Here is what we are hearing:

Integration of Hanse Chemie Inc. USA, into Evonik Goldschmidt Corp.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, the US Hanse Chemie business of Hanse Chemie AG and Nanoresins AG, has been merged into Evonik Goldschmidt Corp. At the same time, Hanse Chemie Inc. USA has been dissolved as a legal entity. The acquisition of the two firms by Evonik was finalized on May 12, 2011. Both companies are headquartered in Germany and produce raw materials and components for the manufacture of sealants, adhesives, molding and casting compounds, and other products. Most of the Hanse Chemie Inc. business is incorporated into the Interface & Performance business line whose activities surrounding the silicone specialties are directed at a variety of industrial markets. Activities in the paint and coatings industry, especially those concerning nanocomposites, extremely fine-particle silicas, are now part of the Coatings & Additives Business Unit of Evonik.

3M launches high density versions of its embedded capacitance material at DesignCon 2012

3M announced the initial availability of its high-capacitance Embedded Capacitance Material at DesignCon 2012, providing design engineers a new way to improve power integrity and reduce electromagnetic interference. Unlike previous 3M ECM versions, which have a maximum capacitance density of approximately 10 nF per square inch, and some existing commercial competitor offerings, which have a maximum capacitance density of approximately 6 nF per square inch, the 3M ECM high-capacitance density solutions offer a capacitance density range from 20 up to 40 nF per square inch, making it the one of the highest capacitance density, halogen-free ECM solutions on the market. This helps design engineers provide hi-fidelity signals, high-signal-to-noise ratio in radio frequencies and higher speed digital signals in a variety of high-performance applications such as small form factor computer hardware, high-performance RF boards, microphones, integrated circuit packaging and consumer electronics.

Mantec consolidates ceramic activities

Mantec, the British technology group with a portfolio of manufacturing businesses based in Stoke-on-Trent, has announced that with immediate effect the three companies previously operated as subsidiaries of the technical ceramic division have now merged into a single, business – Mantec Technical Ceramics Ltd ( The three companies involved are Taylor Tunnicliff, Ceramic Gas Products and Fairey Filtration Systems. They have in any case been operating under common management, from the same premises, for the past four years and so this a logical step to take. While the name of Mantec Technical Ceramics will now be the one associated with all administrative, legal, accounting and sales channels, leading brand names owned and manufactured by the group will naturally be retained.

Surmet: SEM of fracture reveals significant grain boundary weakness in lithium fluoride-doped, vacuum hot-pressed and HIPped transparent magnesia spinel

Polycrystalline ceramics with cubic spinel structure transmit well in the visible and mid IR wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. ALON and magnesia spinel are especially attractive, and are leading lightweight transparent armor candidates for future combat systems. These have enormous performance advantage over glass and justify their rapid development. Surmet achieves full density and transparency using the conventional sinter/hot isostatic Ppress process that includes green body formation and high-temperature sintering, followed by HIPping.

Molycorp to receive $390M strategic investment from Molymet; Investment slated to fuel growth and pursuit of vertical integration plans

Molycorp Inc. announced that Molibdenos y Metales S.A. (Molymet), the world’s largest processor of the strategic metals molybdenum and rhenium, has agreed to invest approximately $390 million in the company in exchange for 12.5 million shares of Molycorp common stock. The price of the Molycorp shares to be purchased were valued based on the 20-day volume weighted average share price as of the close of trading on Jan. 30, 2012 plus a 10% premium. Molycorp has agreed to appoint to its board of directors upon the closing of the proposed investment a nominee to be designated by Molymet.

Thermablok aerogel insulation strips installed in new ‘green’ US Border Patrol station in Texas

Crews working construction on the environmentally sustainable Fabens US Border Patrol Station in Clint, Texas have just completed installing 21,000 linear feet of Thermablok aerogel insulating strips on studs throughout the 51,000 square foot facility. The strips reduce thermal bridging, the prime cause of energy loss in buildings. When RVK Architects of San Antonio collaborated with Jacobs Engineering Group of Houston to design the eco-friendly structure already years in the planning, they included Thermablok in the original design. The strips went up easily since they have peel and stick adhesive already attached to the back of the product. The facility also is fitted with solar heaters, sky lights, glazed windows and energy efficient equipment for a low-carbon footprint.