Dr. Sankar Kannabiran and Minghua Zhang
Refractory Research Centre, Höganäs Bjuf AB,  Bjuv, Sweden Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript.

In industrial conditions, very often, the cost of drying of refractory linings is many folds higher than castable refractories being used as lining materials.  Faster drying of cement bonded refractory castables often leads to explosions due to the  lower permeability that leads to pressure development inside the lining material. There have been several attempts to overcome this issue in industrial conditions. Most of these attempts have focused on replacing calcium aluminate cement by alternative binders such as colloidal silica, liquid phosphates, forsterite etc,.  with potential advantages as well as disadvantages. This work has tried to develop an innovative no cement solid  binder for castable which results in excellent permeability and hence fast drying in nature.

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Introducing Emulsion Detonation Synthesis (EDS)

Creating the Next-Generation of Ceramic Powders
   There is a huge demand for innovative materials in the ever demanding, high-tech world. Reduced weight, increased durability, greater strength, and improved wear- and temperature-resistance are all highly sought after material characteristics that are desired across a wide range of industries.  With these improved properties comes the ability to: save costs while increasing efficiency; produce coatings, components and devices capable of greater performance; and improve production and manufacturing processes.
  Production processes that allow the design and discovery of novel materials with unique or improved properties are essential to keep driving innovation forward. An example of such a process is Emulsion Detonation Synthesis (EDS) from Innovnano.
  A unique route is provided by this proprietary manufacturing process for the large-scale production of nanostructured ceramic powders, such as aluminum-doped zinc oxide(AZO), monoclinic zirconia and yttria-stabilised zirconia.
  It is also possible to use EDS for the design and development of innovative materials by controlling the precursors used, varying the conditions (example, pressure and temperature), and modifying the kinetics of the reaction.

Figure 1. 
Schematic representation of the Emulsion Detonation Synthesis (EDS) method.

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Johnson Matthey Opens Ceramic 3D Printing Facility

   Johnson Matthey announced the opening of a new ceramic 3D printing facility in the UK, in order to boost the development and understanding of processes an materials involved in this technology.
The new lab also features a Freeman FT4 Powder Rheometer, which allows allows seven different test types, resulting in 21 different powder properties. These are being combined with the company's knowhow to build a powder operating window.

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What is the future of refractories ?

Stanislav Dvořák, P-D Refractories CZ a.s.

This paper intends to pose a couple of questions and offers  certain opinions from the viewpoint of a refractory material manufacturer. It shows the direction  in which our industry aims, asking whether this is the right orientation and stating what we should do for its further progress.
  There is no doubt that refractory material has a decisive role in  industrial high temperature  processes – the manufacture of steel, glass, ceramics, cement, in waste incineration, cosmic exploration etc….Without high temperature processing of steel and aluminum there would be no cars, aircraft, boats or trains. It is obviously necessary to know how this important  industrial branch  termed  REFRACTORIES operates, what it needs and where it aims. What can all the responsible representatives and other stakeholders do for further successful cooperation with raw material suppliers and end users and for successful achievement of further milestones?
  I would like to formulate a couple of ideas and suggestions for further discussion; they are based on personal experience gained at P-D Refractories CZ and in no way represent generally applicable rules.To give a more detailed idea of the size and territorial scope of our industry I would like to present some  general statistical data.

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Cold sintering of ceramics replaces high-temperature firing

   Both  pottery and engineered high-performance ceramics are only useable after they are fired for hours at high temperatures, usually above 1000 °C. The sintering process that takes place causes the individual particles to "bake" together, making the material more compact and giving it the required properties, like mechanical strength.
   At Penn State University, American researchers have  demonstrated that sintering can also take place at significantly lower temperatures. This cold sintering process is based on the addition of small amounts of water to aid the key transport processes that densify the material.

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Tailored cellular structures with dual-level porosity

3-D-printed ceramic foams build
  Researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology seem to have taken inspiration from the kitchen. In a process that resembles whipping egg whites into a meringue, the researchers have devised a procedure for fabricating ceramic foams that can be used to 3-D print cellular materials that combine both microscale and macroscale porosity.
  Using a ceramic ink of alumina particles suspended in water, the team simply whips air bubbles into the mixture to create a fluffy ceramic slurry that can be 3-D printed—via a process called direct foam writing—into a low-density, high-strength architecture. “By expanding the compositional space of printable materials, we can produce lightweight structures with exceptional stiffness,” Jennifer Lewis—ACerS Fellow, Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and senior author of a recent paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describing work—says in a Harvard press release.

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Startups plan to use 3-D printers to produce rocket engines

Tri-D Dynamics LLC co-founders D. Atyam (left) and Alexander Finch

   Tri-D Dynamics LLC, a startup co-founded by Purdue graduate students, wants to tap into the emerging market of small satellites by using a 3-D printer to create small rocket engines.
“Utilizing hybrid additive manufacturing techniques to produce a liquid rocket with 2,500 to 5,000 pounds of thrust takes from maybe two days to a couple of weeks,” said Tri-D co-founder Alexander Finch, who is scheduled to receive his master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronauticsthis May. “Engines can be printed as one complete unit or as a series of components to be assembled.”

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3-D graphene for geometries stronger and lighter than steel

3-D-printed gyroid models such as this one were used to test the strength and mechanical
properties of a new lightweight material. Credit: Melanie Gonick; MIT


 Although 2-D materials like graphene have unsurpassed strength and a whole host of properties that make then potentially revolutionary, the difficulties of integrating 2-D materials into 3-D structures has hindered any potential revolution thus far. And the best part is that the concept isn’t limited to graphene.
 “You could either use the real graphene material or use the geometry we discovered with other materials, like polymers or metals,” Markus Buehler—senior author on the new research, head of MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and McAfee Professor of Engineering—says in an MIT press release. “You can replace the material itself with anything. The geometry is the dominant factor. It’s something that has the potential to transfer to many things.”

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Manufacture ceramic parts directly from a CAD file

Technology developed by 3DCeram
  3DCeram employ a unique form of technology that makes it possible to manufacture ceramic parts directly from a CAD file, without breaking the digital chain:  laser stereolithography. Drawing on laser stereolithography and working with a team of experts with a wealth of experience in technical ceramics, 3DCeram have been able to develop an extensive range, capable of supporting their clients with their most technologically challenging projects: selecting the type of ceramic to be used, drawing up the design brief, R&D, developing 3D components right up to their industrialisation (whether through on-demand or mass production) and sales of Ceramaker printers and related accessories.

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Laser melting for ultra-high temperature ceramic materials

   Researchers at Imperial College London have discovered that hafnium carbide and tantalum carbide have some of the highest melting points of any measured materials—making these ultra-high temperature ceramics potentially perfect for use in extreme environments, such as on hypersonic vehicles that soar through space.
   While scientists previously knew that these materials had high melting points—they’re called ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) for good reason—it’s not necessarily easy to heat and measure how materials melt at temperatures in the scorching vicinity of ~4,000ºC. And there are all sorts of other material challenges that arise at such high temperatures.

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Flash spark plasma sintering

Densifies SiC in seconds
  Flash spark plasma sintering has attracted interest ever since  it first appeared  on Ceramic Tech Today about six years ago. That’s because the technique has the ability to consolidate hard materials, even those that are difficult to deform, in a really short amount of time—a flash.
  The technique uses an electrical current to rapidly speed up the sintering process, reducing a heating process that would otherwise take hours to mere seconds. That means huge time savings, energy savings, and thus money savings when it comes to processing ceramic materials.
   In addition to the ability to save considerable time and energy required to process hard powder materials, flash spark plasma sintering is attractive because it can rapidly consolidate nano-powders yet still maintain nanostructures and sub-micron structures.

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Infiltrate ceramic foams with molten metal

Method to create stable cermet composites
   Cermets join together some of the best of the materials worlds—ceramics and metals—giving this class of materials the high temperature resistance of ceramics yet the ductility and machinability of metals, among other properties.
  And thanks to a new ceramic-metal joining technique developed at Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), cermets might just become even more useful in the hunt for new materials to solve some of the most pressing next-generation energy challenges.

ACerS member Liangfa Hu is first author of the new research, which he worked on during doctoral studies at Texas A&M. Credit: Texas A&M University

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Skate kiln for Brickmaking

The kiln concept has been developed to help ceramic manufacturers minimize energy and investment costs while improving production flexibility and product quality.* The basic principle of the kiln is that the firing chamber has four fixed sides: two walls, one roof and one bottom (hearth). The products, their supports and the moving media are all completely immersed in the firing chamber and are therefore always at the same temperature.
In addition, the product supports and the moving media weights are reduced, representing 8-10% of the product weight, compared to traditional kilns with kiln cars that comprise 50-100% of the product weight. The kiln cars in a traditional tunnel kiln are often responsible for 25-30% of the energy consumption because of their heating and cooling needs. Additional ventilation needed under and mostly above the cars (air going through the products) significantly inflates the kiln exhaust volume and the resulting heat loss.
In the new kiln design, the product is set on silicon carbide (SiC) supports that move on SiC skates (see Figure 1). The design of these skates is proprietary and is one of the keys to the new kiln concept.

Figure 1

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Horizon 2020 – DREAM Project

  The DREAM project, supported by the EU program Horizon 2020 for Research and Innovation has officially started at the beginning of October with its kick off meeting held in Brussels/BE.
DREAM, acronym of Design for Resource and Energy efficiency in ceramic kilns, put together some of the main European players in the field of technologies for the ceramic industries and aims at developing an innovative approach to kilns for ceramic production.
  The project has been funded by the European Community with EUR 5 million and during the next three years is aimed at the development, construction and validation of technologies to meet a significant reduction in energy consumption and pollutant emissions. The final output will be an innovative kiln to be marketed by SACMI/IT in 2019.

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The world’s most important ceramic and brick industry supplies exhibition ends its twenty-fifth edition with 4% visitor growth. Tecnargilla confirms its position as the exhibition with the most international visitors: operators from abroad outnumber Italians for the first time.
 The twenty-fifth edition of Tecnargilla, the most important ceramic and brick industry supplies exhibition in the world, ended on September 30th, 2016. It was once again a success confirming the leading position of the exhibition organised by Acimac (the Association of Italian Manufacturers of Machinery and Equipment for Ceramics) and Rimini Fiera in terms of both the number and quality of the innovations proposed by the exhibiting companies and of the number of exhibitors and visitors.


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Printed bioceramic composite for bone replacement

  Hyperelastic bone 3-D-printed in the shape of a section of the human spine

An important goal of biomaterials research is to be able to repair and replace bone when and where we need it. And although much success has been made in this area, we still don’t have an ideal biomaterial with widespread clinical availability.
 That ideal material needs to be robust enough to match the strength of natural bone, yet flexible enough to integrate with the body—and biocompatible, rapidly deployable (even in the operating room), customizable, and reasonably scalable. While that may sound like a lofty wish list, researchers at Northwestern University report that they’ve developed a hyperelastic material that can be 3-D-printed into a potential bone replacement scaffold that ticks all those boxes.

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Alcoa- Independent in Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminum Products

  Alcoa Corporation, a globally cost-competitive industry leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products,  announced that it has completed the separation from its parent company Alcoa Inc. (now named Arconic Inc.) and has begun operating as an independent, publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AA.”
Alcoa´s   bauxite and alumina portfolios enjoy strong first quartile cost positions and its aluminum portfolio has a highly competitive second quartile position. They have made a commercial success of their  cast products business, Alcoa´s  can sheet business is  leader in North America, their energy assets are also driving value for maximum profitability. This has been achieved  during difficult market conditions,  thanks to the hard work and dedication of 16,000  talented employees.
Alcoa has an industry-leading, cost-competitive portfolio comprised of six businesses across the aluminum value chain—Bauxite, Alumina, Aluminum, Cast Products, Rolled Products and Energy—that are positioned to succeed throughout the market cycle. The company’s footprint includes 25 manufacturing facilities worldwide, and approximately 16,000 employees.

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Global refractories market 2017 will depend on steel industry and China

   The introduction of new higher quality refractories with longer in-service life cycles is steering the future direction of the global refractories industry, according to a new market report published by Materials Technology Publications. The key driving factor is the steel industry, which is responsible for up to 70% of the total demand for refractories.
   Specifically, the use of longer lasting refractories is leading to reductions in consumption per tonne of steel, with the rates varying according to geographic region: North America, Europe and Japan currently consume between 8 kg and 10 kg of refractories per tonne of steel while China’s consumption level is much higher – estimated at about 23 kg per tonne of steel, with other developing economies also using higher levels of refractories. However, according to the report, these high consumption levels are set to drop considerably over the next five years as the steel industries within these developing countries adopt more sophisticated refractory materials and advanced steelmaking practices.
   The profitability of the refractories industry as a whole is strongly influenced by steel production levels and steel plant investments. The new report examines current steel production and forecasts through to 2017 by region/major producing country, predicting an upturn in the second half of 2013, followed by realistic and sustainable growth through to 2017. Refractories specifically tailored for cement, glass, ceramics and non-ferrous metals sectors are also examined in detail, including an examination of the trends in refractories usage within these sectors.

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Big growth expected for nanosized ceramic powders market

 The global market for advanced ceramic and nanoceramic powders should demonstrate solid, if not impressive, growth from 2016-2021. BCC Research reveals in its new report that the growth rate for the nanoceramic powders segment should more than double that of the advanced ceramic powders segment, significantly growing its share of the total market by 2021.
    Advanced ceramic and nanoceramic powders generally refer to inorganic nonmetallic granular materials that are fabricated from chemical processes, as differentiated from what are termed industrial minerals. The latter group is mined directly from the earth and purified and reduced in size to particular specifications. BCC Research's new report covers oxides, carbides, nitrides and borides that, with a few exceptions, are sold as starting materials for solid commercial articles.

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Electrodes from glassy ceramic for better batteries

   Battery research is rich; every second day there is a new material that promises to extend battery life and performance. Many of these studies zero in on graphene or silicon as the go-to materials to make high-capacity electrodes for rechargeable batteries. But so many of these advances never make it beyond the lab—why?
 “A large majority of these results come from experiments performed on small geometry or thin electrodes prepared under special conditions with low mass loading of silicon,” explains Gurpreet Singh, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas). “Not surprisingly, efforts to incorporate these materials into practical batteries that require large-area electrodes have been unsuccessful because of challenges that arise at high mass loadings—namely low capacity per volume, poor cycling efficiency, and chemical–mechanical instability.”

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