RHI Magnesita acquired the Europe, India and United States operations of Seven Refractories. The acquisition will complement RHI Magnesita’s existing non-basic refractories portfolio and open new opportunities in the development of low-CO2-emitting manufacturing technologies. In related news, the global supplier of refractory products opened its North American headquarters in Tampa, Fla. The site will serve as the North American corporate hub for RHI Magnesita’s current infrastructure in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing (KAM) purchased a metal 3D printer from Velo3D, a metal additive-manufacturing technology company based in Campbell, Calif. The Sapphire XC is calibrated to print in a nickel-based superalloy that delivers oxidation and corrosion resistance at high temperatures. The alloy is commonly used in aviation, space, defense and energy applications, all of which are key industries for KAM. The company purchased the metal 3D printer to expand its capabilities and to print much larger parts for its customers. The Sapphire XC can print parts up to 23.5 inches (600 mm) in diameter x 21.5 inches (550 mm) high.
Retech, a SECO/WARWICK Group division, has been awarded contracts for new furnaces from a repeat business partner. The electron-beam (EB) and vacuum-arc remelt (VAR) furnaces will allow the manufacturer to expand production. VAR technology operates similarly to the older metallurgical process of stick welding but with a much larger welding rod of several tons, and it is shielded from oxidation by a vacuum chamber instead of a flux. EB technology operates similarly to the cathode ray tube in old television sets, but instead of energizing a phosphorescent screen in a sealed vacuum tube, the electron beam heats a melt pool in a large vacuum chamber.
Metlab, a commercial heat treater in Wyndmoor, Pa., recently quenched a fabricated 47,000-pound gear. The gear measured 12 feet in diameter and has a 30-inch face width. The customer left approximately 0.050 inch of grind stock on the gear for clean-up. With proper fixturing, handling and shimming, the typical taper on a gear this size is about 0.030 inch. The material was 18CrNiMo6-7. The required case depth was a nominal 0.275 inch with a surface hardness of HRC 58-62. The carburizing time to achieve the required case depth is about 10 days in the furnace at 1725°F (940°C). After lowering the temperature of the furnace and gear to 1550°F (843°C), it is quenched in oil. The transfer time from the pit furnace into the quench tank is less than one minute.
Arconic Corp. entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. in an all-cash transaction that values the company at an enterprise value of approximately $5.2 billion. The transaction includes a minority investment from funds managed by affiliates of Irenic Capital Management. Arconic is the company once known as Alcoa. Alcoa Inc. spun off its alumina and bauxite operations in 2016 into a company called Alcoa Corp., while Arconic became the company that produces rolled and plate aluminum as well as products for the aerospace and industrial sectors. Upon completion of the transaction, Arconic’s shares will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and Arconic will become a private company.
Solar Atmospheres of Western PA recently vacuum degassed 175,000 pounds of 6Al-4V titanium in its 48-foot-long vacuum furnace. The furnace load consisted of 154 sheets of titanium measuring 40 inches wide x 240 inches long. It represented the largest and heaviest single load of titanium ever processed in Solar’s history.
JSW Steel USA (JSW) plans to create 26 new jobs and invest at least $119.4 million at its Mingo Junction steel plant in Ohio for upgrades to better serve growing markets in the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors. JSW representatives said they plan to exceed their $119.4 million commitment and invest up to $145 million at the Mingo Junction plant. The proposed investments will enhance JSW’s domestic manufacturing capabilities while enabling the company to produce “Made in USA” slabs. Proposed equipment technology upgrades will help the company make more environmentally friendly products in a cleaner, more sustainable way.
Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) plans to set up an electric vehicle (EV) battery-cell production joint venture in the United States with partner SK On. The total investment is expected to be approximately $5 billion, with the Group and SK On each holding a 50% stake. The joint venture plans to establish an EV battery cell plant in Bartow County, Ga., close to the Group’s U.S. production facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Kia Georgia and Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America. The new plant is expected to start manufacturing battery cells in the second half of 2025 with an annual production capacity of 35 GWh, which is sufficient to support the production of 300,000 EVs. Hyundai Mobis will assemble battery packs using cells from the plant and supply them to the Group’s U.S. facilities for production of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis EV models.
Assan Alüminyum, a flat-rolled aluminum manufacturer based in Turkey, ordered four aluminum coil-annealing furnaces equipped with the Vortex 2.0 system from SECO/WARWICK. The furnaces are equipped with an improved nozzle system that produces increased heat-transfer efficiency. According to SECO/WARWICK, Vortex guarantees a lack of local overheating on the coil surface, which significantly affects the final quality of the heat-treated material, and provides a significant reduction in the total process time compared to traditional systems. The system operates with a temperature uniformity +/-3°C.
General Motors (GM) and Samsung SDI plan to invest more than $3 billion to build a new battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States that is targeted to begin operations in 2026. The plant will have more than 30 GWh of capacity and will bring GM’s total U.S. battery cell capacity to about 160 GWh when it is at full production. The companies plan to jointly operate the facility, and it is projected to have production lines to build nickel-rich prismatic and cylindrical cells.