Fire it up: March ACerS Bulletin—now available online—is all about refractories | The American Ceramic Society

Fire it up: March ACerS Bulletin—now available online—is all about refractories

march cover lo res

march cover lo res

Electronic version

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All chutzpah aside, the March issue of the ACerS Bulletin—now available online—is heating things up with a theme centered on all things refractories.

Think you know refractories? Did you know that the oldest known furnace dates all the way back to 6000 B.C. and was built of sun-dried bricks? Be sure to check out ACerS editor Eileen De Guire’s introduction to refractories as engineered, high-performance “silent partners” on page 26 of the issue. The piece is immediately followed by a Bulletin first—an infographic to briefly introduce you to the refractories market, complete with eye-catching figures, statistics, and market trends.

March’s issue features a cover story by Roel van Loo of Alpha Ceramics GmbH in Aachen (ACA), Germany. van Loo walks readers through a case study of one of the company’s innovative approaches to a unique customer application. Challenged by unique dimension requirements, ACA custom-built a mold that allowed the company to meet the customer’s exacting requirements without sacrificing quality or economical production. Flip to page 28 to see just how they did it, and perhaps get inspired to work creatively, too.

March also includes an article by Steve Freiman and Lynnette D. Madsen that details the current state of and future opportunities for ceramic education in the United States. Their report, spurred from the 2014 meeting of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Ceramic Research and Development, provides some crucial context on the history of ceramic education and delves into some of the major issues facing the field today. Freiman and Madsen lay out specific future challenges and potential strategies to address them, creating a framework for opportunities within ceramic education.

We’ve been busy here at ACerS headquarters, so we hope you might notice some subtle changes throughout this issue of the Bulletin. In addition to the infographic first, both of the above feature articles include a new element—capsule summaries that provide, at a glimpse, the article’s main contents. These handy dandy little boxes are designed to help you quickly determine what the article entails, so that you can decide if you want to read it now or save it for later. And Spotlight, the section that highlights Society news, has an updated, organized look, too.

Thumbs up or down to any of our changes? Have suggestions for improvement? We’d love to hear them! Talk to us by commenting here, emailing us, or providing feedback on one of our social channels.

And don’t miss all the other great content in this issue, including a review of materials scientist and science communicator Mark Miodownik’s book, Stuff Matters. Plus there’s a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy, an insightful letter to the editor, and all the beloved meeting preview and recaps, research briefs, and more that’s packed into each and every Bulletin issue.

The current issue is free to all for a short time, but remember that all the valuable content in more than 90 years of past issues of the ACerS Bulletin is free only to members—so considering joining today!