Here’s what we are hearing:
3M announced that it has completed its acquisition of Ceradyne Inc. effective as of Nov. 28, 2012, pursuant to the previously announced merger agreement among Ceradyne, 3M, and 3M’s wholly owned subsidiary, Cyborg Acquisition Corp., through the merger of Cyborg Acquisition Corp. with and into Ceradyne. As a result of the merger, Ceradyne is now a wholly owned subsidiary of 3M. The combination of Ceradyne and 3M will enable new technologies and innovation for uniquely tailored materials requiring advanced ceramics. Ceradyne will join the 3M Advanced Materials Division within 3M’s Industrial Business Group. The 3M Advanced Materials Division provides valued materials for lightweight solutions and materials for performance in harsh environments to customers in a broad array of growth industries.
Channel Technologies Group, a vertically integrated designer and manufacturer of piezoceramics, transducers and sonar systems, launched a new engineering department under the direction of Mark Shaw as the vice president of engineering. The new department features a standalone R&D function, as well as newly appointed directors and managers focused on expanding CTG’s technical leadership and commitment to developing innovative products. Shaw has over 29 years of experience in the design and development of piezoceramic acoustics and sonar systems. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. In addition, the following managers will be serving key roles in expanding department: Mike Haun, manager of ceramic engineering (over 32 years experience in developing piezoceramics; Bob Pino, manager of transducer engineering (over 24 years experience in acoustic transducer design); Mark Soler, manager of manufacturing engineering (over 22 years manufacturing engineering experience); Randy Trent, manager of design drafting and documentation control (over 30 years of drafting and engineering experience). CTG says it will continue to provide top-quality custom solutions to its customers in the defense and maritime industry, as well as expand into new markets, including the medical and geophysical industries.
The increasing complexity of the smart grid, with more diversity of power generation assets and more sophisticated control capabilities, is heightening the importance of a range of ancillary services for grid operators, including spinning reserves. Spinning reserves are power generation or storage assets that can come online quickly to serve as bridge power for the grid. The capacity of such systems will grow steadily over the coming decade, as will their value, according to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice. The total capacity of worldwide spinning reserves for the grid will rise by 40 percent by 2022, the study concludes. In terms of revenue, the global spinning reserves market will more than double in size during that period, from $261 million in 2012 to $578 million by 2022. By 2022, natural gas and coal plants will still account for 93 percent of total spinning reserves capacity, but energy storage will grow to 7 percent of capacity in the same time frame, according to the report. Of particular interest to grid operators are advances in battery technology, particularly lithium-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries can achieve up to 95 percent efficiency, but they remain relatively expensive compared to other forms of energy storage. Impressive economies of scale could reduce the cost of Li-ion for grid applications.
CDS, based in the United Kingdom, are proud to announce their heat treatment systems for the composite and advanced ceramic sector giving advantages such as reduced energy cost and extremely efficient thermal systems; reduced cycle times in all production process; batch or continuous systems; uniform and accurate temperature/humidity and airflow control on all processes, where required; variety of construction materials and operating temperatures to suit all applications. These services are applicable to a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, electrical and foundry, and typically are used for composites, concrete, glass fiber, ceramics, paints and polymers.
The international technology group Schott is now offering a portfolio of high-performance glass ceramics under the brand name Nextrema. Thanks to its exceptional technical properties, this high-tech material opens new fields of application for engineers and designers—fields in which traditional materials such as plastics, glass or metal reach their limits. The name alone promises high quality: Nextrema is derived from “Next Extreme Material.” In the construction of technical applications, engineers and material experts strongly rely on the physical, chemical and mechanical parameters of materials. Robustness under extreme temperature loads and high chemical resistance are often important parameters. At the same time, designers are looking for high-tech materials in the most varied colors, shapes and appearances to create innovative products with a modern industrial design. Due to this wide range of product features, Nextrema can be used in various application fields. For example, the material can be featured as an inner lining and heat shield in high temperature industrial ovens used in semi-conductor and display technologies. Nextrema can also function as a carrier plate for the production of displays, chips and wafers in the semi-conductor industry. In this case, the product features minimal thermal expansion, process inertness and the availability of a wide transmission spectrum making the glass ceramic so well-suited. Nextrema also targets producers of small electrical devices. Due to its extreme thermal shock resistance and its wide temperature range, the high-performance glass ceramic can function as a carrier material to be coated with heating elements. The applications fields are endless: Nextrema can also go into products in the electronics, medical technology or home appliance sector.
Pablo Isasmendi, managing director of Guardian Industries UK, named British Glass President 2013. Guardian Glass UK and its staff have been members of British Glass for many years, and work closely with British Glass to protect and promote glass and glass manufacturing in the UK. Changes in regulations and legislation often can put the manufacturers of glass in a precarious position, so British Glass provides a knowledgeable and leading voice for the glass industry. The team at British Glass are dedicated to ensuring that regulatory and legislative policies do not have a negative impact on glass manufacturers and associated industries. They ensure that open lines of communication are sustained between the glass industry the government and regulators. With Isasmendi taking the helm as president of British Glass, beginning in January 2013, Guardian is keen to increase the presence of the flat glass manufacturers within British Glass and to continue to work closely with the organization to help ensure Guardian and the wider glass industry are kept up to date on potential changes in regulations and legislation.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the newly founded European Center for Dispersion Technologies (EZD) took place in Selb, Germany, on Nov. 13, 2012. In the course of this ceremony the EZD and the opportunities for cooperation for industrial enterprises was presented during an informational session in the town hall. The EZD, which will be built and operated by the company Kunststoff-Zentrum SKZ, in close cooperation with some industrial enterprises in the administrative district of Wunsiedel, is an interdisciplinary center for research and technology transfer. This center offers essential research work in the field of production of dispersions together with the services relevant to the industry. During the next five years this project will be funded with an amount of €5.2 million by the State of Bavaria. The company Netzsch-Feinmahltechnik acted as one of the creative forces for this new center. Netzsch offers optimized machines and plants for the wetting, mixing, grinding, dispersing and de-aeration of the most different types of dispersions and disposes of the process technology know-how. For being able to produce stable dispersions it is inevitable to chemically harmonize the individual components. If the client does not possess the required know-how, he will need a competent and independent partner. Having an interdisciplinary working competence center in striking distance will speed up customer-specific problem solving and bring about advantages in the international competition.
Saint-Gobain Crystals has been awarded a three-year contract, valued at approximately $20 million, to supply the U.S. Army and Marine Corps with sapphire engineered armor and tooling to make bulletproof windshields and door windows for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Launcher. This next-generation transparent armor replaces conventional glass-glass armor. The superior mechanical and optical properties of Sapphire armor meet the higher threat levels that combat vehicles now endure while providing greater than 50 percent weight savings, better night vision effectiveness and higher lifetime durability in challenging environments (including the desert). Saint-Gobain’s plant in Milford, New Hampshire, will supply the armor products, which consist of large sheets of sapphire laminated with multiple layers of glass and polycarbonate.
Morgan Thermal Ceramics introduced its new FireMaster Marine Plus Blanket, a lightweight fire insulation that provides weight savings of up to 30 percent compared to standard FireMaster blanket and traditional mineral fiber fire insulation products. The weight savings help achieve improved fuel efficiency, faster speed, or even increased available cargo capacity. It is also provides acoustic and thermal insulation. Engineered to meet the most stringent of performance requirements in a variety of aluminum, steel and composite bulkhead and deck structures, FireMaster Marine Plus Blanket provides both cellulosic and hydrocarbon fire protection. Certified systems include Class A steel and aluminum bulkheads and decks, high speed craft constructions built from 2mm aluminum plate, and 30 and 60 minute-rated composite sandwich panel bulkheads and decks. It is available in rolls rather than sheets, the product can be installed in larger areas without having to make joints. When installed in conjunction with stiffeners, the flexible material can be profile-wrapped, improving performance and reducing installation costs. FireMaster Marine Plus Blanket is certified to all International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) “Type Approvals,” and European Union Marine Equipment Directive 96/98/EC approvals for use in a variety of ship types, including ferries, naval vessels, tugs, barges, and cruise ships, as well as larger recreational yachts.