Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Year of Phase II Contract Funded

Life continues to be on the fast track for MagnaTech. Last Friday MagnaTech was notified that the second year of its current Phase II Department of Defense NAVAIR contract has been funded. As of next year, MagnaTech will have completed a year scaling up an innovative high temperature carburizing process to provide hardness, corrosion and wear resistance on hook points for advanced Navy aircraft. MagnaTech is up to speed on this contract, and now has capability of  carburizing a lot of 120 preforms in simulation of carburizing surfaces of hook points, To date MagnaTech has demonstrated that they can apply a surface hardness  greater than 60 HRC to a minimum depth of 1 mm in two hours. MagnaTech is awaiting issuance of a patent in respect to the new technology. MagnaTech continues to work on development of the process, and  can accomplish the task on martensitic stainless and low alloy steel preforms. MagnaTech is currently designing a test apparatus to test the carburized hook points under simulated service conditions.
MagnaTech also continues to provide services for testing of hi mu 80 and 50 Ni /50 Fe alloy ribbon forms. These items are currently used for inductors for mHz frequency applications. MagnaTech  believes that we have developed a powder and an insulative coating sufficient to improve the remnant magnetization, coercive field and  permeability of the alloys, as well as lower the core losses required of these important components of modern inverters for automotive applictions for either hybrid or electric vehicles. Customer interest in the testing capability for determining the soft magnetic properties continues to increase.
If you, as  producers of parts requiring  testing or development of coating technology to improve your  products, have need of our innovative technology, MagnaTech would be interested in partnering with you to improve your products.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

An Update On Activities

Last week Moyer of MagnaTech attended an A06 Magnetic Test Methods meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. This committee is responsible for writing and maintaining all ASTM specifications regarding magnetic materials and the testing thereof. MagnaTech tests nickel base alloys according to ASTM A596, and since the specification was due for review, Moyer agreed to study the specification to determine whether any revisions are required. Two magnetic powder metallurgy specifications pertaining to iron and nickel iron are also due for review. Since these specifications were written by Moyer, he agreed to study these specifications for changes also.
MagnaTech is also about to submit a proposal for the use of its patented carburizing and nitriding processes to extend to forging grade alloys (tool steels) to improve the life of forging dies. The cost of construction of a forging die is expensive, which often precludes the option of producing a quality part using forging technology.
MagnaTech is currently interested in preparing a proposal for the Department of Energy to explore research to produce iron-nitrogen permanent magnets to replace expensive iron neodymium boron magnets currently required for the electric car. Development of this technology is a possible alternative to the present gasoline propelled vehicle that is being blamed for contributing to the pollution of the atmosphere. Also required are improved low loss magnetic materials for passive inductors. As an alternative to submitting a proposal for the development of iron nitrogen permanent magnets, MagnaTech may elect to develop a soft magnetic alloy for this application. MagnaTech has been active in this activity in the past.
In addition to the above, MagnaTech is winding up its first year of a two-year Phase II SBIR contract to scale up its patent pending processes to improve wear and corrosion resistance of hook points for the Navy. The contract is on schedule, and MagnaTech expects to be prepared to commercialize the technology at the end of the two year contract. The second year of the contract, in addition to scaling up the process, is also to develop a test method to certify the improved wear resistance of the surfaces that have been carburized or nitrided. MagnaTech personnel are interested in talking with interested parties about the new carburizing and nitriding technology.  Magna-Tech is also interested in talking with prospective partners regarding new innovative technology for development.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Forging Die Modification

MagnaTech is currently conducting a Phase II research study with NAVAIR to improve the wear and corrosion resistance of hook points used to arrest the speed of Navy jets when they land on the decks of aircraft carriers. The thrust of this research is to scale up patent pending processes of high temperature nano carburizing and nitriding. Although the present research is designed to provide wear and corrosion resistent hook points, MagnaTech is persuing additional research to adapt the technology to other applications.
The Department of Energy, in conjunction with various industries, has drawn up road maps to assist them in research to help the industries to grow and become more competitive. One of these industries is the forging industry.
In their road map, one of the key items requiring investigation is the improvement in the life of expensive forging dies. Currently there is confusion as to what is the average life of a die, and also what can be done to improve die life. Since forging dies are subject to extremes in temperature, shock and abrasion, MagnaTech believes that this newly developed processes may assist greatly in the improvement in forging die life, without adding costly additional processing to the die. Simply by modifying current heat treating procedures, nano alloying and diffusing of carbon or nitrogen to the surfaces of these dies could result in extensive improvement to dies currently, or soon to be placed, into service. MagnaTech is searching for partners to explore use of the developed technology  for cost effective improvement of die life in individual applications of interest to interested companies seeking to develop their processing for their most troublesome dies, regarding life and performance.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MagnaTech Returns to the Powder Metallurgy Industry

MagnaTech was established 27 years ago to develop processing and material development, mainly for magnetic applications. At that time metal injection molding development was a dream to many, and a good friend made the statement that parts would be made by this process when all other processes failed. Furthermore, he said, parts will never be larger than the size of a dime.
Today, not only has the development of parts made using metal injection molding grown into a fledgling industry, but the promise of improved properties resulting from the technology is becoming reality.
MagnaTech has evaluated some of the magnetic parts made using this technology and we have not been too impressed. However, MagnaTech has just begun working with a new customer who intends to use metal injection molding technology to fabricate some of its parts. MagnaTech has just received the first set of these parts for evaluation. Actually, they are not the parts themselves, but metal injection molded rings that received identical processing as the parts. Prior to this shipment of rings, the rings that have been evaluated were distorted and discolored. Rings of this nature are always suspect because the discoloration suggests impurities and the distortion suggests stress. Both are detrimental to obtaining the magnetic properties required for the application. However, the rings just received are shiny and are not distorted. MagnaTech therefore looks forward to evaluation of these rings and a long term relationship with our new customer.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do You Need Help Heat Treating or Testing HyMu 80 Alloy?

HyMu 80 is a nickel base alloy that has as principal alloying elements 80% nickel, 4.2 % molybdenum and remainder iron. The alloy is used primarily for transformer cores, tape wound torroids, laminations, and for shielding to protect electrical components from stray magnetic fields. Its value is that it provides low initial and maximum permeability, with low hysteresis losses. The alloy is available in bar, sheet or wire.
When sold to the user, the material is accompanied by a certification that states  the material satisfies the required properties. The problem is that once the material is altered, such as by machining, stamping or other mechanical operation, the certified properties no longer apply. The user then must provide a heat treatment that restores the magnetic properties to the properties originally certified. Heat treating may be a problem because there are different furnaces, atmospheres and proceedures that may not provide the heat treatment required to restore the original properties of the material. In addition, testing becomes the second problem. Equipment for testing is expensive, and unless you are a large company it is difficult to justify its purchase. In addition, the tests available also are fraught with error, and repeatability between laboratories is not good. The problem is that hysteresigraphs and other similar test equipment are composed of an ammeter to measure the current to define the applied field. The measurements required to calculate the applied field are at the extreme lower end of the ammeter and therefore are prone to maximum error. In addition, the flux meter also requires the most sensitive scale for measurement of the magnetic induction. It too is at a scale where the error is maximum. Throw in zeroing capability of a hysteresigraph and you have a third major error. Therefore, couple sensitive heat treatment with high risk of measurement in testing and you may have a problem. MagnaTech has worked with many customers to resolve the headaches that result after the material has been received and altered. MagnaTech can help you to resolve your heat treating inconsistities, and also can provide accurate test results that are within 3% error. If you are having a problem either heat treating or testing this magnetic alloy, please consult MagnaTech to resolve your problem.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Magna-Tech Hires New Engineer

Magna-Tech P/M Labs, a provider of research and development and testing services as well as consulting services for the materials world, has named Katherine Small as its new Project Engineer. Mrs. Small, who previously was a Materials Engineer at Carpenter Technology, will be in charge of managing and increasing Magna-Tech’s customer base. Magna-Tech, which is mainly focused on research and development, is looking to expand its business to include a carburizing and nitriding surface treatment of metals. At this time Magna-Tech is awaiting the patent on this process. Katie will bring a background of new product management and marketing. As a metallurgist for Carpenter, Mrs. Small was in charge of the metallurgic needs of Carpenter’s customer in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the USA. Her extensive knowledge of the metals community will be a great asset in the expansion. Mrs. Small has a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Lehigh University.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

MagnaTech Awarded Patent

The United States Patent Office has just awarded United States Patent 8,182,617B2, "Nitrogen Alloyed Stainless Steel and Process" to Magna-Tech P/M Labs. The patent resulted from work completed on a Phase I study for NAVAIR Contract Number N88335-190-C-0141. In additition to the awarded patent, Magna-Tech has patents pending on processes to carburize and nitride martensitic stainless steels. Magna-Tech welcomes discussions with interested parties regarding the content of these patents. The developed processes decrease carburizing or nitriding time more than half. Magna-Tech currently is in the fifth month of a Phase II NAVAIR contract to scale up the carburizing process to serve as a surface providing improved wearability and corrosion resistance for applications such as hookpoints. In addition to the above, Magna-Tech intends to propose new research designed to develop higher energy product permanent magnets at lower cost to the Department of Energy. These new alloys are designed from powders, using technology that Magna-Tech has patented. Magna-Tech is also exploring opportunities to the Defense Logistics Agency to broaden the applications that could benefit from the new carburizing and nitriding technology that has been developed and continues to be developed. Please contact Ken Moyer at 856-786-9061 or to learn more about these Magna-Tech innovations.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MagnaTech Completes Three Months of Research on Phase II Contract

MagnaTech has just completed its third month of effort to scale up a carburization process that they have developed to carburize parts to a depth of 1 mm (0.040 inches),to a hardness of > 60 HRC in less than 4 hours. This coming month they will be devoting their efforts to scaling up the process for production and fine tuning the process. MagnaTech is interested in talking with interested parties to exploit the new process commercially. Patents have been applied for and are in progress.
In addition, MagnaTech is now focusing its efforts on development of new permanent magnet alloys. The current alloy of interest is iron-neodymium-boron. However, there are several problems that limit the usage of this alloy for new applications, such as windmills for electrical power and electric automobiles. These include the technology residing mostly in the Far East, high cost for production of the magnets, and an undesirable reclamation process.
The current technology has limited the energy product to 65 MGO. However, recent work at the University of Minnesota indicates that iron-nitrogen magnets that will yield an energy product greater than 125 MGO can be developed. MagnaTech has ideas on how to make alloys that are also capable of improving the energy product and intends to partner with Arnold Engineering to develop these alloys. MagnaTech is currently in the process of preparing white papers for a BAA to the Air Force and to the DOE for funding to support an exploritory program to develop these alloys. Again, MagnaTech would be interested in discussing their ideas with interested parties.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Magnetics 2012

Last week Moyer of MagnaTech P/M Labs attended a two day conference to obtain an update on activity in the magnetic field. The conference was oriented toward new materials, processes, and applications that will require magnetic assemblies. Of these, perhaps offshore windmills, requiring larger motors with minimum maintenance are perhaps the newest
as a challenge for today's applications. There was great concern about the availability and the cost of iron-neodymium-boron magnets. In 1990 General Motors sold their technology to the Chinese. I am told that all iron-neodymium-boron magnets are now manufactured in China. These kinds of magnets have the highest energy product and are therefore a requirement for the introduction of the electric car to the market, as well as new windmill drive requirements. In addition to the Chinese monopoly of the market, little research has been conducted in the United States to innovate new higher energy product alloys or improve additional alloys such as ferrites and Alnicos to satisfy some of the requirements of the developing market. Recently the Air Force has submitted a BAA and the Department of Energy is about to request Phase I SBIRs designed to satisfy these emerging markets. MagnaTech will be submitting a white paper to adress the requirements required of the Air Force BAA, and expects to write a proposal requesting a Phase I award for an idea of an alloy that we believe has potential for higher energy product material. If you are interested in new magnetic materials and their design, contact MagnaTech to explore technology, which they have patented, that could satisfy some of the advanced material requirements.MagnaTech has test equipment to support materials research and also provides a short course to those wishing to come up to speed in this newly developing industry.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Patent

MagnaTech has been informed that they have been awarded a patent that uses gaseous nitrogen in a nano state to alloy nitrogen with high strength powders. When consolidated using HIP technology, the powders become dense and exhibit excellent wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and toughness. MagnaTech now owns two patents, and has three additional patents pending.
In addition, MagnaTech was issued a purchase order yesterday to begin a study of P/M magnetic alloys to be tested for electromagnetic shielding. MagnaTech is doing more and more outside service testing for customers that need to know the properties of these special purpose nickel iron alloys. The equipment required to test these materials is expensive, and is concentrated primarily with the material manufacturers. Therefore, when a parts producer requires outside verification of properties supplied by the material producers, they look to MagnaTech to substantiate the documented properties. The materials are used for DC or pulsed DC applications, and require high magnetic permeability and low coercive field. These properties are difficult to achieve, and are important to the end user. If you have a need for these services, MagnaTech may have your solution. In addition, Moyer of MagnaTech offers one or two day short courses, including magnetic theory, magnetic materials and test methods. Call or email us if you have need of these services.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

MagnaTech Gains New Customer

This was a great week for MagnaTech. Not only did we receive a Phase II Department of Defense contract but we were notified that we have been selected to do magnetic measurements for a defense contractor who makes gyroscopes for missiles. MagnaTech has equipment to make direct current measurements of magnetic induction, residual magnetism, relative maximum permeability and coercive field according to ASTM Test Method A596, Standard Test Method for Direct-Current Magnetic Properties of Materials Using the Ballistic Method and Ring Specimens. This and ASTM Specification A773 are the preferred specifications for the measurement of the direct-current magnetic properties of Nickel-Iron soft magnetic alloys.
MagnaTech this week has also submitted a white paper for a BAA proposal to develop a system of ternary alloys containing iron,aluminum and phosphorus.MagnaTech expects delivery of 440C stainless steel and AISI 9310 steel this week to begin expansion of the program to investigate high temperature carburizing of Pyrowear 675 and
AISI 4330 V already in inventory, as well as the two steels expected this week.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

MagnaTech Is Awarded Phase II Contract

MagnaTech has just signed a two year contract to continue work on carburization and nitriding processes that are awaiting patent approval. The first year of the new contract adds low alloy steels to the alloys studied in addition to the martensitic stainless steels that have been successfully carburized and nitrided.In addition, the process will be scaled up in the first year to simulate production loads of hook points. The second year of the contract will translate the process over to the direct production of prototype hook points and development of a machine to test the wear, corrosion and fatigue resistance of the hook points under simulated conditions prior to actual performance.If the work is successfully completed, MagnaTech will prepare to commercialize the technology.
In addition to the above new contract, MagnaTech is currently considering revision of work for which they contracted with the Department of Energy. That study involved the development of iron aluminum alloys for magnetic applications. At that point, the new alloys satisfied all required properties for emerging more efficient electric motors. One hurdle remained, and that was that the automotive industry wanted a magnetization of 15,000 gauss (1.5 teslas) at an applied field of 100 oersteds (7960 A/m). Owing to the well known thermite reaction, it was not possible to achieve this goal because of the expansion that occurred during the alloying stage of processing. MagnaTech believes that they have a modification of their original concept that will permit this obstacle to be overcome, as well as improve the original magnetic properties of the alloys. MagnaTech would be interested in discussions on the technology they have developed or are currently in the process of developing.