Here is what we are hearing:

MTC earns its stripes with revolutionary tube design

Morgan Technical Ceramics is promoting its range of striped tubes for the defense sector with an innovative design, offering lower frequency and increased drive for applications where high acoustic transmitting properties are required. Ideal for a variety of defense uses, including anti-submarine warfare, torpedo decoy and countermeasure, the striped tubing can achieve typical frequencies of 12-15 kHz for a two-inch tube and guarantees higher, stronger acoustic signals underwater. The key to the product’s success lies in its revolutionary striped design. In contrast to a standard tube, which has three main resonance modes (length, wall and circumferential), MTCs’ innovative striped tubes have one main resonance: the circumferential mode. In 99 percent of cases, circumferential mode (low frequency) is chosen for underwater transmission applications to allow the signal to move further away from the source. Having focused and refined performance through the circumferential mode, the striped tubing features segments which are equally distributed around the circumference, and the space in between the positive and negative electrodes is generally greater than the wall thickness. As the distance between the electrodes is much larger, this allows a user to apply a much higher voltage, and thus achieve a higher acoustic output. If a strong, acoustic signal is needed from a standard tube, its wall thickness limits the higher vibrations achievable.

Record-breaking pressed klinker production plant at Cerrad ceramics, Poland

The start-up and commissioning of a double-layer kiln with a total tile output of 12,000 square meters per day is, these days, nothing out of the ordinary. However, if one bears in mind that the upper channel is used to produce medium-large floor tiles while the lower one simultaneously produces 7,000 square meters per day of 245×65 mm trims (that’s more than 300 pieces per minute), all directly from the presses, and that output is sorted and packaged automatically, then this is a plant that is truly record-breaking! This, then, was the challenge set by the brothers Karolina and Aleksander Sznyrowski, owners of Cerrad, Poland’s long-standing, highly successful klinker producer—a challenge that Sacmi has risen to admirably. To meet such ambitious, complex needs, Sacmi has drawn on all its best and most recent technology: first of all, there are two PH3200 hydraulic presses with an inter-column clearance of 2,450 mm, capable of pressing 22 cavities in a single row or, alternatively, medium-large floor tiles. The presses have also been equipped with the all-new CRS (rapid mould changeover) device, which means downtimes of less than thirty minutes and levels of mould changeover manoeuvrability, accessibility and simplicity never seen before. Thanks to the brief downtimes, the handling system, for both unfired and fired materials, is direct, with fixed 1-hour storage boxes for both planned and unscheduled stops.

FEI buys 3D visualization software company, expands image analysis capability across all markets

FEI, a leading instrumentation company providing imaging and analysis systems for research and industry, announced that it has acquired Visualization Sciences Group of Bordeaux, France. VSG provides high-performance 3D visualization software products and tools to a range of markets, including oil & gas, geosciences, mining, life sciences, materials science and industrial inspection. “Their products and development capabilities fit well with all of our target markets, especially in our higher-growth natural resources and life sciences businesses. Our customers are expressing an increasing demand for analysis of the data our imaging systems create. At the same time, FEI intends to continue to build upon VSG’s growing software business. We are impressed with VSG’s solutions, including state-of-the-art 3D rendering, an open application framework, object-oriented 3D libraries and very large 3D data management capabilities,” says Don Kania, president and CEO of FEI. The purchase price for the acquisition is €44.8 million or approximately $55 million.

Architectural congress at Glasstec 2012

During Glasstec 2012, International Trade Fair for Glass Production – Processing – Products, architects, structural and air-conditioning engineers as well as façade designers will have the opportunity to come together at the Architectural Congress with the topic “Appearances + Perspectives” to be held on Oct. 24, 2012. Glasstec will take place from Oct. 23-26, 2012, at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. At the congress, organized by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Technical University of Delft and Ostwestfalen-Lippe University, renowned speakers will introduce their projects relating to outstanding and creative use of glass in the building shell. The focus will be on issues concerning the design of buildings within the context of the current sustainability and energy consumption discussion, as well as on the future value of aesthetics in buildings. At 2:30 pm, a guided tour of the Glasstec special show, “Glass Technology Live,” will be offered, presenting future-oriented glass products and applications in an architectural context.

Efficiently refurbishing historic street

Osram is now offering the Decorative Street Lighting LED refurbishing module for historic street luminaires. The module can be used regardless of manufacturer for a wide variety of luminaires and is prepared upon request so that fitting is as simple as replacing lamps or sockets. The DSL cuts energy consumption of luminaires previously operated with mercury vapour discharge lamps by at least 60 per cent, and upgrading costs less than half of a new LED installation. Refurbishment of street lighting is currently a hot topic for local authorities, and according to a recently published survey, street and park lighting consists of approximately 40 percent of total electricity costs for many municipalities. On the background of global hikes in energy prices and tight public budgets, LED is an important method of leverage in reducing such costs. In addition, the European Union’s Eco-Design guideline will in the future make sure that several lamp types are no longer available. The first choice when upgrading street lighting are LEDs. Standardized refurbishment modules are available for many models that enable luminaires to be updated from classic technology to LED, but such standard solutions remain unavailable for heritage luminaires. The DSL also enables more targeted control of light compared to classic lighting, for example, eliminating “light spill” behind the luminaires. Also, lighting can be adapted to lower volumes of traffic to achieve supplementary energy savings.

Rath offers low mass solutions for all aspects of sintering powder metal and technical ceramic parts

From furnace linings to setters, Rath Inc. (Neward, Del.) has a unique combination of products, applications knowledge, and engineering resources to fulfill almost any requirement to 1,800ºC while allowing manufacturers to reduce costs. For kiln and furnace lining and kiln car applications up to 1,800ºC we offer module and boards based on our Altra alumina and mullite fibers. Low mass Altra-based linings allow rapid heating and cooling, reducing energy consumption and improving furnace or kiln turnaround time. Low mass also will reduce the possibility of refractory spalling and cracking due to thermal shock, thus reducing maintenance costs, downtime and extending the lining lifetime. Altra fibers are also the basis of our low mass, machinable setter materials. The machinability of these setter materials eliminates the need for costly hard tooling required to form denser materials. In turn this gives engineers more flexibility in setter design, rather than settle for dense refractory designs that have an existing mold.