Chicago skyscraper’s deck cracks under tourists’ feet

Four boxes known as the Ledge extend off the Skydeck at Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower. The enclosures extend out more than four feet from the building’s Skydeck and offer visitors a glass-floor view from 1,353 ft above the city. Wednesday night, a tourist witnessed the protective coating on the glass—as opposed to the glass itself—crack. The coating is designed to crack when something is dropped on it. The tower’s Skydeck remains open while the protective coating is being replaced. The Ledge, however, has been temporarily closed for a routine inspection and is expected to reopen shortly.

Polish firm plans factory to supply input for fracking shale gas

Poland’s Baltic Ceramics Investments is issuing shares to help fund construction of a factory that will produce a high-tech substance used in fracking, part of a developing supply chain for eastern Europe’s shale gas sector. The company plans to produce ceramic proppants for hydraulic fracturing. Over 50 exploratory shale wells have been drilled so far in Poland, and experts say that dozens more are required to determine whether large-scale commercial production of shale gas is viable.

RAK Ceramics plans new plants in India and sells shares to Samena

United Arab Emirates-based tile and tableware manufacturer Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Ceramics is looking to expand. The company plans to invest ₹300 crore on a new plant in Gujarat, India this year. It is also planning to set up a greenfield plant in India, potentially in states such as Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, to increase capacity. In addition, Samena Limestone was recently given approval to acquire more than 30 percent of RAK Ceramics from the firm’s founding shareholder.

Morgan offers advanced injection-molded ceramics for investment casting of airfoils & turbines

Morgan Advanced Materials announced the availability of its Certech injection-molded ceramics, specifically engineered for investment casting of airfoils and industrial gas turbines. Morgan manufactures cores in a wide range of sizes and complex designs for equiax, single crystal, and directional solidification casting. Critical airfoils required to withstand the high turbine inlet temperature in modern gas turbine engines are investment cast in nickel and cobalt-based super alloys, with ceramic cores used to form the part’s air-cooling passages.

Stained glass for the 21st Century: St Paul’s installs plasma screen art

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has become the first church in Britain to introduce a permanent video art installation, what some consider a modern alternative to stained glass. Martyrs, by the American artist Bill Viola, is made up of four plasma screens installed next to the High Altar in Sir Christopher Wren’s church. The panels, arranged like a traditional altarpiece, simultaneously show four seven minute-films, in which the martyrs are subjected to torture and death through the elements: earth, air, fire and water.

EMC Tiles finds a perfect match to expand business

EMC Tiles (Nottingham, UK) has bought Leicester Tile Centre (Leicester, UK) for an undisclosed sum. The move comes only two months after EMC splashed out £500,000 on developing a trade centre of excellence on the Southglade Industrial estate next to its existing premises. Barry Slawson, managing director of EMC Tiles, says the move means the business will be able to build on its existing branch in Loughborough and expand its customer base further south.