Here is what we are hearing:

Around the world of ceramics in eight minutes: CeramTec launches additional international websites

In a concerted campaign, the CeramTec Group has launched sites in a dozen additional languages. Together with the international websites already available in German and English, and the versions launched in the fall of 2012 for Spain and China, the CeramTec Group now maintains an Internet presence, which serves visitors from 17 countries in 12 different languages. Now we can also reflect the international orientation of our worldwide subsidiaries, representative offices, and sales offices online. In addition to customized information available for download and local direct contacts, every country site also provides its visitors with further information on ceramics, markets, and locations in the respective language. Finally, the websites for our core markets will be rounded off with localized product information.

Freeman Technology to present new research on the impact of humidity on powders at Powtech 2013

At Powtech 2013 (April 23-25, Nürnberg, Germany), the team from Freeman Technology, the powder characterization specialists, will present new research on the impact of humidity on powders, a topic of significant interest to many powder processors. The presentation, entitled “The influence of ambient moisture on powder flow,” will be the first opportunity to learn about the company’s latest study highlighting how the FT4 powder pheometer can be used to quantify the impact of humidity in a process relevant way. The team will also present two posters entitled “Investigation of the influence of atomic layer deposition coatings on powder rheology” and “Quantifying the effect of caking by powder rheometry.” While it is recognized that moisture impacts powder behavior, the effects can be challenging to quantify in ways that directly relate to performance, either in a process or in the end-use application. These latest data, from the study of powders common in the food and pharmaceutical industries, provide further illustration of the diverse effects that moisture can induce and the value of multi-faceted powder characterisation within this context.

High-speed nano wear testing breakthrough

Nanovea announced today the completion of a nano wear testing system capable of speeds as high as 1,400 millimeters per second. The unique length of stroke, up to 10 millimeters, combined with a linear movement at a rate up to 70Hz, and possibly at higher frequencies, allows speeds never before available for nano wear testing. Nanovea is able to attain faster speeds and secure control of the loads during nano wear testing by using a coil speaker system for quick and smooth displacement. Adding the use of the Nanovea Nano Module with a piezo actuator and an ultrasensitive load cell creates a quick load control with vertical mounting to ensure superior response to speed. “This new technology will speed up the introduction of new devices with increased service life to the customer market,” says CEO Pierre Leroux.

RAK reaches 50 million milestone

RAK Ceramics has reached an impressive milestone in terms of bathware, having sold over 50 million pieces worldwide since the inception of the company in 1991. “Our company prides itself on reaching major landmark and unprecedented success within two decades of starting bathware production,” says Abdallah Massaad, CEO. “Having sold over 50 million pieces of bathware globally is a benchmark but we will continue to work harder with same zeal to ensure we surpass the expectations of our clients worldwide in the near future as we widen our network and extend our reach with products and services,” he added. He notes that the company’s initial investment in the best technology and designs has allowed it to produce a vast portfolio of quality bathware range and its acceptance in different parts of the world has enhanced the brand image. RAK Ceramics, already claiming the title “world’s largest ceramic manufacturing company,” announced last year that it had produced enough tiles to cover an area of 1 billion square meters since production commenced in 1991. This most recent development in bathware is further testament to the monumental reach and scope of the company, which continues to position RAK Ceramics as the world’s largest ceramics manufacturer.

Lux: 5.6-billion-m2 thermal envelope market will drive China’s red-hot construction industry

Some worry that China’s robust construction industry might be hitting a wall. But new drivers, led notably by thermal envelope materials, are emerging to create a new opportunity, according to Lux Research. Based on market demand from both new buildings and retrofit projects, the demand for building thermal envelope materials from 2012 to 2015 will be a staggering 5.6 billion square meters. “The combination of policies, economic goals, and underlying megatrends dictates a change in approach to the ‘build it quick, build it cheap’ mantra that has driven the market to date,” says Jerrold Wang, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, “Go North: The Path to Performance-Driven Profits in China’s Construction Materials Market.” Through modeling existing building stock, new construction rates, energy efficiency targets, temperature profiles, energy costs, green building momentum, regulatory enforcement and retrofit targets, Lux Research analysts derived the opportunities for different building thermal envelope solutions. Among their findings: Climate is a key driver; the largest markets aren’t the obvious one; and policy is significant. According to the 12th Five Year Plan, China will require 95 percent of new buildings to meet a mandatory energy savings target of 65 percent over the 2005 figure.

BCC Research: Projections of global markets and technologies for photonic crystals

A new study by BCC research analyses global market trends, with data from 2010 through 2012, and projections of compound annual growth rates through 2017. The report includes forecasts of the market sizes for the following: Photonic crystal-enabled components and modules such as LEDs, solar and PV cells, displays, biosensors, image sensors, optical fibers, discrete and integrated optical components as well as lasers and supercontinuum sources. There is a discussion of the technology and commercial promise of photonic crystals across applications and domains. It also examines the major stakeholder classes engaged in photonic crystal commercialization and the activities of key players in this domain. In addition, it includes comprehensive company profiles of major players in the industry. This report, which covers the market potential for such modules and components, does not claim to include an exhaustive list. The modules and components have been selected because there are demonstrated instances of successful adoption of photonic crystals in these applications. By charting the market potential for these modules and components, this report presents the full extent of the promise of photonic crystals through 2017.

PPG glass requests for LEED documentation surpass 1,000

PPG Industries announced that it recently surpassed 1,000 requests for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, documentation for its architectural glass products. According to five-year data from PPG’s flat glass business, one in five requests for LEED documentation support was for commercial buildings, followed by higher education (19 percent), K-12 education (12 percent) and federal and local government (11 percent) buildings. Other significant categories include retail (8 percent), military (6 percent), health care (5 percent) and institutional (5 percent) buildings. Nearly 35 percent of LEED documentation requests were for buildings in the northeast, followed by 15 percent in the northwest and 14 percent in the south central US. Glenn T. Miner, PPG director of construction, flat glass, says one trend to emerge from the data is that the amount of glass sold for each LEED-documented project seems to have shrunk as the number of requests has increased. “That seems to indicate that LEED certification and environmental sustainability is becoming a priority for owners of big buildings and small buildings alike, which is an encouraging long-term development for companies like ours that make sustainable building products,” says Miner.

World of Concrete to launch in India

(International Construction) The World of Concrete exhibition is to launch in India, making its debut in Hyderabad in October. The new show was announced at the recent annual World of Concrete in Las Vegas, US. Hanley Wood, which owns and produces the original World of Concrete show, will produce the Indian event with Inter Ads Exhibitions, a leading organiser of exhibitions and conferences in India. The Indian Concrete Institute will also support the new event, hosting a four-day construction conference alongside the show. Tom Cindric, group director of World of Concrete, says, “We are very excited to bring World of Concrete to India. Our partnership with the Indian Concrete Institute will make this a must-attend event for the construction market place in this part of the world.” Cindric adds that he hoped the show would be an annual event. World of Concrete India will take place at the HITEX Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh state. The exact dates of the show will be announced soon.