Applied Minerals Inc. has entered into a development agreement with ceramic consulting firm (and ACerS Corporate Member) OPF Enterprises LLC to formulate ceramic-based proppants used in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production. Preliminary development work indicates the presence of both halloysite and other clay minerals in areas of Applied Minerals’ Dragon Mine resource in Montana that can be used to produce ceramic proppants with strength, permeability, and specific gravity characteristics that meet or exceed those of competing ceramic-based products, the companies say. Formulations will primarily utilize alumina-rich clay found both in the mine’s Western Area resource and five surface piles with chemistries very similar to the ceramic proppants currently on the market. Applied Minerals and OPF will continue to work on optimizing a range of ceramic-based proppants and identifying a strategic partner to help commercialize a ceramic proppant manufacturing operation.
3M Corp. has filed two patent infringement lawsuits in Düsseldorf, Germany to protect technology that enables color-matching of ceramic dental restorations to the natural color of patients’ teeth. The first lawsuit is against Metoxit AG, and alleges infringement of 3M’s patent rights by coloring liquids sold under Metoxit’s Z-CAD colorants and zirconia CAD/CAM blocks brand names. The second suit, against White Peaks Dental Systems GmbH & Co. KG, alleges infringement of 3M’s patent rights by coloring liquids sold under the CopranColor, CopranUltra-T Color, and MonolithColor brands, as well as zirconia CAD/CAM blocks sold under the Copran Zr brand. 3M says it has licensed its patents to much of the dental industry and remains open to licensing the technology to other interested parties.
A new study from RnR Market Research analyzes the world cement industry by presenting historical demand data for 2002, 2007, and 2012, plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022. The report is segmented by cement product, market, world region, and major country. It also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles industry participants. The report forecasts global sales growth of more than 5% annually through 2017, with worldwide sales of cement totaling 4.8 billion tons by 2017. According to the study, China will account for more than 50% of all additional cement demand generated between 2012 and 2017, with cement sales in the country projected to increase nearly 8% percent per year over the forecast period.
Kennametal Inc. has completed its acquisition of the Tungsten Materials business of Allegheny Technologies Inc. The $605 million transaction brings to Kennametal annual sales of approximately $340 million and an estimated 1,175 employees, and increases the company’s presence in key industries including aerospace, energy, and associated process industries. Kennametal says it plans to build on its newly acquired tungsten production and recycling capabilities to accelerate its metallurgical strategy and reduce previously planned capital expenditures.
Morgan Advanced Materials has launched Heat Flow, an enhanced online steady-state heat transfer calculator that lets users simulate an unlimited number of heat transfer scenarios using the company’s insulation and refractory products as well as user-defined materials. The application comes preloaded with nearly 400 products in ten categories offered by Morgan’s Thermal Ceramics business. Users will also have the ability to add other materials to their own databases to run calculations based on ASTM C680, which delineates international standard procedures for estimating heat gain or loss and surface temperature.