Blastcrete Equipment Co. has acquired Neal Mfg., a manufacturer of asphalt sealcoating equipment. Neal has moved its operations to Blastcrete’s 70,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Anniston, Ala., and will operate as a division of Blastcrete. Neal’s products include both self-propelled and trailer-mounted machines in several sizes, as well as skid-mounted machines. Established in 1950, Blastcrete manufactures mixing, pumping, and spraying equipment for refractory, shotcrete, concrete construction and repair, underground mining and tunneling, and power generation applications.
(The Arizona Star) Research into new ceramic composite materials for energy, aerospace, and other applications is underway at Advanced Ceramics Mfg. Co., Tucson, Ariz., after the company received multiple federal grants. Majority-owned by the tribal San Xavier Development Authority, the company employs about 20 people, many of them tribal members. It has been awarded a total of more than $1 million by the US National Science Foundation, NASA, a Navy agency, and the Naval Sea Systems Command this year. Projects include research for NASA to develop refractory materials that can withstand temperatures to 4,000°F, an NSF project to develop a new manufacturing process for composite parts, and a study of the use of high-power capacitors as alternatives to batteries for energy storage for the Navy.
(Moscow Times) A factory producing nanostructured ceramics for orthopedics and dental implants, armor, and circuit boards recently opened its doors in Novosibirsk as part of the Russian government’s effort to breathe life into domestic manufacturing facilities. NEVZ-Ceramics is a 1.5-billion ruble ($45.9 million) joint venture between Rusnano and a 72-year old Siberian electronics and ceramics factory, NEVZ-Soyuz. Rusnano invested 790 million rubles ($24.2 million) in the project, with the rest coming from private investors and the federal government. German engineering firm BBL Technology Transfer provided production machinery.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. said it will suspend “indefinitely” the Ontario chromite project of its affiliate, Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc., by the end of this year. Last June, the Cleveland, Ohio, producer of iron ore and metallurgical coal announced a temporary halt to environmental assessment activities for the project, citing delays related to the assessment process, land surface rights, and negotiations with the province. Now the company says it will not put more resources into the project considering the “uncertain timeline and risks associated with the development of necessary infrastructure to bring this project online.” There is no restart date for work on the project, which would include a feasibility study and development and exploration activities.
A new report from market research firm IbisWorld covers the latest industry statistics and trends for nondestructive testing services in the US, identifying leading companies and offering analysis of key factors influencing the market. According to the publication, the NDT services industry has experienced strong growth in the past five years despite the significant economic slowdown caused by the recession. NDT service companies provide testing services across a wide range of industries and thus benefit from stable demand. Industrial facilities such as petroleum refineries, power generation plants, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and aerospace and automotive manufacturers test their equipment regularly to prevent equipment failure and lost production.