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May 25th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on May 25th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org


A sample of Bridgelux LED products. The company along with Toshiba achieved world-class performance for 8″ GaN-on-silicon LEDs. Credit: Bridgelux.

Here’s what we are hearing:

Global high temperature insulation market worth $3.5 billion by 2016

According to a new market research report, “High Temperature Insulation Market—HTI Application (petrochemicals, glass, ceramics, and others) and Temperature Range-Global Trends & Forecasts (2011-2016)”, published by MarketsandMarkets, global HTI products market will grow from estimated $2.7 billion in 2011 to $3.5 billion in 2016 with a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% during the same period. The global HTI market was valued at $2.47 billion in 2007. Next year the market grew by 10.6% and reached to $2.73 billion in 2008. In 2009, the global economic crisis affected the number of projects across various industries which led to a fall in market by 16 percent to $2.29 billion. In 2010, the market recovered and companies in high temperature insulation business recorded significant jump in their revenues. For instance, The Morgan Crucible Company Plc reported a 12 percent rise in their thermal ceramic division’s revenue which includes high temperature insulation products. In 2010 the overall high temperature insulation market surged by 9.6 percent and reached to $2.51 billion. In 2011, the market jumped again by 7.8 percent to $2.9 billion and the similar growth is expected in next year. The high temperature insulation market is forecasted to reach $3.5 billion by 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.4% in next five years. Europe is the largest consumer of HTI products with 40 percent market share in 2011 followed by North America with 35% share. UK based Morgan Thermal Ceramics and U.S. based Unifrax are the largest manufacturers of HTI products and together constitute one third of the market.

JEOL introduces new versatile FE-SEM series for sub-nanometer imaging and analysis of nanostructures and magnetic samples

JEOL has launched a new series of Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopes that offer expanded imaging and analysis capabilities customizable to performance requirements. The JEOL JSM-7100F series offers sub-1 nanometer imaging capabilities and analytical characterization at the sub-100 nanometer scale, accomplished through the combination of large beam currents with a small probe size at any accelerating voltage. Designed for the budget-conscious lab, the JSM-7100F model is a highly versatile, easy-to-use analytical field emission SEM that offers a new level of expanded performance. Through the unique “in-lens field emission gun,” the SEM delivers ≥ 200 nA of beam current to the sample. An aperture angle control lens automatically optimizes both small probe current spot size for high resolution imaging and spot shape for high beam current, high resolution microanalysis, while a beam deceleration mode curtails charging on nonconductive specimens such as ceramics, semiconductors and polymers.

Solexel raises $25M for silicon gas-based solar panels

(Bloomberg) Solexel Inc., a closely held U.S. solar-panel maker that uses silicon gas to manufacture its wafers, received $25 million to build a pilot plant in California, according to an executive. The pilot is intended to test Solexel’s manufacturing process with larger equipment that would be used in a factory planned in Malaysia, according to Kerstens. Solexel, based in Milpitas, California, makes its solar cells using silicon gas instead of growing silicon ingots in furnaces and slicing them into wafers like other companies, according to Kerstens. Those processes are more expensive because more silicon is required and about half of it is wasted, he said. “We do away with the traditional process of a polysilicon plant,” Kerstens said. “We deposit a gas and we grow every wafer individually, and we can therefore control the thickness,” he said.

Bridgelux and Toshiba achieve world-class performance for 8″ GaN-on-silicon LEDs

Bridgelux Inc., a leading developer and promoter of LED lighting technologies and solutions, and Toshiba Corp., a world-leading semiconductor manufacturer, today announced that Bridgelux and Toshiba have achieved the industry’s top class 8″ GaN-on-silicon LED chip emitting 614mW, <3.1V@350mA with 1.1mm square chip, just months after they have engaged in a joint collaborative agreement. Bridgelux and Toshiba will further accelerate their development efforts for LED chips, which have seen increasing demand for LCD panels and lightening systems world wide. Toshiba has also made an equity investment in Bridgelux with the intent to jointly pursue an innovative technology in the Solid State Lighting (space. This investment will further advance both companies’ efforts in the SSL industry, with the view to boost Bridgelux’s GaN-on-Silicon LED chip technology development efforts based on Toshiba’s advanced silicon process and manufacturing technology development efforts.

XAAR 1001 GS12 printhead to drive ceramic tile industry faster

Xaar, a provider of digital ceramic printing technology, has launched a new model of the Xaar 1001 inkjet printhead family. The Xaar 1001 GS12 printhead will enable ceramic tile manufacturers to achieve deep and rich colours. It can also be used at double the speed of the Xaar 1001 GS6. This new printhead features Xaar’s patented TF Technology to give unrivalled reliability with low maintenance, ensuring maximum manufacturing productivity in the harshest industrial environments.

Rio Tinto receives binding offer for its speciality aluminas business

Rio Tinto has received a firm offer from HIG European Capital Partners for the purchase of its specialty aluminas activity. The specialty aluminas management team is fully engaged in this project. Both HIG and our management team share a clear vision and understanding of the specialty aluminas business. The project contemplated through this acquisition is focused on strengthening our competitive advantages, continuing our R&D efforts, enhancing our environmental investments to ensure the sustainability of the business and accelerating its development. A period of exclusivity has been agreed upon with HIG. Rio Tinto will respond to the offer following consultation with the relevant European work councils. All commitments to our customers and suppliers will remain in place and will continue to be met. As always, the specialty aluminas business will rely on skills and expertise of its employees as well as on its client relationships.

Union Process builds dry grinding lab mill with feeder system

Union Process Inc., known globally as a leading manufacturer of size reduction and dispersing equipment for a broad range of industrial applications, has redesigned its 1-SD laboratory grinding mill to now include a completely integrated system comprised of a feeder, hopper and attritor mill mounted together on a single portable stand for continuous dry grinding. Union Process President Arno Szegvari commented, “This completely integrated system provides a one-stop solution for the customer and assures that all components (mill, feeder, hopper) will work together to provide the most efficient and effective size reduction.” The mill uses an electronic variable frequency drive. This 1-SD is configured for metal-free grinding with a ceramic-lined tank and tungsten carbide-sleeved arms and a tungsten carbide-faced grid. The cover utilizes a brush seal for dry grinding dust control. Union Process is the inventor and developer of attritor technology and manufactures wet and dry grinding mills as well as bead bills.

W.S. Tyler to laser etch test sieves

W.S. Tyler is pleased to announce they will begin production of test sieves with laser etched identification on June 1, 2012. The information required to meet industry standards will be permanently etched into the metal frames. The sieve designation field will be larger than traditional name plates, allowing greater visibility by the product user. In addition, the permanent markings provide protection against loss of a metal nameplate due to the failure of mechanical fasteners. In no way will the function and the measuring ability of the instrument be affected. Production will begin on or around June 1, and all sieve products will be etched by year end.


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