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.