If Andrew Sherman, CEO of MesoCoat Inc. were channeling Mark Twain, he might offer his own interpretation of the humorist’s famous quip with “Reports of the death of U.S. manufacturing are greatly exaggerated.” However, Sherman hasn’t got time to riff on Twain. On Thursday, April 7, 2011, he and MesoCoat officials will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing plant in Euclid, Ohio.
In a press release, the company announces that the new plant will feature a single production line with the capacity to clad steel tube, pipe and plate with corrosion and wear resistant coatings using the company’s patented CermaClad cermet technology. It will be outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment for surface preparation, cladding application and quality testing.
According to the company’s website, the high energy density fusion cladding process fuses metallic or polymer composite coatings to steel substrates. Claddings are applied in wider swaths than laser or weld clad processes allow, which means quicker application rates and less post-clad surface finishing.
Another benefit is that the ceramic fillers MesoCoat uses are inexpensive relative to the matrix alloys. The company estimates a cost savings up to 20% over weld laser cladding processes. Initial applications are targeted for the aerospace, defense, oil and gas, infrastructure and marine industries for OEMs and maintenance and repair operations.
The facility also will include a turn-key thermal spray system for applying the company’s PComP line of powders. A company brochure (pdf) describes the powders as cermets based on nanocomposite particles in a titanium or cobalt matrix. While the website is not specific about ceramic formulations, it does say that the coatings are based on MesoCoat’s “ability to synthesize and assemble non-oxide ceramic matrix component nanoparticles into coating solutions.” The coatings can replace chrome, tungsten carbide-cobalt or aluminum coatings, and are targeted for energy, aerospace and marine markets.
MesoCoat is a spin-off from PowderMet Inc., also located in Euclid (and also established by Sherman) and much of its research and development work was funded through several SBIR and STTR contracts sponsored by DOD, DOE and NIST. MesoCoat also received seed monies through JumpStart, a nonprofit organization that aids start-up tech companies in Northeast Ohio.
In 2010, Abakan Inc. acquired a majority interest in MesoCoat. Abakan is a privately-held investment company led by Robert Miller, who, according to a BusinessWeek profile, has been associated with a number of materials and technology investment projects.
Construction of the 11,000 sq. ft. facility is expected to be complete by September 2011 with full-scale production beginning in early 2012. Plans to double the new plant’s size are already in the works for 2012.
It may only be a single production line right now, but as far as MesoCoat is concerned, manufacturing lives!