Rio Tinto started operations at a new commercial-scale demonstration plant to produce high-quality scandium oxide at its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Six employees have been hired to operate the plant, which uses a process developed by RTFT to extract high-purity scandium oxide from the waste streams of titanium dioxide production without the need for any additional mining. According to Rio Tinto, customers will benefit from a North American supply of scandium oxide as an additive to produce high-performance alloys. Commissioning work has started as production ramps up to a capacity of 3 metric tons of scandium oxide per year.
Solar Manufacturing Inc. of Sellersville, Pa., announces the receipt of US Patent No. 11053560 issue date July 6, 2021. The patent covers the use of a full isolation power transformer for use with a 600-HP, 460-volt motor and with an ionizing gas (such as argon) to prevent electric-motor ground fault and failure, with additional solid-state circuit protection, in conjunction with a vacuum furnace gas-quench system.
Facility Includes Metallurgical Lab, Metal 3D Printers
July 6, 2021
Relativity Space, the first company to 3D print an entire rocket, announced a major expansion of its operations in Long Beach, Calif., with a new, 1,000,000-square-foot headquarters factory at Goodman Commerce Center. Relativity Headquarters will have capacity for over 2,000 employees, a metallurgical laboratory, DMLS printers and a mission control center. It will also have dozens of the company’s proprietary Stargate 3D printers, which it says are the largest metal 3D printers in the world. With software changes, Relativity’s Stargate printers are capable of printing both Terran 1, the world’s first entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle, and its fully reusable, entirely 3D-printed rocket, Terran R. Move-in is scheduled for January 2022.
Tenova received a contract for the supply of a decarburization and coating line (DCL) from VIZ-Stal (NLMK Group) for its plant in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The line will provide one of the important stages of grain-oriented (GO) electrical strip production. The contract includes the engineering, supply and supervision services of the heat-treatment furnace; mechanical and process equipment; and the related electrical, measuring and control systems. The DCL line is scheduled to start production by the end of 2021.
A. Benevenuta & C. S.p.a. ordered a 2,500-ton mechanical forging press from Farina, a Schuler affiliate. The company produces hot-forged steel components for the automotive industry near Turin, Italy. The parts are used in suspension systems, transmissions, engines and brakes in passenger cars, tractors, trucks and earth-moving machinery. The press force of the Benevenuta production lines ranges from 1,200 to 2,500 metric tons.
Lucifer Furnaces delivered a high-temperature hardening box furnace to a metal stamping manufacturer based in the southeast United States. The end user is upgrading older heat-treating equipment and will employ the furnace for everyday use. Designed with thick walls of insulation for uniform heating and low outside shell temperature, the bench model has a 9-inch x 12-inch x 24-inch chamber and heats to 2300°F (1260°C). The furnace temperature is controlled with a Honeywell digital time-proportioning controller.
United States Steel Corp. executed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Equinor US Holdings Inc., an affiliate of Norway-based Equinor ASA. Under the MOU, the companies will study the potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen development in the tristate region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Hydrogen-based steel processes and CCS are among the more promising and sustainable technologies currently being developed.
The Doncasters Group ordered a 300-pound vacuum precision investment casting (VPIC) furnace from Consarc. The 300-pound-capacity furnace will be installed at Doncasters’ Southern Tool facility in Oxford, Ala. The order includes start-up and installation, with delivery scheduled before the end of 2021. The VPIC furnace is equipped with high-vacuum capabilities, state-of-the-art controls and increased automation with Teach Pour. U.K.-based Doncasters Group manufactures high-precision engineering components designed to operate in demanding conditions.
TMK will upgrade pipe heat-treatment equipment at its Pervouralsk Pipe Plant (PNTZ) in Russia to reduce resource consumption and expand its size range of high-tech products. A roller-hearth furnace in a tube drawing shop has already been upgraded. The new technology allowed TMK to decrease the lower temperature limit in the furnace by 200C. The plant can now produce new products – ball bearings, precision and other pipes for the aerospace and automotive industries – with the mechanical properties required by Russian and European quality standards. As part of the upgrade, the furnace was equipped with a new digital process control system that runs a comprehensive equipment diagnostic and automatically adjusts the temperature parameters. PNTZ plans to upgrade two more furnaces in its tube drawing shops in 2021.
Penn State University purchased a high-speed metal 3D printer from Australia’s SPEE3D. The investment into a LightSPEE3D cold-spray metal 3D printer will allow the institution to advance its additive-manufacturing (AM) capability. The university’s Applied Research Laboratory will adopt SPEE3D’s high-speed metal 3D-printing technology to meet the materials and manufacturing challenges of the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense and the industrial base. According to SPEE3D, its metal 3D printers run at a speed 100 to 1,000 times faster than traditional metal 3D-printing methods. They leverage cold-spray technology, which can produce industrial-quality metal parts in just minutes.