PLANTS, CENTERS, AND FACILITIES
General Motors opened a new 15,000-square-foot additive manufacturing R&D facility dedicated to “productionizing 3D printing technology” for automotive applications. The facility includes 24 printers that can produce a variety of metal and plastic parts using processes such as fused deposition modeling, multi-jet fusion, and selective laser melting and sintering.
Bowmer & Kirkland was selected as lead contractor for the construction of a planned center of excellence for the glass manufacturing industry. Commercial property developer Network Space submitted a planning application to build a 160,000-sq-ft laboratory for Glass Futures Ltd on the former United Glassworks site in St. Helens.
Additive manufacturing company 3D Systems revealed expansion plans for its Rock Hill, South Carolina, headquarters, adding some 9,300 m2 to its existing campus and enabling the company to consolidate materials manufacturing, quality, and logistics operations with new and expanded materials development laboratories.
South Korea unveiled a 48.5 trillion won ($43.2 billion) plan to build the world’s largest wind power plant by 2030. The project is a major component of President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal, initiated last year to curb reliance on fossil fuels.
ACQUISITIONS AND COLLABORATIONS
Superior Technical Ceramics announced the acquisition of IJ Research, a manufacturer specializing in sapphire-to- metal brazed hermetic assemblies based in Santa Ana, California. The acquisition closed on December 24 of last year.
Ardagh is to acquire the Longhorn glass manufacturing facility located in Houston, Texas, from Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). Longhorn will continue to supply AB InBev’s adjacent Houston brewery under a long-term supply agreement, and Ardagh intends to invest in the long-term future of Longhorn.
International Cookware, which owns the Pyrex trademark, has acquired French tableware manufacturer Duralex. It is planning investments of approximately €17 million by 2024 to innovate, ensure compliance with standards and improve productivity at Duralex.
Chinese module manufacturer Risen and solar glass maker Flat Glass Group signed a glass supply deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Risen and some of its subsidiaries will purchase around 34 GW (234 million square metres) of PV glass from FGG from 2021 to 2023 based on a monthly bargaining price.
The ExOne Company reached a commercial license agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to produce additive manufactured parts in aluminium-infiltrated boron carbide (B4C). Researchers at Oak Ridge developed the patent-pending method, and ExOne executed an R&D license for the manufacturing process in 2019.
Equinor and BP completed their previously announced transaction, including BP’s $1.1 billion purchase from Equinor of a 50% interest in two major lease areas off the U.S. East Coast. The transaction is the first step in a strategic partnership between the two energy companies to team up for offshore wind projects in the U.S.
India and Denmark formed a “far reaching Green Strategic Partnership” that will enable Denmark to deliver sustainable solutions in India. The Green Strategic Partnership will advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs, and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities.
The Petroleum Equipment & Services Association and the Association of Energy Service Companies will combine to create a new organization, the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. The Council will represent more than 600 energy technology and services companies providing solutions to enable a low-carbon future, safely, profitably, and sustainably.
Shell, C3 AI, Baker Hughes, Microsoft launched the Open AI Energy Initiative, an open ecosystem of artificial intelligence-based solutions for the energy and process industries. The initiative provides a framework for energy operators, service and equipment providers, and independent software vendors for energy services to offer interoperable solutions.
Chinese rare earth giant Shenghe Resources signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with Western Australian explorer RareX. The companies have laid the groundwork for the formation of a jointly owned rare earth elements trading company, which will source rare earth element concentrates from non-China sources.
Buehler is hosting a new webinar series throughout 2021 that will cover a range of topics about etching and microstructure. The first webinar on the fundamentals of etching takes place February 24 at 12 p.m. CT.
American Resources Corp. acquired exclusive rights to critical rare-earth element separation and purification technologies from Hasler Ventures LLC and Purdue University. The environmentally safer method uses ligand-assisted chromatography for separation and purification of rare earth and other critical elements.
A seven-acre solar array and solar learning lab recently approved for the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana means an innovative energy technology program will be offered to students this fall. The new Certificate of Proficiency in Solar Energy Technology program was approved by the Board last year.
Panasonic Corporation will withdraw from solar cells and panel production, as the former leading maker now faces fierce competition from Chinese rivals that can produce the items at a lower cost. With the withdrawal of Panasonic, Kyocera and Sharp will be the only major companies in Japan that produce solar batteries and panels.
Germany launched a state-subsidized research project that will look at how to make use of blockchain technology in adapting power trading to the growing share of decentralized renewable power generation under the country’s energy transition.
European packaging glass organization Stoelzle Glass Group joined the International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR). The IPGR aims to increase and maintain the competitiveness of glass in the packaging industry by research and development. It consists of 10 companies.
Tino Petsch, founder and previous majority shareholder of 3D-Micromac AG, a specialist in laser micromachining and roll-to-roll laser processing systems, sold part of his share package and will withdraw from operative business. His former fellow board member, Uwe Wagner, will continue to manage the business of 3D-Micromac AG with overall responsibility.
The surface science capabilities at the Australian institute for Innovative Materials at the University of Wollongong were recently upgraded with the installation of a highly versatile Thermo Scientific NEXSA XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) system.
An article on the deep dive looks at how the unanticipated supply disruption of the global semiconductor market has caused significant harm in terms of output to numerous automakers around the world.
Lux Research released its annual report identifying and ranking 12 key technologies that will reshape the world. Included in the report are the top five most impactful technologies for the chemicals and materials industry in 2021: plastic waste recycling, materials informatics, digital sales platforms, 3D printing, and synthetic biology.
An article on The Fifth Estate looks at recent advances in low-carbon concrete, both already in application and those being tested in laboratories.
For the first time, a 3D-printed house is for sale in the United States. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is 3D-printed on-site by the company SQ4D, which developed an Autonomous Robotic Construction System that prints structures out of concrete.
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A., a worldwide supplier of specialty and high-performance carbon black, announced that it will increase pricing for acetylene black by 20% globally on March 1, 2021, or as contracts allow.
Dr.Collins announced that its BioMin Restore Plus Toothpaste has received FDA 510K approval for relief of sensitivity. Available only on prescription from registered dental clinicians, Dr.Collins BioMin Restore Plus is based on BioMin F, a patented bioactive glass complex developed in the laboratories of Queen Mary University of London.
Axiom Materials Inc., one of Kordsa’s U.S.-based subsidiaries in advanced composites materials, launched its latest oxide-oxide ceramic matrix composite product line: CerFace surfacing films. CerFace AX-8810, the first film in the product line, is engineered to co-cure with Axiom’s Ox-Ox prepregs to reduce surface porosity and to improve surface finish.
Flexicon has introduced a wear-resistant flexible screw conveyor with carbon steel conveyor tube, heavy-duty flexible screw, and heavy-gauge floor hopper and discharge housing, capable of moving crushed glass, garnet, aluminum oxide, silica sand, aggregate, cement, and other abrasive materials. The screw is available in lengths up to 40 feet.