NexTech’s 10 µm MCO coating on SS441 substrate 900°C, 200 hours, air. Credit: NexTech.

Here’s what we are hearing:

PPG to increase global production capacity for precipitated silica

PPG Industries announced that it is increasing its global precipitated silica production capacity by more than 18,000 tons per year in response to growing global demand. The capacity expansion includes projects at PPG’s Lake Charles, La., and Delfzijl, Netherlands, manufacturing locations. PPG pioneered the development of synthetic precipitated silica, becoming one of the first manufacturers to bring them to market in the 1930s. Today, PPG’s silica products business is a global leader in the manufacture of precipitated silica for tire, battery separator, carrier, coatings, industrial rubber, footwear and silicone end-use applications. The business also makes TESLIN substrate, a microporous sheet material used for card, specialty print, in-mold graphic, tag and label use, as well as technology-focused applications such as e-Passports and RFID cards and labels.

Altair board appoints H. Frank Gibbard president and CEO; Stephen B. Huang to be vice president and CFO

Gibbard has more than 30 years of experience in battery and fuel cell businesses, having served as vice president for research, Development and advanced engineering at Duracell and as CEO of the fuel cell company H Power Corp. At H Power he led a $104 million IPO that resulted in a NASDAQ listing in 2000. He holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the MIT and is a frequent speaker at technical and business conferences on electrochemical energy storage. Huang is a seasoned financial executive with 18 years of experience with U.S. companies, ranging from controller to CFO. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and experienced in the financial management of joint US-Chinese companies. His experience in setting up and managing operations in China is particularly valuable for Altair’s expansion in global markets.

Mettler Toledo issues new white paper on transfer of weighing data for process control

Mettler Toledo is pleased to issue a new white paper that provides points to consider when defining operating boundaries, and data objectives for transfer of weighing process data to PLC, MES or ERP systems. Efficient transfer of weighing process data to higher level PLC, MES or ERP systems makes manufacturing processes more efficient and more transparent. It can result in more accurate or faster filling and control processes. Increased transparency can improve asset use, reduce operating costs, and make complying with certification standards or industrial regulations easier. But identifying and implementing the most effective system for data transfer and integration can be challenging.

NexTech Materials demonstrates stainless steel protective coatings for 40,000+ hours of operation in SOFCs

A critical challenge in the commercialization of solid oxide fuel cells is the selection and manufacture of components that will last for thousands of hours, but at an economical cost. NexTech Materials Ltd. has performed accelerated stability tests that predict a service life of over 40,000 hours at 750°C for low cost ferritic steel (AL 441 HP) interconnect components protected by its manganese-cobalt spinel. coatings. This achievement represents a critical milestone for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells. To date, SOFC system lifetime has been limited by the metal component oxidation. As demonstrated by NexTech, MCO protective coatings reduce the oxidation rate of ferritic steels by a factor of twenty or more.

Momentive To Expand Specialty Quartz Plant in Geesthacht, Germany

Momentive Performance Materials Inc.’s Quartz & Ceramics is expanding its specialty quartz production facility in Geesthacht, Germany. The $14 million expansion project t will enable Momentive to meet increasing global demand for its high-purity specialty fused quartz crucibles, used by the photovoltaic industry to produce solar wafers and the semiconductor industry in the production of computer chips. The company manufactures a variety of specialty products that are essential to the photovoltaic wafer and semiconductor microchip production, including fused quartz crucibles used to “grow” silicon ingots, large-diameter fused quartz tubing, rods, and solid ingot in which silicon wafers are processed to make microchips.