Jet engines help power cobalt to 10-year highs (US)

This year, consultants at Roskill see a small surplus followed by a deficit of 1,200 tonnes next year. They see cobalt metal production at 45,100 tonnes this year and cobalt chemicals at 70,400 tonnes. “One problem is most new cobalt production is aimed at electric vehicles, where there are no shortages, yet,” a source at one cobalt producer said. Superalloys account for about half of cobalt metal demand. Manufacturers include firms such as Precision Castparts, bought by Berkshire Hathaway in January 2016, Cannon Muskegon, and Allegheny Technologies. Cobalt industry sources say shortages have been exacerbated by a lack of good quality superalloy scrap or revert. “Typically, in one tonne of alloy, 50 percent would have been revert and 50 percent new metal. Now they are having to use more new metal because it’s not being recycled quickly enough,” a cobalt industry source said. The alloys are used by jet engines makers Rolls Royce, Pratt Whitney and CFM International, a joint venture between GE and Safran, to power planes built by Airbus and Boeing. (On photo Cobalt Superalloys breakdown by applications according to ResearchInChina)

LONDON (Reuters) – The spotlight in the cobalt market has been fixed on electric vehicles but shrinking supply and robust demand from traditional sectors such as jet engine makers are helping fuel a price rally that shows no signs of fading. Cobalt in recent years has become synonymous with electric vehicles as it is used in rechargeable lithium-ionContinue reading

Tesla and SpaceX are partnering up to create new materials to use on Earth and in space (US)

It started just over two years ago when we reported in an exclusive report that Musk hired Apple’s alloy expert Charles Kuehmann to lead materials engineering at both of his companies simultaneously. Kuehmann earned a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from Northwestern University in 1994 and co-founded QuesTek two years later with four other colleagues affiliated with Northwestern University to commercialize the work of his mentor and pioneer in the field of computational materials design; Prof. Gregory B. Olson, who has been called the “father of materials design” by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At QuesTek, he went on to successfully develop and commercialize not only several new materials engineering tools and processes, but also numerous new alloys based on a number of different elements including Al, Co, Cu, Fe, Mo, Ni, Nb, Ti, and W.

Elon Musk has been trying to create some synergy between his seemingly unrelated companies, Tesla and SpaceX. The CEO might have found one way to help both companies: combining their efforts to create new materials that could be used both on electric vehicles and renewable energy products on Earth, as well as in spacecraft and rockets in space. Tesla and SpaceX have been building material engineering teams to develop new advanced Continue reading

Putin wins powers to impose tit-for-tat sanctions on west (US)

Moscow had threatened to stop titanium exports to the US — a move that would hurt aerospace company Boeing, which buys about 35 per cent of its titanium from Russia’s VSMPO-Avisma — and ban imports of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Those measures did not survive in the final version of the bill passed on Tuesday. Instead, the legislation gives Mr Putin the power to choose which sectors and products will be affected and allows the Kremlin to “ban or suspend co-operation with a hostile state”. (Credit Photo @ VSMPO)

Kremlin bill allows selected US targets but highlights Moscow’s limited options

Russia’s parliament has passed a sweeping bill that gives the Kremlin the power to ban selected exports to the US and curb imports from western countries, as Moscow seeks to hit back against US sanctions imposed on oligarchs and leading companies last month. The legislation, the latest in a series of tit-for-tat moves introduced by Moscow and western Continue reading

Lockheed Martin Awards Three-Year Contract to IBC to Produce a Key Component of the F-35 IBC’s Precision Cast Beryllium Alloy Technology (US)

Beryllium-aluminum alloys allow the EOTS system to acquire targets at longer distances than would be the case with other materials.  Beryllium-aluminum helps to dampen vibration and signal noise to the EOTS system, which enhances the electro-optical resolution range.

May 22, 2018  IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.  a leading beryllium and copper advanced alloys company, announces that Lockheed Martin (“Lockheed”)  has awarded the Company a new three-year contract valued at a minimum of $7.8 million to manufacture production azimuth gimbal housings, a key component for the F-35 Lightning II’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS).  Additional quantities on this contract are expected for spares in the last two years.   The new multi-year contract is a part of Lockheed’s production ramp-up for the F-35, which continues toContinue reading

Alloy Wire International has broken the £10m sales barrier for the first time (US)

Major new orders to supply into the aerospace, petrochemical and nuclear sectors have helped a Black Country manufacturer smash the £10 million barrier for the first time in its 72-year history.

Alloy Wire International (AWI), which supplies more than 60 different ‘high performance’ alloys, has seen sales increase by £3m since 2016 and puts the sustained expansion down to its ability to offer 3-week lead times and the growing demand for its emergency manufacturing service. The company, based on Hurst Business Park in Brierley Hill, has also invested heavily in its stock, with 200 tonnes now available at any one time – the largest holding it has ever held. Managing director Mark Venables said: “The recovery in oil and gas has certainly been one of theContinue reading

U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Names New Director (US)

AMES, Iowa – Dr. Chris Haase has been named Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at Ames Laboratory. His appointment follows an extensive search and will be effective June 25, 2018. Created in 2013, CMI is the nation’s premier research, development and deployment institute for critical materials, alloys, oxides and processing solutions. CMI’s team of multi-disciplinary, world-class researchers and technology developers are dedicated to finding innovative solutions and transformational paths to eliminating theContinue reading

Dassault Systèmes and Granta form materials knowledge partnership (US)

Granta Design is collaborating with Dassault Systèmes to help product innovation teams make more informed decisions about the materials they use for the products they are developing and the experiences they want to deliver.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform will integrate with Granta Design’s GRANTA MI system for materials information management, improving productivity and collaboration. Thanks to the integration of GRANTA MI technology, approved information from a company’s materials database will be directly available to its product innovation teams on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Designers, engineers, simulation analysts and other stakeholders will be able to quickly access accurate and consistent information on materials and their properties, and Continue reading

Ames Laboratory Develops a computational analysis that can help predict the composition and properties of high entropy alloys (US)

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has developed a method of computational analysis that can help predict the composition and properties of as-yet unmade high performance alloys.  These materials are made up of multiple elements (four or more) and highly sought after for their simple structures, excellent mechanical properties over a wide range of temperatures, and improved oxidation or corrosion resistance. Advancements in these materials could lead to enhanced jet engine performance and fuel efficiency, as well as other applications in industries where Continue reading

US Secretary Zinke Signs Order to Begin Process of Creating First Ever National Survey of Critical Minerals (US)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following President Donald J. Trump’s executive order to break America’s dependence on foreign minerals, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed a secretarial order directing the initial steps to producing the first nationwide geological and topographical survey of the United States in modern history. The order also directs Interior bureaus to begin work on identifying immediate domestic sources for critical minerals. “Right now the United States is almost completely reliant on foreign adversaries and competitors for many of the minerals that are deemed critical for our national and economic security. As both a former militaryContinue reading

U.S. Government Officially Declares All Three Superalloy Metals from Nebraska Project as “Critical Minerals” (US)

NioCorp’s Elk Creek, Nebraska Project has now emerged as one of the few greenfield projects in the U.S. that plans to produce multiple Critical Minerals for which the U.S. is currently 100% reliant on foreign nations such as China and Russia

CENTENNIAL, Colo., May 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Trump Administration will officially designate as “Critical Minerals” the entire planned product suite of superalloy metals that NioCorp Developments Ltd.(“NioCorp” or the “Company”) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) proposes to mine and process at its Elk Creek, Nebraska Superalloy Materials project. The designation establishes the Elk Creek Project (the “Project”) as one of the few polymetallic greenfield mining projects in the U.S. that proposes to produce multiple Critical Minerals – Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium, in this case – that all have key uses in national defense and civilian technologies and uponContinue reading