New UK machining facility opens at Sheffield Forgemasters (US)

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has opened a new machining facility, the only one of its kind in the UK.

SFIL claims it has installed the UK’s largest 5-axis vertical turning lathe (VTL) manufactured by Spanish company, Bost, as part of a £6 million upgrade to its machining facilities and to dramatically improve its capacity and throughput for complex machining requirements. Commissioning of the VTL was attended by delegates from Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, which helped to fund the VTL installation, alongside seniorContinue reading

Ellwood Group Diversifies with $60M Aluminum Plant (US)

HUBBARD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The $60 million aluminum slab and billet plant that Ellwood Group Inc. plans to build here to house its new Ellwood Aluminum division has been three years in the making, officials say, with the green light coming this spring from the parent company’s board of directors. The 70,000-square-foot plant will be built at the site of Ellwood Engineered Castings, 7158 Hubbard Masury Road. That plant employs about 100, says Patrick F. Callihan, president of Ellwood Engineered Castings, who is overseeing the expansion. Once operating at full capacity, the new aluminum plant is expected to employ 34. “We’ve signed on with an engineering firm inContinue reading

Outstanding Metallurgist Richard Sisson Named a Fellow of Two Materials Science and Engineering Professional Societies (US)

Sisson is the principal investigator for a multi-million-dollar, multi-institution project funded by the U.S. Army aimed at developing new metallurgical methods and new lightweight alloys for military vehicles and systems.

His internationally renowned research is honored by the International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering and the American Ceramic Society

August 29, 2018 –  Richard Sisson Jr., George F. Fuller Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Manufacturing and Materials Science and Engineering programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been named a fellow of two materials science professional societies, the International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering (IFHTSE), and the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). Sisson, who directs the Center for Heat Treating Excellence, part of WPI’s Metal Processing Institute, received the IFHTSE fellowship at the 4th International Conference on HTSE in Automotive Applications in Spartanburg, S.C., in June, where he also delivered one of the conference’s three keynote addresses. His presentation was titled “Challenges and Opportunities for the Heat Treating Community: Threats, Risks, and Benefits.”

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Microstructural technologies for special steel development (US)

The 3D surface measurement system analyses even small steel samples in the millimetre range. The illustration shows the roughness measurement of spring wire with a diameter of 0.5 mm. (Credit Photo@Ugitech )

Ugitech is expanding its technological resources in research & development, the company announced. The producer of made-to-order stainless steel solutions has equipped its research centre with state-of-the-art 3D surface measurement technology. According to the company, the new system provides 360° measuring of surface geometry and topography down to the micrometre level. With this new technology, Ugitech wants to take a step forward to meet the increasing demands in development of sophisticated special steel products. Ugitech, a company of the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group, in Ugine, France, operates a state-of-the-art research centre in theContinue reading

Keep cool: Researchers develop magnetic cooling cycle (US)

A novel technology could provide a solution for cooling processes: refrigeration using magnetic materials in magnetic fields. Researchers have developed the idea of a cooling cycle based on the ‘magnetic memory’ of special alloys.- On photo, The Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory of te HZDR, where the new magnetic cooling system was developed

Besides superfluous features like touchscreens and internal cameras, basic refrigerator technology hasn’t changed much in decades. They still chill your milk by way of chemical refrigerants and compressors, and are notorious drains on your electricity bill. Now researchers in Europe have shown promising early results with an experimental cooling system that uses magnetic fields and shape-shifting memory alloys. Magnetic cooling systems work by exploiting the magnetocaloric effect – which basically means that certain materials will change temperature whenContinue reading

NASA Welding Technologies Could Revolutionize Workboat Fabrication (US)

Solid-State Welding Processes Being Developed for NASA Manufacturing Programs Could Significantly Reduce Workboat Fabrication Costs

Whether it is for a tug boat, cargo vessel, or an offshore supply ship, much of the workboat fabrication industry is located along the Southern Coast of the U.S. But a visit to any one of the workboat facilities in that area (or any other in the country) would reveal antiquated and archaic fabrication processes used seventy years ago. The workboat manufacturing process is very expensive, labor intensive, and has not really changed since World War II. Perhaps it is time to go back to the drawing board and redesign the workboat manufacturing process from the ground up so that new solid-state welding processes and other aerospace technologies being developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Continue reading

Voestalpine gets tariff exemptions for some U.S. orders: CEO (US)

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said some of the applications it has filed to shield U.S. orders from local import tariffs have been successful. The company has so far received 140 responses to the total 3,500 applications it has filed, Chief Executive Wolfgang Eder told journalists late on Tuesday. Eder said, however, that the decisions so far only affected small orders. “The really big ones are still outstanding,” he said, Continue reading

Steel Giants Dofasco and Algoma Bet on Artificial Intelligence to Disrupt The Steelmaking Industry (US)

A full ladle of liquid steel, seen here at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, weighs about 318 tonnes, and can be heated to about 1,600 C. Dofasco wants to fully automate its ladle metallurgy process – the stage when trained operators manually add the ‘secret sauce’ to liquid steel before it is cast into numerous grades of steel slabs for construction, car-making and packaged goods. Instead, digital sensors could consistently determine the precise temperature at which to add the right ingredients to produce the desired grade of steel

Dofasco wants to improve its ladle metallurgy process, a key step in steel-making, while Algoma eyes the potential to automate product development. In both cases, the companies look to artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them set new, world-beating standards of efficiency, quality, energy savings and generate as-yet unimagined innovations.

Steel-making is a science but still relies on experienced human operators at key stages of production. But what if “smart” technology replaced manual tasks with digital sensors that consistently update information and reveal insights impossible to detect with the trained eye – or brain ?  Answering the “what if” question is a top priority for Canadian steel giant ArcelorMittal Dofasco as it strives to compete globally. To speed the hunt for answers – when Canadian steel already is under siege from U.S. tariffs in a burgeoning global trade war – the Hamilton-based manufacturer hopes to join forces with innovative startups, university researchers and even a competitor, Essar Steel Algoma Inc., to promote a new generation of manufacturing.

“Traditionally, the research and development of a product in steel-making is a slow process, In future,  Algoma could apply self-learning algorithmic models to assess multiple variables at once – beyond the capacity of any experienced technician. As a result, the product development cycle could take just 15 days to two or three months.”

Pramod Shukla, chief operating officer of Algoma, in Sault Ste Marie, Ont

In future, he says, Algoma could apply self-learning algorithmic models to assess multiple variables at once – beyondContinue reading

Why lithium-ion may rule batteries for a long time to come (US)

Materials scientist Gerd Ceder is overseeing a research effort to extend the capabilities of the dominant form of energy storage, using a new class of compounds.

he US Department of Energy is launching a major research effort to develop a new generation of lithium-ion batteries largely free of cobalt, a rare and expensive metal delivered through an increasingly troubling supply chain. The three-year program, part of a broader effort to accelerate advanced vehicle technologies, could eventually lead to cheaper, longer-lasting consumer gadgets, electric cars, and grid storage. Materials scientist Gerd Ceder is overseeing one project under the research program at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, aimed at developing Continue reading

Big River Steel Attends White House Summit on Artificial Intelligence (US)

OSCEOLA, Ark.May 11, 2018 – The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy invited government officials, technical experts in academia, heads of industrial research labs and business leaders to attend the “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry” summit. Big River Steel’s chief executive officer Dave Sticklerwas in attendance as part of the discussions on how industries are adopting AI technologies to Continue reading