Saturday, December 27, 2014

Welcome 2015

 Well, 2014 is just about finished. It was a transition year for MagnaTech P/M Labs. In January we successfully completed our Phase II SBIR contract to develop a process to modify the surfaces of low alloy, ferritic and martensitic stainless steels to improve wear, corrosion, fatigue and toughness. Unfortunately we were not favored with a Phase 2.5 contract to go to the next step to qualify the technology. However, the Navy wishes that the technology be commercialized. One of the steps to achieve this goal is application and award of patents. We now have received five patents protecting the technology that was developed. In addition, MagnaTech has five years of SBIR rights protection after the contract is completed.
As an additional step to assist in commercialization, the Navy provided the services of Dawnbreaker to prepare MagnaTech for a Navy sponsored two-and-a-half-day exhibition showing the technology to top Navy personnel and Prime Contractors for the Navy. In addition, we were alloted a twenty minute slot to present the technology to a select audience. From these activities MagnaTech made two contacts that are starting to appear as strong potential for additional development for the Navy next year. Not only will our patented technology be required for this work, but also new laser melting technology will be necessary. Therefore, MagnaTech expects to be busy pursuing this opportunity in early 2015.
In addition, MagnaTech has also been active in attempting to establish licensing or a partnership to commercialize the patented technology. MagnaTech has made presentations to several companies that could benefit from the technology. MagnaTech continues to work with SCORE to develop additional strength in developing this kind of relationship. MagnaTech realizes that our strength resides in research and development, and that is where we wish to use our time. However, we are looking for opportunities for furnace manufacturers, heat treaters or powder metal fabricators either to license or co-operate to form a company that will introduce the technology to the market place for financial gain to the partner or licensee as well as MagnaTech.
With this, MagnaTech wishes all of our customers, friends and supporters a very prosperous New Year.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fall Beginnings

Well, here it is Labor Day and the beginning of Fall. Vacations are mostly gone and it is time to review how best to close this year and start freshly with a new year. Don't get me wrong because there are still four productive months this year. The question is, for many of us, where are we going? MagnaTech has been in business for 29 years. It has been an exciting time with plenty of research that was needed to make life better for all. Now we are into the age of miniaturization, robots, drones, electronic devices, and we appear to be running faster and faster with no direction in mind. MagnaTech has specialized in materials development and processing. When we started up, there was a need for better ferritic stainless steels. MagnaTech led the way in development of these alloys from powder metallurgy processing to produce injectors and sensors for the automotive industry. MagnaTech continued with assisting other powder producers to develop processes to make ferrophosphorus powders for developing magnetic applications. MagnaTech then saw a need for improved properties of soft magnetic alloys. We developed high temperature atmosphere sintering to improve structure sensitive magnetic properties through larger grained higher purity parts. This activity led us to assisting others to develop processes to improve corrosion and wear resistance of surfaces of parts. This occurred from development of technology of partial pressure vacuum processing. Through this technology we then improved on the processing by developing carburizing and nitriding processes that provided improved wear, impact and corrosion resistance of surfaces of ferrous materials. These developments resulted from NAVAIR contracts that were awarded for improvement of these properties for advanced hook points for aircraft landings. MagnaTech has been awarded five patents as a result of these efforts. So what does the future hold? MagnaTech specializes in research and development. The government would like to commercialize what has been developed on taxpayers' money. We are in the process of exploring ways of doing this. MagnaTech does not wish to enter into manufacturing, but we are exploring ways in which we could develop a relationship with other companies that will permit them to use the technology developed, while permitting MagnaTech to continue exploration of ideas to continue the development of the technology, while capitalizing on what is ready for production. MagnaTech expects that much of our activity during the last quarter of this year will be expended in attempting to establish relationships in this area.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August Issue

Well my dog is shedding like crazy and so get ready for a scorching August. For MagnaTech it is always a hot and an opportune time. It is tough to contact people and to get things done, yet life moves right along at its own pace.MagnaTech has five patents and one pending, mostly aimed at improving surfaces of steels for improved wear and corrosion resistance. In June MagnaTech participated at a Navy forum. This forum generated many leads from Navy branches regarding this technology. Among these were leads for restoration of worn parts. MagnaTech is offering proposals to use our technology coupled with advanced manufacturing to restore these surfaces for renewed use of expensive parts. MagnaTech has also been talking with various sources to partner the technology to the next level or production. In addition, although it has been stated that there is water, water, everywhere, this is not really the truth. Many regions are arid; some do not have the facilities, and yet others may be in trouble from overpopulation.I guess the first thought is of how do you gain water where there is none, and that began with our manned space flights. It was then that novel ideas were studied to maintain the self preservation and comfort of the astronauts. Since then, many communities have encountered threat to our groundwater supply. This, in many locations, result from hot weather when we fertilize our lawns with phosphates, and in the winter, when salt is used to permit safe driving conditions. Other areas where fresh water supply is endangered include waste water from the reclamation of oil from oil sands. Still others include arid regions that are adjacent to seawater. New techniques are needed to recover both energy and waste product from these sources. MagnaTech has ideas on how to resolve some of these problems, and intends to participate in some of the required research to resolve these pressing problems. Last there is the excitement of advanced technology processes that are just beginning to be explored. MagnaTech will be a participant in this area as well. MagnaTech therefore is actively seeking companies that are forward thinking to co-operate with to participate in these new avenues of interest, where solutions of current problems are mandatory. Please contact us if you believe that we have something to contribute to your program.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Recent Activity at MagnaTech

For a year now MagnaTech has been working with Dawnbreaker to present our developed surface modification technology to Navy communities and to their prime contractors to advance the technology to the commercial level. In June the Navy Opportunity Forum was held and MagnaTech maintained a booth, spoke with key personnel in the Navy and prime contractors, and presented a paper describing the developed technology. The two and a half day conference was well attended, with key Naval personnel as well as representatives of prime contractors working on Navy projects.
As a result of these activities, MagnaTech has opportunities for several potential contracts for current needs that the Navy has identified. In addition, MagnaTech has emerged with contacts for support of research activities with several prime contractors as well.
In addition to the above, MagnaTech continues activities to identify a company that has strong commercial production potential to partner with to advance the current developed technology to satisfy the needs of current markets. Several companies are interested and MagnaTech is currently discussing possibilities with several of these companies.
Life also goes on, and the new buzz word common to the industry is Advanced Manufacturing. This technology is being sponsored by the government and has the direct endorsement of the President. It is currently being touted in several Universities. The technology was initially developed by NASA for space applications back in the 1990s. Recently German, Swedish and English companies have developed machines and powders using Three D computer programing to construct a part using either laser melting or electron beam melting, among other concepts, to produce solid geometric shapes of interest. One of the initial efforts was to replace expensive prototype shapes to construct forging dies and casting molds. Current efforts are to expand this concept into production of short run parts that are expensive to manufacture because the material costs are high and the parts are labor intensive to machine. MagnaTech is exploring how some of our concepts can be used in this new developing technology.
As you can see, MagnaTech currently has their plate full of new activities and opportunities. If your company has a materials or process development process problem, however, MagnaTech is always ready to assist you in resolving this problem. We are especially adept at surface modification to provide improved wear, corrosion and fatigue life while maintaining desired core properties for proper functioning of the part. We also participate in the magnetics field, where our expertise in powder metallurgy and magnetic theory and testing is of importance. Should you have current problems in these areas, MagnaTech would welcome the opportunity to discuss our concepts with you and offer timely service to assist you in resolving these costly problems.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

MagnaTech Continues Search for Partner for Phase III Navy Contract

MagnaTech is still in the process of developing its patented carburizing and nitriding technology to secure a Phase III contract with the Navy to advance the technology to the production stage. To accomplish this objective MagnaTech would prefer to license the technology to  a current heat treating facility or  furnace manufacturer. Since the current work is supported under an SBIR contract awarded by NAVAIR, the licensee must be an American company, owing to ITAR law. MagnaTech has conversed with several interested parties, but has not yet found a licensee or partner.
MagnaTech is currently working with Dawnbreaker to identify potential candidates to advance the technology to the commercial stage. The Navy is employing Dawnbreaker to work with NAVY Phase II SBIR companies to accomplish this objective. In June Dawnbreaker will hold a Forum at which all consenting Phase II SBIR contractors will have an opportunity to present their technology to interested government agencies, prime defense contractors, and sub-contractors that could have interest in the developed technology. MagnaTech is devoting a major segment of their time to take advantage of this opportunity . In addition to the oral presentation of the technology, Magna Tech will be meeting with interested Navy communities that could benefit from the technology, and selected prime contractors that may have an interest in the technology. MagnaTech will also maintain an exhibit booth for a day and a half, exhibiting the highlights of what has been developed.  MagnaTech invites any interested invited parties reading this message to visit us at our booth to learn more about our patented processes.
In addition to this upcoming event, MagnaTech continues to seek possible parties that could benefit from our services and processes. Should you who happen to read this blog believe our technology would be of benefit to you, we are continually looking for these kinds of relationships. I was just reminded that MagnaTech is now entering into its 29th year as a research, consulting and service laboratory. During this time we have been proud to have developed many processes and to assist many other companies in their growth.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

MagnaTech is currently in a phase of transition. We have sucessfully finished a Phase II SBIR contract where we have been awarded patents for carburizing or nitriding Navy parts, such as hook points and other rotating parts subject to wear and corrosion. We are currently working with a Navy contractor (Dawnbreaker) to transition the developed technology into a Phase III contract to for production of Defense and civilian applications that require wear and corrosion resistance. The advantage of the MagnaTech processes is that we can microalloy surfaces of ferrous alloys to create surfaces that are harder than 60 HRC for a required depth of hardness, and provide corrosion resistance equivalent to nickel base alloys without affecting required core properties. We can do this in one fifth the time required for carburization and nitriding processes in commercial use today. MagnaTech is currently encouraging furnace manufacturers, heat treating facilities and powder metallurgy parts fabricators to take advantage of these new processes and much more research that MagnaTech has to offer in the heat treating of commercial parts that require tight control to assure properties needed for the application. In particular,  MagnaTech specializes in thermal processing for stainless steel or magnetic alloys requiring stringent property control.
With all of the above, Magnatech is also starting to seek partners with whom to work  to use Additive Manufacturing technology that is currently coming on stream.MagnaTech is in the initial stages of development of several parts that lend themselves to this technology. MagnaTech is specifically interested in adapting the technology to electrical applications that would serve the community, while not being dependent on fossil fuels that contaminate the environment. Again, MagnaTech is seeking partners to advance the financial backing of these innovative ideas. MagnaTech is a research oriented company and we would appreciate the opportunity to explore with you the opportunity to improve technology in your sphere of interest through development of new materials and processing.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A New Year

            Last year was a good year for MagnaTech and the glass ball appears to promise more of the same for 2014. MagnaTech has just completed a two-year effort to develop a hard, wear and corrosion resistant surface on either martensitic or low alloy steels. The goal was to modify the surface to provide a hardness of greater than 60 HRC to a minimum depth of 0.040 inch. MagnaTech has done this in two hours, a much shorter time than is currently used in commercial practice. The intent is to replace hardfaced surfaces on hook points at lower cost, and with a surface that is more friendly to people and the environment. The application was for Navy aircraft that land on aircraft carriers. MagnaTech accomplished all of the technical objectives, demonstrated capability, provided more data than required, on time, and at significantly reduced cost. MagnaTech is currently requesting a continuation of the contract to do additional work to develop the technology further.
            In addition, MagnaTech has just submitted a proposal to the Air Force to use the technology we have developed to provide hard, wear and corrosion resistant surfaces to Air Force aircraft with landing gears having similar capability. MagnaTech currently has two patents issued to protect the technology and two more are pending.
            MagnaTech is also competing for a Phase III contract to advance the technology to commercial value. The Navy has contracted with Dawnbreaker in Rochester, New York, to assist MagnaTech with this process. MagnaTech is currently seeking partners, joint efforts and licensing to advance the technology. MagnaTech knows that it’s strength is in research, but would seek to join in a cooperative effort with a heat treater, a furnace manufacturer, or other, to establish licensing or preferably a plant where they control production, but MagnaTech would have access to the furnace for experimental purposes.
            MagnaTech is also investigating our first venture into 3 D printing. Currently a customer is exploring an application that requires large complex parts. The trick is to find a company that can handle the size required. The problems will be transporting the printed object to the debinding oven and the sintering furnace in a fragile state without causing damage to the plate or the detail contained therein. This should be a challenging but rewarding job.
            Last, MagnaTech continues to help MIM fabricators to develop parts with magnetic properties that are required by their customers. Contamination and porosity are always a problem when the customer requires fast response when action is required. So far we have not seen any parts that will come close to justify the cost and manufacturing required for fast reaction to occur. With all of this potential in progress, you can well understand that MagnaTech looks forward to another outstanding challenging year. If you have materials problems, we would welcome the opportunity to assist you in resolving these issues.