Alcoa moves to reduce alumina production in response to market conditions

Alcoa is taking further action to increase the competitiveness of its upstream business amid prevailing market conditions. Alcoa will permanently close its 269,000 metric ton Warrick Operations smelter in Evansville, Ind., by the end of Q1 2016. By the end of Q2 2016, the company will reduce alumina production by one million metric tons, which includes curtailing the remaining 810,000 metric tons of refining capacity at its Point Comfort operations in Texas.

Panamanian companies win tug-of-war for control of MesoCoat

The fight for MesoCoat is over. After a tumultuous court battle, two Panamanian holding companies have won the right to receive a 67% stake in the Euclid-based metal coatings technology company. But the beleaguered holding company that owns those shares today won’t lose everything—Miami-based Abakan Inc. will retain a 22% stake in MesoCoat.

Zeiss and Fellowes launch mobile phone accessory photography lenses

Zeiss and the Fellowes’ ExoLens brand announce their collaboration in the design and development of accessory lenses for mobile phones. The first three lenses—wide-angle, telephoto and macro—are scheduled to launch in late Q2 2016. The wide-angle and telephoto lenses offer excellent image performance with outstanding edge-to-edge contrast. The macro lens features a zoom function for flexible image composition.

China Ceramics completes production line for new roofing products

China Ceramics has completed a new production line to manufacture glazed brick ceramic tiles in its Hengdali facility in Gaoan, Jiangxi Province, China. The new production line is optimized to manufacture customized size ranges of glazed brick ceramic tiles in a manner that maximizes production efficiency and output. The new line will undergo extensive testing, and full production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2016.

3M and Zirkonzahn settle dental ceramic patent infringement action

3M Company and Zirkonzahn SRL and Zirkonzahn Deutschland GmbH have amicably settled a patent infringement lawsuit brought by 3M against Zirkonzahn. The suit involved 3M’s patented technology that enables dimensionally precise sintering of dental ceramics. As a result of the settlement, Zirkonzahn SRL and Zirkonzahn Deutschland GmbH will license this patented technology from 3M.

Setting the standard for 3-D printed rocket engines

Aerojet Rocketdyne received a $6 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to define the standards that will be used to qualify additively manufactured components for use in liquid-fueled rocket engine applications. The award is part of the U.S. Air Force Booster Propulsion Technology Maturation Broad Agency Announcement, which is part of a comprehensive Air Force plan to transition off the Russian-made RD-180 engines currently used on the Atlas V launch vehicle.