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An aluminum oxynitride window hermetically bonded to a metallic fixture. Credit: Surmet.

Successful demo of bonding of metal to ALON optical ceramic for applications including oil and gas drilling

Conventional metalizing and brazing techniques used for Alumina and sapphire are not directly applicable to ALON. However, Surmet has now successfully demonstrated a novel metalizing technique that results in hermetic brazed joints with high strength and durability while preserving ALON’s optical, IR and RF transparency. Mechanical integrity of the braze joint is maintained over a wide range of temperatures. This is a significant development as it enables materials and engineering challenges to be addressed in such applications as: sensor housings, windows for harsh chemical and windows for high pressure/temperature environments. The bonding of ALON to engineering metals and alloys such as Kovar, Hexalloy, stainless steel, niobium and molybdenum is now possible.

Kyocera co-develops complete SOFC cogeneration system

Kyocera Corp., Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., Chofu Seisakusho Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp. recently announced that they have completed co-development of a residential-use solid oxide fuel cell co-generation system. The resulting product-ENE-FARM Type S-reportedly achieves a power generation efficiency of 46.5%, the highest level in the world for a residential-use fuel cell. The SOFC system has been developed based upon the companies’ advanced technologies. Within the co-development agreement, Kyocera produces the cell stack; Aisin the generation units with the incorporated cell stack ; and Chofu the hot-water supply and heating unit using exhausted heat. Osaka Gas will commence sales of the system on April 27 (only in the Japanese market). The companies will successively expand their production operations and will strive to promote the widespread use of this SOFC system.

CoorsTek launches online ceramic tubes and rods store for direct sales

CoorsTek, the world’s largest technical ceramics manufacturer, today officially launched a new online store offering direct sales of their ceramic tubes and ceramic rods. The site enhances customer convenience with online, 24-7 ordering, enables factory-direct orders, and saves customers 10% off list price for a limited time. In business for over 100 years, CoorsTek has produced ceramic tubes and ceramic rods since the 1960s. These components are a staple in industrial furnace and kiln industries to work as heating element supports, temperature measurement components, thermocouples, furnace work tubes, electrical insulators and several other components. They are also used in the investment casting processes to form vanes on aircraft turbine engines and in medical and laser applications.

Onyx Solar at Repsol’s science and technology forum

Onyx Solar CTO, Teodosio del Caño, was invited by Repsol to share his expertise in a science and technology forum organized by Repsol to discuss the scientific challenges laying on a global change environment. In the event, which took place in March at Repsol CTR (Repsol Technology Center) in Madrid, also participated some of the main personalities in Innovation of Spain, such as Fernando Temprano, CTO of Repsol. Del Caño pointed out what are the main challenges, what sectors will need to adapt to a strong technological environment change and what a company should do to becoming a leader in the new scenario ahead.

E.ON and RWE withdraw from Horizon Nuclear Power venture

(The Engineer) E.ON and RWE npower have withdrawn from Horizon Nuclear Power, an equal joint venture aimed at developing a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain. Alternative investors will now be sought to advance Horizon Nuclear Power’s plan to deliver around 6,000 MW of new nuclear power station capacity by 2025 at sites in Wylfa and Oldbury. Both projects would require more than £15 billion of investment. E.ON said in a statement that its decision was made following a full review and against the backdrop of the wider group’s financial constraints. The company will now focus on what it describes as other strategic projects. Prof Dame Sue Ion, a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said, “Not only is new nuclear build stalling, but investment is stalling generally across the energy industry, including the major investment needed for offshore wind projects. Large amounts of capital require large amounts of cash and the recession, especially in Europe, is making access to cash difficult. Companies are very risk averse and worry about the continuity of energy policy and, particularly for renewables, the longevity of subsidies. This decision will bring home to the government how challenging it is when investment decisions are left entirely to the market. We are now in a position where investment by UK utilities in the UK is being affected by decisions taken overseas.”

Paumanok offers Zogbi report – “Ceramic capacitors world markets, technology and opportunities to 2017” covering the $10 billion global market

In the highly detailed report pioneered by Paumanok Publications and Dennis Zogbi since 1993, markets are organized into demand by configuration (MLCC, SLC, MLC axial, MLC radial and chip array); demand by performance (X7R, X5R, Y5V, NPO, X8R and other); demand by MLCC case size (01005, 0201, 0402, 0603, 0805, 1206, 1210 and above); and demand by world region and key consuming country (China, Japan, Germany, US, Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil). Market shares are given on a year-over-year basis for the top 23 manufacturers from 2008-2012; and quarterly market shares are also given for the top tier manufacturers. Market shares are also assessed by world region. Ceramic capacitor consumption volume in key end products is also addressed, including handsets, notebooks, desktop computers, tablets and ultrabooks, TV sets, automobiles, other consumer AV equipment and industrial and specialty electronics is also addressed; as is consumption by end-use market segment, including wireless telecommunications, computing, consumer AV, automobiles, power supplies, telecom infrastructure, defense electronics, medical electronics, lighting ballasts, instrumentation and oil and gas electronics.

Freedonia Group report: US well stimulation material demand to approach $12B in 2016

US demand for well stimulation materials is projected to increase more than 10 percent annually to nearly $12 billion in 2016. Growth will be sustained by continued advances in hydraulic fracturing technology designed to increase the productivity of both new and existing wells. Ongoing growth in horizontal drilling activity and development of shale resources will boost demand for proppants and the fluids used to deliver them into formation fractures. In the early portion of the forecast period, use in oil well drilling will provide most of the impetus for growth, as oil prices are high by historical standards and natural gas prices are not. However, shale gas development activity was strong in 2009, 2010 and 2011, despite low prices. Through the forecast period, shale gas producers will continue to embrace innovations such as multiple-well drilling pad systems and advanced hydraulic fracturing materials in order to improve drilling efficiencies and increase per-well output, all of which will benefit well stimulation material demand.

Fisker Atlantic plug-in hybrid revealed in New York

(Gizmag) Fisker Automotive has revealed the shape of its future with the unveiling of a new design prototype—the Fisker Atlantic. The wraps were taken off the four-door Atlantic – which Fisker sees as the “next step in its transition from start-up automaker to mainstream American manufacturer” – in a preview event on the eve of the New York Auto Show. Like the Karma, Atlantic uses a hybrid range extending set-up. Dubbed EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range), the system relies on a four-cylinder gasoline engine to generate charge for the vehicle’s lithium ion batteries, but the electric motor provides the drive.

PPG presents new portfolio of glass compositions at JEC Europe 2012

PPG Industries’ fiber glass business presented a technical seminar on Innofiber specialty glass composition fibers during the recent JEC Europe 2012 in Paris. PPG presented key benefits of its glass composition fibers as well as recent laboratory test results from PPG’s Shelby, N.C., fiber glass research and development facility. The results, using rovings that paired Innofiber glass composition fibers and proprietary fiber glass sizing chemistry, displayed how these products exceed the corrosion-resistance and modulus-performance limits of standard E-Glass.