Lightweight, high-performance metals leader Alcoa is investing $22 million in Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) technology at its facility in Whitehall, Mich. The investment will enable Alcoa to capture growing demand for advanced titanium, nickel and 3-D-printed parts for the world’s bestselling jet engines. Steep ramp-up rates for narrow- and wide-body aircraft engines—the top-selling jet engines in the world—are increasing Alcoa’s need for such capabilities.
Materials engineering company Morgan Advanced Materials has joined forces with a leading research university to investigate the use of alumina blocks in new generation ultrasonic flow meters. Together, Morgan and Loughborough University’s Advanced Ceramics Research Group are exploring the potential use of reflective alumina blocks in place of the stainless steel blocks that are currently widely used in these applications.
The Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Incorporated announced the selection of Tom Patti, known for his body of work comprising visionary architectural systems, as the 2015/16 Specialty Glass Artist-in-Residence. The Residency is a joint program of the Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Incorporated that supports artists in exploring the use of specialty glass materials to inform their body of work.
Soleras Advanced Coatings (Biddeford, Maine) is a big international player in the high-tech advanced coatings market, making components such as sputtering targets that aren’t visible in the final products, but are necessary to making them. The market for sputtering targets and sputtered films, which includes the long metal tubes Soleras makes that serve as the bombarded targets, is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2018.
Advanced structural ceramics have the potential to make aircraft engines lighter, soldiers’ body armor safer, and machine tools more durable. However, they’ve traditionally been dominated by a few large corporations and seen little adoption due to high costs and processing challenges. Now, innovative start-ups have begun to shake up this market, according to Lux Research.
Lightweight metals leader Alcoa is supplying a high-strength, aerospace-grade aluminum to Samsung for its latest smartphones—the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. This marks the first time the global electronic giant will use an aluminum frame for its Galaxy S flagship model. The company’s aerospace-grade aluminum, 6013 Alcoa Power Plate, is 70% stronger than standard aluminum used in similar devices, creating a thinner, lighter, sleeker design.
H.C. Starck has acquired a minority stake in one of Sweden’s most innovative start-ups, Metasphere Technology. The company has developed an innovative, proprietary technology for the production of spherical metal powders, a material in high demand in growth industries such as additive manufacturing. H.C. Starck and Metasphere Technology plan to build a new production line for spherical metal powders in Lulea, Sweden.