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(cnn.com) Energy Secretary Steven Chu will resign from President Barack Obama’s Cabinet in coming weeks, he told Energy Department staff in a letter on Friday. Chu, who turns 65 this month, was a leading advocate in the Obama administration for alternative energy development, making him a target of the fossil fuel industry and its conservative supporters in Congress. He was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and headed the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab before becoming energy secretary in 2009. Chu also taught at the University of California. ”I informed the president of my decision a few days after the election that Jean and I were eager to return to California,” Chu said in the letter. “I would like to return to an academic life of teaching and research, but will still work to advance the missions that we have been working on together for the last four years.” He said he would stay on through an upcoming government energy research summit at the end of February, adding: “I may stay beyond that time so that I can leave the department in the hands of the new secretary.”
￼The Brilliant Mix LED color mixing concept from Osram Opto Semiconductors is now even easier to control thanks to a new universal controller from Elec-Con technology. The controller is available in a standard version—with or without a sensor—and in a customized version. It can be adapted to current building systems standards, such as DALI, KNX, and EIB. The controller concept has been developed as part of the LED Light for you network. Warm white light with high efficiency and a high color-rendering index are right at the top of the wish list for anyone looking for a feel-good factor in general illumination. The Brilliant Mix concept from Osram Opto Semiconductors shows how this can be achieved with semiconductor light sources. It provides efficiency of 110 lumen per watt and an excellent color-rendering index of more than 90. The basis for this concept is high-power Oslon LEDs in white and amber and also in bluish white and blue. The clever combination of LEDs of different colors results in white light in a spectrum from 2700 K (warm white) to 6500 K (cold white)
Raytheon officially opened a new UK-leading silicon carbide manufacturing “foundry” facility, developed through several years’ research into advanced manufacturing processes and materials science. The application of silicon carbide in electronic systems will place the UK in a leading position to develop next-generation, high-efficiency, smaller, low-weight power conversion products used in harsh environments across the automotive, aerospace, geothermal explorations, oil and gas, and clean energy sectors. Raytheon’s ability to process silicon carbide utilizes high-temperature annealing and high-temperature/high-voltage ion implantation. The components provide unique properties in electronics: silicon carbide has the ability to operate at higher voltages and greater temperatures than pure silicon, and at a third of the weight and volume—improving operational performance and reducing system operating costs. Raytheon is the first company to have successfully tested silicon carbide circuit devices at temperatures up to 400°C.
3M launched its Embedded Capacitance Material (ECM) C2006 at DesignCon 2013. The ultrathin laminate material is now available for high-volume manufacturing. With a capacitance density of approximately 20 nF per square inch, the material offers one of the highest capacitance densities currently available on the market in a halogen-free product. ECM C2006 boosts design engineers’ ability to improve power integrity and reduce electromagnetic interference in small devices—such as microphones, sensors, IC packaging and interposers—where space limitations require the highest capacitance density feasible to achieve the desired performance. The material’s high capacitance density helps designers achieve hi-fidelity signals, high signal-to-noise ratio in radio frequencies and higher speed digital signals in a variety of high-performance applications. The capacitor consists of a very thin layer of ceramic-filled epoxy sandwiched between two layers of copper foil.
(AOL Energy) Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), a rocket engine maker based in California, celebrated another milestone in its effort to conserve energy and reduce waste with the commissioning of United Technology Corp.’s first operational large (400kW) fuel cell in the San Fernando Valley. The fuel cell is designed to reduce PWR’s carbon footprint - the reduction in green house gas and nitrogen dioxide emissions is equivalent to removing 120 cars from local highways. The fuel cell, a PureCell system, is about the size of a school bus, and is supplying power to the grid at the company’s De Soto Avenue campus. It is built by UTC Power, a subsidiary of PWR’s parent company, United Technologies Corp. The PWR fuel cell cost about $3 million installed and qualifies for incentives under the State’s Self Generation Incentive Program, as well as the federal investment tax credit which, when combined, can reduce the project cost by up to 60 percent.
On February 7 and 8, Allied Mineral Technical Services Inc., an affiliate of Allied Mineral Products, will present two papers at the Eastern States Blast Furnace and Coke Oven Association annual winter meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa. Jimmy Barrett, senior technical advisor, will be presenting maintenance, repair and beaching of blast furnace subs. Floris van Laar, director of technology and Bob Hansen, manager of refractory technology and construction services, will present on blast furnace taphole maintenance and repairs. Registration is still open. Please Allied Mineral for this informative event and feel free to ask our experts!
AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement with Ceram Research Ltd, the international materials development company, for Ceram to develop its inorganic-based Controlled Release Technology in a feasibility study for the delivery of selected AstraZeneca compounds. “This technology, if successfully implemented, could provide AstraZeneca with an alternative formulation approach for delivering these compounds,” says Ceram CEO Tony Kinsella. CRT is just one of the development projects that Ceram’s team of materials experts is currently working on; others include multi-element substituted hydroxyapatite for orthopedic device coating applications. With Healthcare as one of its largest markets, the materials development business has ambitious plans to continue its growth in the US and Europe. Kinsella continues, “Our work is focused on commercial development of materials for industrial applications—exactly what a recent news item on the BBC said was lacking in Britain. We have, for example, recently helped Greatbatch Medical to gain FDA (510K) approval of a coating implant submission. We have also worked with GlaxoSmithKline in the proving of its Sensodyne toothpaste—a product that has seen substantial annual growth over the last decade, creating significant incomes for both GSK and the UK.”
Although the world of lighting is moving steadily towards an all-LED future, research still continues in the field to find the most efficient and manufacturable materials. One line of research is based on the notion that the manufacturing of LEDs currently has an Achilles Heel in the form of potential disruptions in the supply chain for indium, a crucial component of indium tin oxide, the most widely used transparent conductor in current LEDs. The use of ITO is not limited to just LEDs, either, and often is found in thin-film photovoltaics.
The search for replacements for ITO has included some possible alternative routes involving carbon nanotubes (with electrically conductive latex and polystyrene) and aluminum-doped oxides, although there are also significant drawbacks to both (see, for example, this 2008 PDF report from NREL on stability issues of transparent conducting oxides).
One person active in the search for an ITO surrogate is North Carolina State University’s Jagdish (Jay) Narayan, who reports that he has discovered (and patented) a new class of zinc oxide-based transparent conductors. Narayan says one key to his ZnO materials is that he alloyed them with optimum concentrations of gallium and aluminum. These alloys, he says, have electrical and optical properties comparable to ITO. Also, the addition of a few of monolayers of molybdenum oxide and nickel oxide can enhance the ZnO-based alloys by improving the ZnO-based composites capacity for contacting and electroding GaN-based LEDs.
An additional important difference, says Narayan, is that the ZnO-based materials are more stable and exhibit superior diffusion barrier characteristics compared to ITO contacts.
All of this means that the ZnO-based contacts can enhance optical power and reduce voltage, and are more stable and less expensive, compared to current ITO-based contacts.
As mentioned earlier, Narayan has received a patent for his discovery, and he says it is already being licensed by major GaN LED manufacturers.
Here is what we are hearing:
Morgan Technical Ceramics is promoting its range of striped tubes for the defense sector with an innovative design, offering lower frequency and increased drive for applications where high acoustic transmitting properties are required. Ideal for a variety of defense uses, including anti-submarine warfare, torpedo decoy and countermeasure, the striped tubing can achieve typical frequencies of 12-15 kHz for a two-inch tube and guarantees higher, stronger acoustic signals underwater. The key to the product’s success lies in its revolutionary striped design. In contrast to a standard tube, which has three main resonance modes (length, wall and circumferential), MTCs’ innovative striped tubes have one main resonance: the circumferential mode. In 99 percent of cases, circumferential mode (low frequency) is chosen for underwater transmission applications to allow the signal to move further away from the source. Having focused and refined performance through the circumferential mode, the striped tubing features segments which are equally distributed around the circumference, and the space in between the positive and negative electrodes is generally greater than the wall thickness. As the distance between the electrodes is much larger, this allows a user to apply a much higher voltage, and thus achieve a higher acoustic output. If a strong, acoustic signal is needed from a standard tube, its wall thickness limits the higher vibrations achievable.
The start-up and commissioning of a double-layer kiln with a total tile output of 12,000 square meters per day is, these days, nothing out of the ordinary. However, if one bears in mind that the upper channel is used to produce medium-large floor tiles while the lower one simultaneously produces 7,000 square meters per day of 245×65 mm trims (that’s more than 300 pieces per minute), all directly from the presses, and that output is sorted and packaged automatically, then this is a plant that is truly record-breaking! This, then, was the challenge set by the brothers Karolina and Aleksander Sznyrowski, owners of Cerrad, Poland’s long-standing, highly successful klinker producer—a challenge that Sacmi has risen to admirably. To meet such ambitious, complex needs, Sacmi has drawn on all its best and most recent technology: first of all, there are two PH3200 hydraulic presses with an inter-column clearance of 2,450 mm, capable of pressing 22 cavities in a single row or, alternatively, medium-large floor tiles. The presses have also been equipped with the all-new CRS (rapid mould changeover) device, which means downtimes of less than thirty minutes and levels of mould changeover manoeuvrability, accessibility and simplicity never seen before. Thanks to the brief downtimes, the handling system, for both unfired and fired materials, is direct, with fixed 1-hour storage boxes for both planned and unscheduled stops.
FEI, a leading instrumentation company providing imaging and analysis systems for research and industry, announced that it has acquired Visualization Sciences Group of Bordeaux, France. VSG provides high-performance 3D visualization software products and tools to a range of markets, including oil & gas, geosciences, mining, life sciences, materials science and industrial inspection. “Their products and development capabilities fit well with all of our target markets, especially in our higher-growth natural resources and life sciences businesses. Our customers are expressing an increasing demand for analysis of the data our imaging systems create. At the same time, FEI intends to continue to build upon VSG’s growing software business. We are impressed with VSG’s solutions, including state-of-the-art 3D rendering, an open application framework, object-oriented 3D libraries and very large 3D data management capabilities,” says Don Kania, president and CEO of FEI. The purchase price for the acquisition is €44.8 million or approximately $55 million.
During Glasstec 2012, International Trade Fair for Glass Production - Processing - Products, architects, structural and air-conditioning engineers as well as façade designers will have the opportunity to come together at the Architectural Congress with the topic “Appearances + Perspectives” to be held on Oct. 24, 2012. Glasstec will take place from Oct. 23-26, 2012, at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. At the congress, organized by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Technical University of Delft and Ostwestfalen-Lippe University, renowned speakers will introduce their projects relating to outstanding and creative use of glass in the building shell. The focus will be on issues concerning the design of buildings within the context of the current sustainability and energy consumption discussion, as well as on the future value of aesthetics in buildings. At 2:30 pm, a guided tour of the Glasstec special show, “Glass Technology Live,” will be offered, presenting future-oriented glass products and applications in an architectural context.
Osram is now offering the Decorative Street Lighting LED refurbishing module for historic street luminaires. The module can be used regardless of manufacturer for a wide variety of luminaires and is prepared upon request so that fitting is as simple as replacing lamps or sockets. The DSL cuts energy consumption of luminaires previously operated with mercury vapour discharge lamps by at least 60 per cent, and upgrading costs less than half of a new LED installation. Refurbishment of street lighting is currently a hot topic for local authorities, and according to a recently published survey, street and park lighting consists of approximately 40 percent of total electricity costs for many municipalities. On the background of global hikes in energy prices and tight public budgets, LED is an important method of leverage in reducing such costs. In addition, the European Union’s Eco-Design guideline will in the future make sure that several lamp types are no longer available. The first choice when upgrading street lighting are LEDs. Standardized refurbishment modules are available for many models that enable luminaires to be updated from classic technology to LED, but such standard solutions remain unavailable for heritage luminaires. The DSL also enables more targeted control of light compared to classic lighting, for example, eliminating “light spill” behind the luminaires. Also, lighting can be adapted to lower volumes of traffic to achieve supplementary energy savings.
From furnace linings to setters, Rath Inc. (Neward, Del.) has a unique combination of products, applications knowledge, and engineering resources to fulfill almost any requirement to 1,800ºC while allowing manufacturers to reduce costs. For kiln and furnace lining and kiln car applications up to 1,800ºC we offer module and boards based on our Altra alumina and mullite fibers. Low mass Altra-based linings allow rapid heating and cooling, reducing energy consumption and improving furnace or kiln turnaround time. Low mass also will reduce the possibility of refractory spalling and cracking due to thermal shock, thus reducing maintenance costs, downtime and extending the lining lifetime. Altra fibers are also the basis of our low mass, machinable setter materials. The machinability of these setter materials eliminates the need for costly hard tooling required to form denser materials. In turn this gives engineers more flexibility in setter design, rather than settle for dense refractory designs that have an existing mold.
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Trek Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high-voltage amplifiers and electrostatic voltmeters has established a strategic partnership with M4 Sciences LLC which leverages technical strengths from both companies to provide high-productivity ultraprecision machining technology for use in aerospace, automotive, commercial, consumer, industrial, medical, military/defense, optics and space applications. M4 Sciences, W. Lafayette, Ind., is a designer and developer of advanced technologies for ultraprecision machining. M4 Sciences is commercializing a range of devices based on their innovative patent-pending modulation assisted machining technology. MAM is a productivity-enhancing cutting/drilling technology which controls chip formation, improves cutting fluid effectiveness, removes the need for peck cycles, and increases process stability and feed rates. It can be used in a wide range of metals/alloys such as aluminum, cast iron, cobalt-chrome, copper, stainless steel, steel, tantalum and titanium. Trek partnered with M4 Sciences to design and develop high-voltage amplifiers that meet the demanding specifications involved in driving their patented piezo-based machining tools.
Ultra Electronics, AMI recently delivered 45 of its Roamio D245XR fuel cells for use by the U.S. military in unmanned aerial systems. The contract award for this delivery is valued at more than $2 million. The Roamio D245XR is the most advanced power technology available today, providing unparalleled long duration flight of more than eight hours in small UAS platforms. The delivery is the latest in a series of multiunit manufacturing runs of small propane-fueled solid oxide fuel cell technology. AMI continues to follow its manufacturing plan that has successful deliveries to the Army, including 30 units to the Rapid Equipping Force, 15 units to the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and 10 units to the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. All branches of the military have tested AMI fuel cells. The ROAMIO D245XR weighs significantly less than a traditional battery pack or other power source, reducing the overall weight burden of putting advanced UAS payloads and flight duration capabilities into small squads and making it possible for the system to be operated by only one or two warfighters.
Rubicon Technology Inc., a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, semiconductor and optical industries, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has allowed Rubicon’s patent application entitled, “Intelligent Machines and Process for Production of Monocrystalline Products with Goniometer Continual Feedback.” The patent covers Rubicon’s equipment and process developed to perform in-situ orientation of its sapphire crystals within the various fabrication tools used by the company. Rubicon’s customers in the LED, SoS/RFIC and optical markets all have specific and distinct requirements for the crystal planar orientation of the sapphire products used in their applications. The new patented orientation technology provides greater precision in sapphire planar orientation and eliminates time-consuming steps by performing the orientation at the fabrication tool. These resulting efficiencies will ultimately translate into savings for Rubicon customers.
Resco Products, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.), announced that president and chief executive officer Bill Brown has informed the Board of Directors of his decision to retire after 14 years with the company. The Board of Directors has elected John Midea, former president and chief operating officer at Ennis Traffic Safety Solutions, to succeed Brown as chief executive officer. Brown will remain a member of Resco’s Board of Directors. Midea earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and held various senior leadership positions at The Valspar Corporation and Georgia-Pacific Corporation. Midea graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1987 and was selected for the Naval Nuclear program upon graduation and served for six years as a submarine officer.
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has won a $3 million contract to integrate solar panels into Cleveland-developed fuel cells for the Marines. Lockheed and Cleveland-based Technology Management Inc. have been developing and marketing portable fuel cells to the military for more than two years. TMI’s cells can generate electricity from the diesel-like fuel mix the military uses for its vehicles and generators. The military is looking for alternatives to the noisy diesel generators it uses to power computers and other electronic devices in war zones. In 1994, the Army estimated that fuel can make up 70 percent of the material (by weight) brought to war. Fuel has been a logistical problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, requiring the military to use delivery convoys that have become targets of insurgent groups.
Army Corps of Engineers, through its Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, has issued a Multiple-Award Task Order RFP for $7 billion in total contract capacity to procure reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements. The $7 billion capacity would be expended for the purchase of energy over a period of 30 years or less from renewable energy plants that are constructed and operated by contractors using private sector financing. ”We believe the Federal Renewable and Alternative Energy contract will provide the Army with an important means to achieve its goal of one gigawatt of renewable energy projects by 2025, “says Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.
A line of optical polishing pitch that is made from all-natural wood resin, rather than petroleum byproducts, and can precisely match the optics being polished is available from Meller Optics Inc. of Providence, R.I. Gugolz polishing pitch from Meller is made from all-natural wood resin, instead of petroleum byproducts, and comes in five grades, from very-soft to very-hard with melting points from 52°C to 87°C. Allowing users to exactly match pitch hardness to the optics being polished, this pitch is ideal for blocking, lapping, and polishing virtually any optical substrate material.
Los Angeles-based American Elements, which supplies rare earths, neodymium, lithium, indium and other green technology elemental materials to the US military and national labs and 40 percent of the Fortune 50, including GE, Honeywell, GM and Boeing, urged Senate democrats to pass the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. The House of Representatives has already passed the bill. The law fast-tracks new critical metal mines by setting timeframes for reviews, challenges and the filing of lawsuits. It presently takes an average 40 years to site a new metal mine in the US today. ”It is time environmentalists who object to this law appreciate the whole supply chain to building the energy efficient non-polluting America we all hope for our children. They cannot both oppose critical mineral mining and demand the government build a green technology future. The two approaches are mutually exclusive”, says Michael Silver, CEO of American Elements.
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Abakan Inc. is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, MesoCoat Inc., has successfully completed a major milestone by cladding the inside diameter of steel pipe with corrosion and wear resistant alloys and expects to complete qualification with several oil majors within the next six months. Metal cladding for wear and corrosion protection is a $3.8 billion global market of which approximately 50% is for coating steel pipes which are used in the oil and gas, oil sands, mining and processing industries. The cladding of steel pipe is expected to double over the next four years because almost all of the new oil and gas fields being developed today are highly corrosive.
If you were not able to listen to Brookfield’s live teleseminar with Lori Boggs last month, you can catch up on everything that you missed by visiting the ViscosityJournal.com now. The interview is available, in its entirety, for your listening pleasure. During the interview, Boggs reviews “Autocoats: Which Viscosity Test Method Should Be Used.” Testing the viscosity of coatings in the automotive world requires a range of devices and instruments, ranging from Zahn Cups to Stormer Viscometers and Cone/Plate Rheometers. Boggs explains which one should you use and why. She also answers whether or not you can get by with a single instrument to do it all. Boggs is an experienced veteran in the autocoats business at BASF.
3M announced that Zirkonzahn GmbH has become the latest dental company to license 3M’s patented technology that enables the coloring of zirconia-based dental restorations. This technology improves esthetics for patients by enabling the color matching of dental restorations to the natural color of the patients’ teeth. Since 3M’s development and launch of this game-changing technology, much of the industry colors dental zirconia using this process.
Morgan Thermal Ceramics has available Superwool HT Felt and Superwool HT Millboard, ideal for fabricating gaskets and heat shields for industrial appliances, including ovens, fryers and cooking equipment. The lightweight, multipurpose products are available in a full range of sizes, thicknesses and densities and offer equivalent performance to traditional refractory ceramic fiber insulation in many applications. Superwool fiber was developed to provide the improved high temperature characteristics required to be an alternative to RCF. Superwool fiber products feature low bio-persistence and felt and millboard made from Superwool fiber are fully exonerated from any carcinogenic classification under nota Q of directive 97/69 EC issued by the European Union. They are not restricted by European REACH regulations.
Alfa Aesar, a Johnson Matthey Company, has published a new High-purity Metals and Materials Catalog that highlights Alfa Aesar’s entire range of metals and alloys from aluminum to zirconium, featuring purities up to 99.9999%. Products are offered in a broad variety of forms, including wires, foils, slugs, targets, powders, thermocouple wires and many more. In addition to the pure metals and elements section, the new 340-page catalog includes sections on metal gauzes, carbon/graphite, ceramics, evaporation materials, nanomaterials, brazing products, fuel cell catalysts, optics and crystals, labware and equipment and more. To request a free copy of the catalog, contact Alfa Aesar at 800-343-0660 or email.
With their much flatter profile, the new OSRAM Ostar Stage LEDs provide the basis for compact spotlights with an extremely narrow beam and high luminance. These LEDs are ideal for moveable stage lights, known as moving heads, which provide powerful light beams for rock concerts and other impressive lighting arrangements. Instead of the usual lens, OSRAM Ostar Stage LEDs have a flat glass cover with an anti-reflective coating, giving the LED a much flatter profile. It is now only 1.23-mm high — one quarter of the usual height. Spotlights can therefore be made much more compact.
The glass cover on the new LEDs has been optimized for injecting the light into lens systems. Its etendue (the emission angle/area ratio of the emitting light surface to the projected light surface) in conjunction with customer optics enables a very narrow beam of light (+/- 9°) to be produced. This beam is smaller (by a factor of 2) than spotlights based on plastic-encapsulated LEDs. This optimum bundling of the light increases the luminance of the spotlight also by a factor of 2.
LM Wind Power’s 73.5-meter blades became the first 70+-meter blades to be installed when Alstom inaugurated the largest offshore wind turbine in the world on Mar. 19, 2012, at Carnet in the Loire-Atlantique region of France. The composite structures have been developed specifically for Alstom’s Haliade 150-6 MW wind turbine in a close collaboration between the two companies to boost energy capture while keeping loads down. The innovative blade design has already been through several rounds of testing before being installed on the turbine in France. LM Wind Power’s technology enables it to design and manufacture relatively lighter glass fiber and polyester blades for the length, but above all, LM Wind Power has proven ability to handle the industrialization of these blades, which is not easy. Alstom’s turbine has been EDF-EN/Dong Energy’s choice developed in response to a call for tenders launched by the French government that aims to install 3 GW of wind turbine power off French shores by 2015. Depending on the results of the tenders to be announced in April, Alstom and LM Wind Power plan to establish a blade manufacturing facility in Cherbourg with the capacity to produce up to 100 sets of 73.5-meter blades a year. Production is planned to start in 2016.
With deference to the ceramic industry’s need to conserve energy, drying specialist Lippert has designed an high performance, energy-efficient economical plaster-mold dryer. Thanks to the dryer’s high airflow velocities and relatively low process temperatures, the resultant modest differential between the plaster-mold temperature and the process temperature rewards the user with a very good thermal profile and accordingly gentle, stress-free drying. At the same time, the new approach sensationally shortens the accustomed drying times and lowers energy consumption to match. The modular, fully preassembled dryer can be installed by the customer’s own personnel. Even the electrical installation is easy, because the system is fully hard-wired to plug-in status. All the customer needs Lippert’s help for is the dryer’s commissioning.