The Global Open-Die Forging Market (US)

The global open-die forging industry is looking back to some of the more difficult years in history. However new developments and challenging requirements from the markets lead to an especially increasing demand for high quality forgings. The global open-die forging market reached a volume of 5.2 million tonnes in 2017, an increase of 5% over the year 2016 as selected markets recovered. Overall the main markets for open-die forgings are in different phases of their business cycle. The aerospace industry is promising steady growth, the automotive industry growing Continue reading

Framatome, champion du zirconium (US)

Chaque année, la France en importe près de 23 000 tonnes d’Afrique du Sud (59% de ses importations totales), et dans une moindre mesure du Mozambique (20%) et du Sénégal (6%)

Extrait du zircon, le zirconium est très prisé par l’industrie nucléaire. “Compte-tenu de sa très bonne transparence aux neutrons, les alliages au zirconium servent surtout de gaines isolantes autour des crayons de combustible des réacteurs dans les centrales”, précise Mathieu Leguérinel. En France, c’est Framatome qui produit le zirconium et le hafnium. Cette filiale d’EDF (anciennement dans le groupe Areva) a développé un savoir-faire dans l’élaboration de ce métal dès les années 1960. Le volume de zirconium qu’elle produit représente 21% des exportations dans le monde. Pour maintenir son rang face aux géants du secteur (tels les américains Westinghouse et ATI), le groupe peut s’appuyer sur sa filière de transformation. Les éponges de zirconium produites à Jarrie (Isère) sont fondues à UgineContinue reading

Jean-Marie Tarascon : « Le Lithium-ion s’installe pour tout le XXIe siècle » (FR)

Jean-Marie Tarascon, professeur au Collège de France à la chaire Chimie du solide et énergie, médaille de l’innovation du CNRS 2017, directeur du Réseau sur le stockage électrochimique de l’énergie (RS2E) qui compte 17 laboratoires de recherche et 15 entreprises, nous parle des enjeux du stockage électrique.

Quels sont les enjeux du stockage électrique face à la toute-puissance des batteries Lithium-ion ?

La batterie Lithium-ion (Li-ion) s’est imposée non seulement dans les appareils électroniques (smartphones, ordinateurs portables, etc.) et dans la voiture électrique. Mais, elle est aussi sérieusement envisagée pour le Grid, c’est-à-dire pour un stockage massif stationnaire du réseau électrique. Cependant, certaines technologies sont moins coûteuses. Je pense à la technologie sodium-ion, beaucoup moins performante que Li-ion, ce qui limite son avenir dans l’automobile. En revanche, elle peut avoir de très belles perspectives dans leContinue reading

Why Military, Aerospace Industries Rely Heavily on Titanium (US)

Commercial manufacturers have used titanium since 1947 when just two tons of the versatile metal were produced each year. Making use of titanium’s superior strength-to-weight ratio along with its robust anticorrosive properties, governmental and military interests drove titanium production to 2,000,000 pounds annually by 1953. Today, the aerospace industry accounts for 73% of titanium used in the U.S., but military manufacturers are also increasingly adopting titanium for their own advanced hardware applications. Military and aerospaceContinue reading

Congo declares battery metal cobalt ‘strategic’ in move that triples royalties (US)

The Democratic Republic of Congo has declared its huge resources of electric car battery metal cobalt “strategic” and tripled the amount of money international miners need to pay the state for every tonne of metal they sell. The decree, which was promulgated as part of the country’s new mining code, will increase the royalties on cobalt from 3.5 per cent to 10 per cent, hitting some of the largest international miners such as Glencore and China Molybdenum. International miners have vociferously opposed the DRC’s new mining legislation, which was signed into law byContinue reading

Demand Isn’t The Problem For Carpenter Technology; Execution Is (US)

  • Carpenter is seeing very healthy demand trends in key markets like aerospace and energy, but is struggling to deliver impressive operating leverage.
  • The Athens ramp continues to drag on; management says it sees a greater sense of urgency among aero engine customers, but this has been a consistent source of frustration.
  • Carpenter looks undervalued and still has significant margin leverage potential, but management has to start executing on that potential in a more tangible way.

Although demand for specialty alloys has been strong almost across the board, progress remains shaky at best for Carpenter Technology (CRS), as the company’s earnings and cash flow are not reflecting what is actually a pretty healthy demand environment. To the extent it makes anybody feel better, Carpenter isn’t the only alloy company to take a beating in the market, as Carpenter, Universal Stainless (USAP), Haynes (HAYN), and Allegheny(ATI) have all been weak over the past six months as investors have been spooked by the 30% fall in nickel prices and the risk of Continue reading

Newest Lithium Mine Officially Opens In Australia (US)

The lithium train shows no sign of slowing in WA as the state’s newest mine officially opens, with plans already in motion to expand the Pilbara operation. The first shipment from Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project left the mine on October 2 but was officially opened by WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston on Friday. 

Located 120 kilometres south of Port Hedland, the mine will produce 330,000 tonnes of lithium a year and about 300,000 pounds of tantalum. The Pilgangoora project’s workforce peaked at more than 800 during construction, but now there are about 200 operational staff on-site and in Perth.The opening comes just more than four years to theContinue reading

Thyssenkrupp’s new Moroccan location ready for take-off (US)

Morocco’s aerospace industry is booming. With an annual growth rate of over 15%, it is a significant driving force behind the nation’s economy. This encouraging development is also fuelling demand for local material suppliers and service providers.

“This is a trend we identified early on, and we will be commissioning our highly modern materials processing and logistics centre in Casablanca before the end of the year, so that we can supply our local customers with the required materials and services,” explained Patrick Marous, CEO thyssenkrupp Aerospace. Eric Cornilleau, managingContinue 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

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