, the lead author of the report titled, “Balancing Energy Efficiency, Occupant Comfort, and Aesthetics in Architectural Glass. Lux Research analysts assessed technology developers based on their technical value and maturity, sorting them into four categories: faded incumbents, current winners, future winners and long shots. Among their findings: Daylighting glazings are a short-term winner; dynamic glazings will take more time due to high cost, leading to longer payback times; ”Green” glazings (e.g., building-integrated photovoltaic glazings) are a long-term winner, but long paybacks of 14–15 years make them only a long-term choice. Leading innovators include “future winner” Bisem Inc, which makes curtain walls capable of integrating electrochromic glass, CIGS cells, and daylighting louvers.
GlobalData’s new report, “Dental Biomaterials Market Outlook in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) to 2018,” provides value, volume, and average price data for each segment and subsegment within three market categories: dental bone grafts, bone graft substitutes, and tissue regenerative materials. The report also provides company shares and distribution shares data for the overall dental biomaterials market in each of the aforementioned countries. The report is also supplemented with global corporate-level profiles of the key market participants with information on key developments, wherever available. This report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalData’s team of industry experts. The emerging economies, comprising China, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa, with a significantly large pool of under-served patients, represent the next big opportunity for the leading medical equipment and devices manufacturers.
(International Construction) Cement producer Cemex reported more than a 10 percent increase in operating EBITDA to $2.6 billion as it filed full year financials for 2012. Net sales for the Mexico-based firm reached $15 billion, a decline of 2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Fernando A. González, executive vice president of finance and administration, calls 2012 a year of recovery for Cemex. “During the year, we achieved the highest EBITDA generation and operating EBITDA margin since 2009 and the fourth quarter was the sixth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year EBITDA increase,” he noted. According to Cemex, the infrastructure and residential sectors were the main drivers of demand in most markets.
American Vanadium Corp., a mining company developing its world class Nevada-based vanadium deposit, has entered into a business relationship with Gildemeister energy solutions of Germany—a part of Gildemeister group—which holds a leading position worldwide as a producer of cutting machine tools as well as integrated energy solutions for the production, storage and utilization of renewable energies. American Vanadium and Gildemeister have unveiled their memorandum of understanding to explore various joint venture and partnership arrangements with the objective of being a leading provider of energy storage and micro grid solutions in North America. “We have commercialized a unique energy storage solution with our CellCube, a powerful, durable and low maintenance large scale vanadium redox flow battery that can be incorporated into everyday energy systems. Our battery system ensures a clean, emission-free energy supply at all times, characterized by high reliability, high stability and very fast reaction times,” says Ron MacDonald, executive chair of American Vanadium.
“Illuminating through Ceramics” is the inspiring result of an academic research project launched in 2011 by ASCER/Tile of Spain, the voice of the Spanish tile industry, in partnership with the University of Liverpool School of Architecture, examining the sustainable properties of tiles and aiming to push the boundaries of ceramic application. The research program at the University of Liverpool forms part of the Network of Ceramic Tile Studies Departments sponsored by Tile of Spain around the world. Illuminating through Ceramics showcases the work of MArch students in developing projects to explore our growing preference for natural lighting sources, through a range of materials and technical solutions, and with a special focus on ceramic facades. Thirteen student proposals and five full-scale prototypes, displayed within a light-immersing scenario, propose methods by which ceramics could be transformed into a dynamic interface that transports daylight throughout a building’s skin. “The use of ceramics in contemporary facades offers an interesting combination of thermo-acoustic control and aesthetic properties, but very little has been explored in terms of the potential to maximize the benefits of sunlight,” says program leader Rosa Urbano.
Researchers have developed a model that will, hopefully, help companies develop innovative products that people actually want to use. The model is a first step towards capturing the behavior of both companies and consumers, so that we end up with more iPods and fewer Edsels. This concept may sound obvious, but companies have difficulty grasping it. Companies constantly try to develop new products and services that capture market share. We knew that. Consumers constantly try to evaluate recent innovations to determine whether they’re useful, and how much they’d be willing to pay for them (if at all). We knew that, too. But, to this point, business researchers have attempted to understand these two processes separately: product innovation on one hand, and customer evaluation on the other. Now a team of researchers from NC State, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and University of Wyoming has developed an integrated model that tries to capture both sides of the equation. Their conceptual model illustrates the interaction of innovation and customer response, which will hopefully help companies adapt their innovation processes to make them more efficient, forward-looking and successful. But, not so fast - there are at least as many questions as answers.
Cabot Corp. announced the launch of LITX G700, the company’s first graphene-based additive for high-energy density lithium-ion battery applications. Using graphene material developed on the basis of a new technology platform, the new additive helps lithium-ion battery manufacturers achieve superior cell performance. Battery developers for applications in electronics and electric vehicles have reached the limit in reducing the loadings of conventional carbon additives. As a result, many are resorting to alternatives such as carbon nanotubes that add significant cost as well as manufacturing challenges. The LITX G700 conductive additive is designed for use in electric vehicle and high-end consumer electronics in which better driving range and longer run times are critical performance features. The new additive can achieve very high energy densities at ultralow loadings. Less loading or volume allocated to conductive additives enables more volume to be available for energy storage materials. As a result, the additive delivers step change performance in conductivity and is easily incorporated into battery electrodes.
Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd., a leading developer of high-efficiency and low-emission power products for homes and other buildings, released its interim financial results for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2012, along with its directors’ report and review of operations. Highlights of the half-year include strong political support in Germany & the UK; North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) introduces a capital subsidy scheme-the Company expects this to reduce the installed cost of a BlueGen unit to commercial customers in NRW by around €10,000; UK government increases the feed-in tariffs applying to mCHP units like BlueGen from December 2012; CFC targets the significant UK social housing market and appoints the energy services company iPower as distribution channel; sales of 90 units completed, 34 percent increase over the equivalent period in 2011; total cumulative orders received exceed 600 units. CFC says investment in marketing is being increased to support projected sales growth in Germany, UK and Benelux.
Here’s what we are hearing:
In the cement industry, the ball mill is probably the nemesis of all staffs. Why? Everybody knows that a cement mill is a technological heresy on an energetic point of view. The mill’s efficiency is extremely poor and the work to get some improvement is huge! We hope this site will give a little help for those who spend a large part of their lives for their ball mill. In this site, you will find some tools, such as calculators for volume load power, cement mill-2 compartments power, cement mill-3 compartments power, monochamber mill power, raw mill power, birotator central discharge mill power, ball charge make-up, Tromp curve, RRB Curve, drying capacities and heat balance.
(GigaOm) As early as this summer, Solar Mosaic plans to start offering people a way to buy into rooftop solar panel projects, and make back a return on their investment over time. Essentially for the investor it will be like buying the safe and predictable return of a mutual fund. The way it works is that a building owner will lease the solar equipment and enter into a contract for a fixed, low, electricity rate, commonly over about two decades. Solar Mosaic is working with solar lease providers like Sungevity, but Solar Mosaic is the one that organizes the crowd-funding of the money to get the solar rooftop installed. Once the project gets funded Kickstart-style, the rooftop solar panel installation process starts. Solar rooftops are a surprisingly low risk investment. As Daniel Rosen, cofounder of Solar Mosaic put it in an article for us last month: solar loans are backed by a revenue-producing asset (electricity) and the building owners are just continuing to pay for the electricity that they are used to paying for day in and day out. There is little risk to investors that the buildings owners will default on their electricity payments, particularly since they are also saving money on their energy bills from day one. In addition the costs, timelines and returns for solar panels are pretty transparent as the technology has become increasingly commoditized.
Westinghouse Electric Company and the Missouri Electric Alliance led by Ameren Missouri announced the formation of a utility participation group called the NexStart SMR Alliance. The Alliance is a consortium of current and prospective nuclear plant owners and operators and includes cooperative, municipal and investor-owned electric service providers, as well as public enterprises to advance energy security. Alliance members signed a Memorandum of Understanding that recognizes the importance of advancing nuclear energy in helping secure clean, safe and reliable electricity in the future by deploying the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor. The initial membership of the NexStart SMR Alliance includes Ameren Missouri, Exelon Generation Company, Dominion Virginia Power, FirstEnergy Generation, Tampa Electric Company, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Savannah River National Laboratory, and members of the Missouri Alliance: Missouri Public Utility Alliance; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Inc.; The Empire District Electric Company; and Kansas City Power and Light Company. Westinghouse and Alliance members are also in discussions with other utilities and enterprises considering NexStart SMR Alliance membership in order to support the potential deployment of a Westinghouse SMR at Ameren’s Callaway Energy Center in central Missouri.
Architectural coatings protect and beautify buildings, but use tremendous amounts of petroleum, water and energy. Environmental imperatives mean that sustainability of architectural coatings is increasingly vital, and their role in building energy efficiency is growing with the widespread acceptance of building standards such as LEED and NZEB, according to a Lux Research report. Lux defines sustainability along three dimensions - environmental impact, energy efficiency and resource efficiency - to create a simple “Sustainability Value.” Comparing this metric with “Technical Value,” Lux Analysts mapped out the technologies that will impact the architectural coatings market. “Sustainable coatings technologies reduce the energy, resource, and environmental impact of paints and coatings, but often get confused with ‘greenwashed’ unsustainable alternatives,” says Aditya Ranade, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of the report titled, Painting a Green Future: Opportunities in Sustainable Architectural Coatings.
Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. announced its products have achieved a combined one million hours of operation. The company’s first field trial units were operated in Australia, New Zealand and Germany from early 2006. In 2007, the company developed its high-efficiency Gennex fuel cell module, which is the core of the company’s BlueGen product and integrated mCHP products. Up to May 1, 189 units have been operated at Ceramic Fuel Cells’ facilities in Melbourne and Germany, as well as at customer sites in nine countries. Brendan Dow, managing director, said milestones such as this are important. “These units are not just operating in our labs, but at many customer sites in nine countries around the world,” he says.
(MaterialsViews) Bayer MaterialScience plans to establish a global wind energy competence and development center at its existing site in Otterup, Denmark. The new competence center will spearhead and coordinate the global development activities for advanced materials used in wind energy applications. The plan for the center underlines the commitment of Bayer MaterialScience to develop innovative and sustainable materials and technologies for generating power from renewable sources. It will bundle the development capabilities from across the company’s entire portfolio of polyurethanes, polycarbonates as well as coatings, adhesives and specialties materials, pooling expertise from research and development teams around the world. While full details of the global wind energy competence center have yet to be decided, Bayer MaterialScience CEO Patrick Thomas sees it as an opportunity to deploy the company’s expertise in chemistry and processing to help achieve a sustainable reduction in the cost of generating energy from wind turbines.
(MaterialsViews) The Carl Zeiss AG Supervisory Board has elected Dieter Kurz as the new chair of its supervisory board, effective immediately. “With Kurz, we are gaining a chair who is very familiar with the company and the challenges of our portfolio through his many years of successful work as a member of the executive board and president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG,” says Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. “We at Carl Zeiss are looking forward to working with him.” Kurz was already appointed as chair of the shareholder council of the Carl Zeiss Foundation in March. According to the foundation’s constitution, this means that he is a member of the supervisory boards of the two foundation enterprises, Schott AG and Carl Zeiss AG, and is to be elected as chair by the two supervisory boards.
Representatives of leading international companies in the solar photovoltaic industry have announced the founding of the Global Solar Council, a CEO-level industry coalition whose aim is to expand the global deployment of solar energy in a sustainable and cost-competitive way. Global Solar Council members will engage with policymakers worldwide to demonstrate the progress towards abundant, affordable and low emissions energy already made possible by the solar industry and to emphasize the importance of a supportive policy and trade environment, which will enable the ongoing development of competitively-priced solar energy, driving job creation and economic growth. Through its members, the Global Solar Council brings industry knowledge and insights from all sides of the solar photovoltaic value chain; from the supply of materials to product manufacturing and financing, policy, research and innovation, cross-border cooperation, and grid development and management. Council founding members are Applied Materials, Dow Corning, DuPont Electronics & Communication, First Solar, Lanco Solar, Phoenix Solar and Suntech.
When our neighbors down the street at NexTech Materials (Lewis Center, Ohio) came in to work recently and saw that nothing had happened in the lab overnight, they knew they had reached a big milestone.
NexTech has been running a continuous test of it manganese cobalt oxide coatings on SOFC interconnects and reached the one-year milestone in March. The test (still going) has been running at expected and accelerated operating temperatures, and the coated interconnects have been subjected to hundreds of thermal cycles. This work is a continuation of testing NexTech reported on last year when it first began performing accelerated stability tests which, according to the company, predicted a service life of over 40,000 hours (equivalent to about 4.5 years) at 750°C. Thus, the actual one year of service begins to offer some pretty strong confirmation of the predicted durability of the interconnects.
SOFC interconnects physically and electrically connect the individual cells in series and collect the electricity generated by the cells. They are exposed to both the oxidizing and reducing sides of the cell (anode and cathode) at operating temperatures in the range of 650-800°C, so they must be chemically very stable, oxidation resistant, electrically conductive, etc. Chromium-rich ferritic stainless steels, like 441, are good candidate materials because they are mechanically stable at those temperatures, compatible with other SOFC components, inexpensive and their oxide scale is electrically conductive.
Unfortunately, at the cathode side, which is the air channel, volatile chromium oxides and chromia-oxy-hydroxide compounds form and can poison the cathode. These species can eventually reach the triple phase boundary in the electrolyte and impair the electrochemical reaction that is the essence of a fuel cell.
The best approach to avoiding the problem has been to coat the interconnects, usually with MCO. According to a NexTech press release, there are a number of high-cost coating manufacturing methods tried that use high-cost manufacturing methods. NexTech engineers say they have developed a process based on technology licensed from Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited that uses “relatively inexpensive yet high-speed equipment, thereby reducing the coating cost by nearly 67%.” (NexTech’s website has a nice video showing coatings being applied.) NexTech CEO, Bill Dawson says the company sees the coating as a “significant technical and economic breakthrough to improve SOFC stack life while reducing SOFC stack costs.”
The NexTech work has been supported by a collaboration of commercial partners and the DOE SBIR program. Matt Seabaugh, director of NexTech’s commercial services division, Nexceris, says the project is a “demonstration of small business, technology integrators and government agencies collaborating to create new technologies and products for a world market.” The company says it has applied for US and international patents on its materials and is working with several SOFC stack manufacturers to assume “a portion or all of their interconnect business.”
For interconnects testing, when the “big news” is “no news,” that’s a good thing.