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  Zircotec selected as finalist for British automotive innovation award

The British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recently announced the shortlisted entries for its Award for Automotive Innovation 2013, and Zircotec Ltd., a supplier of ceramic thermal barrier coatings for exhaust and other automotive applications, is one of the finalists. The company’s coatings, which enable use of lightweight composites in high-temperature applications, have been used in Formula One and other racing applications. The technology’s first application to a production vehicle was on the Aston Martin One-77 (pictured above; credit: Aston Martin). Results will be released on Nov. 26.

NGK Ceramics plans North Carolina expansion

(Area Development Online) NGK Ceramics USA will invest for than $22 million to expand its operations in Mooresville, N.C., with plans to create 18 jobs. The company manufactures ceramic substrates for automotive catalytic converters and currently employs more than 600 people at the Mooresville plant. According to a company official, NGK will expand its powder preparation facility over the course of the next year, enabling increased exports to NGK plants in Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, and China.

Solidia CEO speaks on cement, concrete sustainability

“Sustainability must stand on its own two feet,” Solidia Technologies CEO Tom Schuler said during a panel presentation at the recent annual forum of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative. CSI invited Schuler to speak on new sustainable technologies, the challenges of introducing innovation, and the company’s patented technology, which it claims can reduce the carbon footprint of cement and concrete products up to 70%. Cement production is the world’s second largest source of greenhouse gases, accounting for 5–7% of global GHG emissions. Solidia’s cement formulation requires less energy to produce and concrete made using the product cures with carbon dioxide rather than water, effectively sequestering the world’s most common GHG.

Morgan Advanced Materials launches improved stave-shaped ceramic components

Morgan Advanced Materials is offering improved stave-shaped ceramic components for defense and commercial sonar applications. Ceramic materials are used in many sonar systems where high acoustic transmission properties are required in low-frequency environments. According to the company, the new products are operable at extremely low depths and continue to work even in the most severe bathythermal conditions. The “stave” components are assembled to create large ceramic rings and used as underwater projector transducers. Known as segmented construction, the technique allows production of very large rings. The new components are available in lengths and widths from 10–165 mm and thicknesses from 10–40 mm. Materials include the company’s PZT400 and PZT800 piezoelectric formulations, which are said to ensure low dielectric and mechanical losses in the transducer for optimal acoustic output and efficiency.

UK production equipment supplier secures record contract

(Eastern Daily Press) PCL Ceramics, a ceramics processing equipment supplier based in King’s Lynn, UK, has won a record £5.45m contract to supply its RotoBowl pressure casting equipment to Monticello, Ind.-based Patriot Porcelain LLC. The patented machinery will be fabricated at PCL’s King’s Lynn plant before delivery to Patriot, a supplier of ceramic products for the US market. “This is the first major investment into the North American ceramics industry for many years, and it’s an indication of manufacturers pulling back from Chinese manufactured products in favor of local production on cost and environmental grounds,” says PCL managing director Mark Butler.