The latest flat-rolled steels from AK Steel have it in for bacteria and mold spores. Thanks to an ionic-silver and ceramic coating from AgION Technologies (Wakefield, MA), the steels meet the Environmental Protection Agency standards for an antimicrobial agent, according to AK applications engineer Eric Welte. AK can apply the AgION material to both carbon and stainless steels, using either a liquid or a powder coating process. The thickness of the coating varies from 0.2 to 2 mils, depending on abrasion requirements. "You can still see the polish of stainless steel through the thinnest of the coatings," Welte notes. The new steels target HVAC, appliance, food equipment, and medical applications. AK is even building a concept house from the material to show how it keeps mold at bay. What's more, Electrolux's Fridgidaire brand will use the antimicrobial steels in a new line of stainless steel consumer appliances. AK Steel : Enter 515
Stainless beefs up solenoids
The latest stainless steel alloy from Carpenter Technology goes into corrosive operating environments that can spell trouble for solenoids. Carpenter Chrome Core 29 Solenoid Quality Stainless stacks up favorably against Type 430FR stainless. The two materials have similar magnetic properties—including high resistivity—but Chrome Core 29 outshines Type 430FR when it comes to corrosion resistance. In corrosion tests (ASTM G150), Chrome Core 29 exhibited a critical pitting temperature of 14.8C, compared to 5C for Type 430FR. As for magnetic properties, the new alloy offers a saturation flux density of 13.2 kG, coercive field strength of 1.26 Oe, residual induction of 5.20 kG, and a maximum permeability of 1,624. In its annealed condition, Chrome Core 29 has a tensile strength of 586 MPa, a yield strength of 379 MPa, and a Rockwell B hardness of 85. Carpenter Technology Corp. : Enter 516
Say good-bye to beryllium in mold making
For mold-making applications that can benefit from the cooling power of copper, but can do without beryllium, Ampco Metal Inc. has developed a new copper alloy. Called MoldMATE 90, the material features a high thermal conductivity of 90 Btu/ft/hr/°F, better than the 60 Btu/ft/hr/°F offered by a beryllium copper grade (2% Be) commonly used in mold making. At the same time, MoldMATE 90 has enough nickel in it to meet the hardness and mechanical properties that tooling components require. Ampco Metal Inc. : Enter 517
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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