Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Excitement About High Entropy Alloys

Currently materials research has slowed down, unless you are into advanced manufacturing. Today almost all technology is focused on computers and mechanical devices, such as robots. In our opinion, this is a dangerous way to proceed. Already kids are begining to have difficulty in writing and spelling, and are more confused than ever by the new math being introduced. This is the beginning; what is going to happen when most of the nation becomes hooked on this new technology that takes the human factor from the big picture?
However, materials research is still needed for improvement in light car performance, solonoids, magnetic applications, deep sea technology, space and  nuclear energy. All of these applications require either improved alloys or new alloys to permit these future applications to evolve.
One of the new systems for improvement of special alloys is entitlled high entropy alloys. Actually development began way back in the 1980s with the superaalloys. At this time alloys existed for high temperature applications, but did not quite serve the application completely. However, if a slight amount of another element was added, or even an additional element in greater quantity, then the properties for the application were satisfied and life moved on.

In reality , however, there is no real definition of what a high entropy alloy is. Actually it is an alloy that is either modified or completely invented for specific applications, such as those new technologies mentioned above as being currently in progress at some scale of development. MagnaTech has been interested in improved magnetic alloys to provide improved power for electric cars. We are also active in development of heavy alloy materials. In this case, cobalt is a problem because it is largely produced in a potentially hostile country and also, although not classified, it is being considered as a carcenogenic. The Army was so concerned that it was working on research in that area. With the advent of the new laser technology for weaponry, the need for replacement has now abated. However, MagnaTech is starting a program to develop a binder for tungsten carbide that will eliminate the use of cobalt that is traditionally used as a binder.  MagnaTech always welcomes financial support for these projects being developed to improve applications for new designs for new technology.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Get Ready for Electric Cars

Ho, hum, Gas is still relatively cheap, but the population is growing that constantly shortens the finite supply of petroleum.On the contrary, electricity is expensive and the grid is already overloaded. Therefore why electric cars. The big problems are that supply is finite and also adds to the contamination of our atmosphere.
So, why not electric cars? Well there are still problems that require resolution. First, we are used to driving in to a gas station and saying fill er up.In less than fifteen minutes we are again on our way. Gas stations are located at almost every major intersection and therefore easy to stop and fill up.
If the country switches to electric cars, except in California, the stations available are not easily found. Therefore one frets a little bit longer when the gauge is reading close to empty. However, we well know as the need increases, there will be more and more stations available.
All well and good, not a big problem. However, consider that fifteen minutes to fill up and get underway. With the electric car, under current conditions, to achieve an additional distance of say, 300 miles, the electric car requires an hour to recharge. Ouch, that is not what the public wants.
The other factor the public expects is performance. That means that a battery needs to supply the proper energy to start the car, get it up to speed in a short period of time and maintain driving conditions until it is time to cease operation.
These conditions are obtained by a battery that supplies a motor with a proper supply of volts required to provide power to accomplish supply a transmission system to do the job. Currently the battery is the point of concern. Concerns include sealants, thermal insulation,conductivity , noise, vibration, shock, flame retardation barriers, tape resistant to hot, cold and cyclic temperature.These sound like insurmountable problems; and only time will tell whether sufficient advancements can be made.
However, the battery drives a motor which in turn controls transmission to the axles. These too affect the ability of the battery to perform and maintain sufficient life for efficient operation.Weight loss or more efficient performance by these components support the battery performance. MagnaTech is directing its energy to development of rotor component of the P/M motor that transmits energy to the transmission. If more power becomes available through added power supply to the transmission, then the battery can become more efficient, providing improved mileage before requiring a recharge. In addition, if the resistivity of the rotor segments can be improved, the car performance also is improved. If  the resistivity can be increased, power is also further increased and also temperature reduction is possible .MagnaTech is working on a new alloy that we expect will improve the properties stated above and thereby extend both life and performance of batteries. Furthermore, if successful, the development could result in decrease in motor weight, also improving battery performance. MagnaTech is seeking funding and partnership for commercialization of this improvement in performance of these P/M motors.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Update on the Staus of the Cemented Tungsten Carbide Market

Currently the market for cemented tungsten carbide is $27.5 trillion. Most of the cemented tungsten carbide market today uses a percentage of cobalt to permit the fine tungsten carbide particles to bind together when consolidated.Generally the amount of cobalt admixed is less than 10% of the tungsten carbide weight. Unfortunately cobalt is becoming a problem for many reasons.
The major reason is emerging competition from the battery and the automotive markets.The use of cobalt for these applications for components is increasing at a rapid rate.Currently it is estimated that 49 percent of the cobalt produced will be targeted toward this market.
Supply today mostly comes from the Republic of Congo, in Africa.The problem now becomes that we are dealing with an unstable government that uses children to mine the cobalt.without protective equipment. In addition, the EPA has declared cobalt to be carcinogenic. These problems have led to a deficit of cobalt for this year to be 3,205 tonnes, increasing to 5,340 tonnes by next year.As a result, the price of cobalt , in the past eighteen months, has increased from $10 per pound to $27.78 per pound.
The Army, facing these conditions regarding armaments, has developed a new patented binder system that is based on iron, thereby eliminating the use of cobalt from their applications. MagnaTech too has a concept for a new binder system, based on iron as the base, but using a different concept. We are seeking a partner to develop this system. If you are affiliated with the cemented carbide market, you are faced with the same problem. If interested in our system please contact us and we will be delighted to discuss our concept further.