Alcoa is delving deeper into the aerospace industry, spending nearly $3 billion to acquire the British jet engine component company Firth Rixson. Alcoa will pay $2.35 billion in cash and $500 million in stock to the current owner, the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital. The Pittsburgh company said that the deal will boost annual aerospace revenue by 20 percent, to about $4.8 billion.
The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has launched the Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials to accelerate discovery, design and deployment of new materials. The institute will meld world-class capabilities in imaging, high-performance computing, materials science and other scientific disciplines to probe materials. It supports President Obama’s Materials Genome Initiative, which aims to bring new materials to the marketplace.
Corning Inc. recently announced the delivery of custom optical components to NASA for use in its OSIRIS-REx mission, the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. The spacecraft will visit a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu, launching in 2016 and reaching the asteroid in 2018. After a detailed study, the spacecraft will obtain a sample and return to Earth in 2023. Corning manufactured two high-precision mirrors to collect and image light reflected by the asteroid, as part of the spacecraft’s OVIRS instrument.
Chrysler Group has confirmed plans to invest $63 million in its Warren Stamping Plant to expand capacity at the suburban Detroit facility. The investment will be used to purchase and install new equipment at the plant. Production with a new metal press line is expected to begin in December 2015, increasing capacity by about 3.6 million parts per year. The plant’s current lines make 80 million parts a year.
Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months and in 30 states and D.C. between April and May, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials say the employment gains help, but caution that construction employment remains below peak levels in every state and D.C., except North Dakota.
The University of Notre Dame and five public and private partners announced a $36 million project that will be the nation’s foremost research and test facility for advancing the technology used in massive gas turbine engines. Construction in South Bend’s Ignition Park on a 43,000-square-foot building will begin this summer and be completed by March. The facility will be fully operational in July 2016.
Samena Capital, the largest shareholder in Abu Dhabi-listed RAK Ceramics, is looking into potential divestments at the tile and ceramics maker to help to improve its performance. Shirish Saraf, vice-chairman of Samena, said RAK Ceramics had a lot of growth potential because of the construction boom in the Gulf and rising consumption in Africa and Asia. Saraf also said there was potential to generate improvements in the company’s performance by getting out of “non-core” areas, without giving specifics.
Morgan Advanced Materials’ alumina ceramic is now being used in radiotherapy equipment for oncology treatment because of its dielectric properties. Deranox 970 is a high-density, non-porous, and vacuum-tight material with 97% Al2O3 content, which provides excellent electrical insulation. It has now been specified as the sealing element for windows in radiotherapy equipment.