Chinese vessel collects cobalt samples in the Pacific (US)

Mawei Shipbuilding is constructing a vessel designed by Nautilus Mining and equipped with diggers to trawl the sea (Credit Photo@ Reuters)

A Chinese deep-sea exploration vessel has returned to port in Guangdong after collecting samples of so-called cobalt-bearing crusts during a 138-day survey in the west Pacific, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. Cobalt is used in batteries for electric vehicles, an important industry for China, the world’s largest auto market. Chinese companies are some of the biggest investors in cobalt mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s biggest producer. The Ocean No. 6 vessel, designed in China, conducted a survey of cobalt-bearing crusts, found on the surface of underwater mountains, in more than 30 areas, Xinhua cited YangContinue reading

Major €80 million investment project at thyssenkrupp Steel nearing completion (US)

New ladle furnace at Duisburg steel mill: 80 million investment in quality and technology.

  • Strategic investment for the production of high-quality steel grades with optimised degrees of purity
  • Signal for the future of the Duisburg location
  • Total investment in the high double-digit million range

After a scheduled construction period of a year, the moment has arrived: Smelting is successfully underway at the new thyssenkrupp Steel ladle furnace in Duisburg. A key milestone has thus been reached in this strategically important investment in the steelworks sector. The new double ladle furnace has a capacity of 265 tonnes per smelting process. It is used to produce highest quality, high-alloy steel grades with optimised degrees of purity. “The new ladle furnace will help us to permanently enhance our competitive position,” emhasises Dr. Arnd Köfler, Executive Board member for Production at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe. “With the new plant, we are filling a gap in Continue reading

China Is Beating the US in Rare-Earths Metals for the Defense Industry (US)

Each stealthy F-35 strike fighter requires 920 pounds of rare-earth material, according to DOD. Each Arleigh Burke DDG-51 destroyer requires 5,200 pounds. An SSN-774 Virginia-class submarine needs 9,200 pounds.

How to view China’s recent threat to limit domestic production of rare earths, those 16 elements that make our cellphones and smart bombs work? It’s the latest move in a game that began before the United States realized it was even playing, that has grown more complex than U.S. leaders realize, and that is nearing a very unfortunate ending. The game began in earnest in 1980, when the United States made two moves that gave its opponent an advantage it has never relinquished. One was industrial: Molycorp, then the country’s largest rare earth mining and processing company, began transferring its processing technology to China (as detailed by Boston University professor JulieContinue reading

Rust Costs the Pentagon $21 Billion Per Year (US)

On Sept 201è, the first Soviet nuclear submarine, November-class K-3 “Leninsky Komsomol”, begins her journey to be restored and turned into a museum ship.

The Defense Department isn’t doing a good job determining how much to spend to prevent damage from nature’s basic chemical reactions.

Rust costs the Pentagon more money annually than many of its most expensive weapons systems—up to $21 billion per year, according to a Defense Department-commissioned audit released in March. The report indicates the corrosion of metals that make up modern weapons systems like fighter jets, ships, ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons can sometimes approach one-third of the total operations and maintenance costs of those systems. TheContinue reading

Three more French nuclear reactors cleared in regulator ASN’s Creusot review (US)

French nuclear operator EDF has received clearance to restart three more reactors in the Creusot review, a spokeswoman for nuclear safety regulator ASN told S&P Global Platts Tuesday. This brings the number of reactors cleared to 49, leaving nine of the total 58 still awaiting clearance. The three reactors cleared since the last update on October 2 are Blayais-4, Gravelines-3 and Civeaux-1. The regulator launched a review into the documentation of manufacturing processes at the Creusot forge covering the entire French fleet last summer, with each reactor Continue reading

New Nanotwin Configuration Strengthens Metals (US)

Nanotwins have been shown to improve strength and other properties of metals. A new study shows strength can be further improved by varying the amount of space between nanotwins. (Credit Photo: @Gao Lab / Brown University)

A team of researchers from Brown University and the Institute of Metals Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a new method to use nanotwins to strengthen metals. Nanotwins are the tiny linear boundaries in a metal’s atomic lattice that have identical crystalline structures on either side. The researchers found that changing the spacing between the twin boundaries, rather than maintaining consistent spacing, produces aContinue reading

Bankruptcy of China Bohai Steel Threatens Chain Reaction in Industry (US)

Bohai Steel is the third-largest state-owned steel enterprises to go bankrupt in the last two years. Dongbei Special Steel filed for bankruptcy in 2016 after Chairman Yang Hua committed suicide in March 2016. Chongqing Iron and Steel went bankrupt in July 2017.

With nearly $28 billion in unpaid debts, China Bohai Steel has begun to file for bankruptcy, in a process that will affect 48 factories and 105 creditors in Tianjin, a port city of 15 million people located near Beijing.  Bohai Steel’s bankruptcy process, which began in September, could have serious repercussions for the Tianjin financial sector, as it owes debts to seven major regional banks, including the Beijing Bank, Tianjin Bank, Tianjin Binhai Rural Continue reading

U.S. Navy Installs First 3D-Printed Metal Part Aboard a Warship (US)

Display at the unveiling of Newport News’ new 3D metal printer, May 2018 (HII)

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has  approved the first metal part created by 3-D printing for shipboard installation. A prototype, 3-D printed-metal drain strainer orifice for a steam line will be installed on the carrier USS Harry S. Truman for a one-year test and evaluation trial. The DSO assembly is a steam system component that allows the drainage of water from a steam line while in use. Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) proposed installing the prototype on an aircraft carrier for test and evaluation. “This install marks a significant advancement in the Navy’s ability to make parts on demand and Continue reading

Purdue University Raises $800,000 to develop high-performance propellant that uses an aluminum, lithium alloy for missile, space launch systems (US)

Static fire stand for a rocket test using a propellant called ALITEC that uses an aluminum, lithium alloy.   A test fire by Adranos Inc. of a high-performance, solid propellant for long-range missile and space launch systems. Adranos officials say the novel propellant has more thrust and is less corrosive than traditional solid propellants.  The propellant could be used by the Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and other Department of Defense agencies as well as U.S.-allied nations.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Adranos Inc., a Purdue University-affiliated company developing a novel high-performance, solid propellant for long-range missile and space launch systems, has raised $800,000 to further advance the technology. Adranos is developing a propellant called ALITEC that uses an aluminum, lithium alloy that has more thrust and is less corrosive than traditional solid propellants. Brandon Terry discovered the innovative rocket fuel while working on his Ph.D. at Purdue. “This is a significant improvement over traditional fuels, and the Continue reading

Future owner plans to increase Romanian steel plant’s capacity by one million tons (US)

British group Liberty House, the future owner of ArcelorMittal Galati, the biggest steel plant in Romania, plans to increase its production by 1 million tons by 2021/2022. The group also plans to invest in the primary and rolling facilities at the plant,Liberty House CEO Jon Bolton said in a meeting with deputy prime minister Viorel Stefan on Friday,October 26. The two officials also spoke about investments in education, research and design as well asContinue reading