Here’s what we are hearing:

Duo’s chemistry makes it possible: natural gas produced from biomass

H.C. Starck and Clausthaler Umwelttechnik-Institut (Germany) have joined forces to successfully develop a completely new generation of catalyzers and process technology for the production of substitute natural gas from biomass as a renewable energy source. The two groups have engineered a range of catalyzers with an oxide base containing cobalt, molybdenum, and aluminum, which have been successfully tested under laboratory and pilot plant conditions. The catalyzers proved to be robust and reclaimable, even under the most unfavorable conditions, having achieved high yields with which the synthesis of substitute natural gas is possible.

Indiana lands turbine blade company

A wind turbine blade manufacturer plans to open two facilities in southern Indiana with intentions of creating up to 400 jobs by 2014. Gov. Mitch Daniels has announced a two-phased project involving GBT USA Inc., a unit of Netherlands-based Global Blade Technology. The company is leasing space at the former Whirlpool plant in Evansville for an engineering design and production facility, which the city says will have nearly 40 employees by next year. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says GBT also plans to build an additional southern Indiana facility in 2013 to produce composite rotor blades for wind turbine generators.

Company’s ceramic bearings offer flexibility to automation and advanced manufacturing industries

Boca Bearing Company is introducing a new line of full ceramic bearings, ceramic hybrid bearings and lubricants catered towards the automation and advanced manufacturing industries. Its ceramic bearings can be used in varieties of manufacturing environments ranging from extreme temperatures, high speeds to heavy loads. Ceramic hybrid ball bearings use steel races and ceramic balls. Ceramic balls weigh up to 40% less than steel balls. This reduces centrifugal loading and skidding, so hybrid ceramic bearings can operate up to 50% faster than conventional bearings. This means that the outer race groove exerts less force inward against the ball as the bearing spins. This reduction in force reduces the friction and rolling resistance. The lighter ball allows the bearing to spin faster, and uses less energy to maintain its speed. Ceramic hybrid ball bearings have ceramic balls in place of steel balls. They are constructed with steel inner and outer rings, ceramic balls and are known as hybrids.

MesoCoat Inc. opens new metal cladding and coating facility with one of the most powerful arc lamps

MesoCoat Inc. currently occupies two facilities in Ohio with a third 11,000 sq. ft. facility under-construction (expected production start date, Jan. 2012). This new Eastlake facility will be their fourth facility in Ohio within a 5 mile radius. It will primarily be used for cladding plates and components for the oil and gas, mining, and shipbuilding industries. The facility is designed to accommodate two metal fusion cladding lines for CermaClad and thermal spray coating cells for PComP, including a metallurgical and analytical lab. At this facility, MesoCoat will be installing a 600 kW fusion cladding arc lamp system, one of the most powerful arc lamps ever manufactured. MesoCoat acquired this 600 kW arc lamp under a joint development agreement with a multinational heavy equipment manufacturer; where MesoCoat will work towards developing wear and corrosion-resistant cladding using the arc lamp for equipment and components manufactured by them.

Toyota center announces new projects and partnerships with leading US academic and research institutions

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center today announced 10 new research initiatives and new research agreements with six leading North American universities and research institutions to enhance the development, testing and implementation of new automotive safety innovations across North America. The institutions include MIT’s AgeLab, the Transportation Active Safety Institute, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
Wake Forest School of Medicine, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study and Wayne State University School of Medicine.

CoorsTek acquires advanced ceramics business from BAE Systems

CoorsTek, the world’s largest technical ceramics manufacturer, today officially announced the purchase of BAE Systems’ Vista, California advanced ceramics facilities. These three facilities total 106,000 square feet – adding to the more than three million square feet of manufacturing floor space already in place worldwide. These facilities develop and fabricate lightweight ceramic armor systems, semiconductor components and assemblies and industrial components. Specifically, they manufacture hot-pressed boron carbides, silicon carbides, aluminum nitrides and other advanced ceramic materials.