New Product Highlights

July 1, 2005
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To be successful in today's global markets, manufacturers must constantly reevaluate their materials, equipment and supplies to ensure that they're using the most effective products available. Incorporating a new material or technology can often give companies a much-needed competitive edge by increasing throughput, improving a product's appearance and/or overall quality, reducing energy consumption or labor costs, or providing a combination of these and other benefits. Following are some highlights of products that have been introduced over the past 12-24 months specifically for the ceramic, glass, brick/structural clay and related industries.

MATERIALS

Borates for Brick and Roofing Tile

U.S. Borax Inc.

This company has developed Evansite(r), a microfine sodium pentaborate in a sugar suspension that is specifically designed to meet the heavy clay industry's economic and technical needs. The sugar prevents the borate from migrating to the surface during drying, and it transforms sodium pentaborate's high solubility from a disadvantage to an advantage by allowing the borate to dissolve in the relatively low moisture content of the clay body. This ensures optimum distribution in the body and even vitrification. Once the clay body is dried, the sugar is burned off during firing, and the borate can begin fluxing. The new borate can help heavy clay manufacturers save fuel by allowing a 50-degree reduction in firing temperature. Other benefits include improved durability, compressive strength, abrasion resistance, leaching resistance and reduced porosity. Additionally, manufacturers can make more efficient use of other raw materials by adding the new borate to their batch.

Call (661) 287-5646 or e-mail michael.austerberry@borax.com. Outside the U.S., call (44) 1483-242032 or e-mail Adrian.stubbs@borax.com.

Porcelain Clay Body

Laguna Clay Co.

Frost, a new cone 6 porcelain clay body, is designed to offer the highest possible purity at an affordable price. Jon Pacini, Laguna's manager of clay production and development, spent much of the past two years developing and testing Frost. According to the company, the result is an extremely white, translucent, clean porcelain that throws well and is reasonably priced. A free 2-lb sample is available (there is a $5 shipping and handling charge).

Call (800) 4-LAGUNA or e-mail frost@lagunaclay.com.

Injection Molding Compounds

Tosoh Corp.

New compounds from this company are designed

to simplify high-pressure injection molding. Each compound is composed

of high-purity zirconia powders and a proprietary binder formulation (approx-imately 50 vol %) developed for the intended dewaxing environment. The company adds its proprietary binder to the powders and homogeneously mixes the formulation. The resulting taffy-like mixture is dried and pelletized to produce the injection molding compound that is delivered to the ceramic manufacturer. The company is also willing to share its experience in using the compounds with its customers, and to partner with ceramic manufacturers to develop formulations based on materials other than zirconia.

Call (866) 844-6953 or (614) 277-4348, e-mail info@tosohusa.com, or visit http://www.tosohusa.com.

BATCHING/MATERIALS HANDLING

Horizontal Mixing Equipment

American Process Systems, Member Eirich Group

The new Fluidizing Paddle Blender is designed to mix five times faster than a ribbon blender and fluidize powders quickly and efficiently. The blender reportedly provides homogenous mixes independent of a large range of particle size, shape or density; less degradation than ribbon blenders; easy clean-out; efficient liquid addition; high mix efficiencies with a low coefficient of variation; and high throughput rates with low horsepower. Little heat is generated due to friction, and the blender's single U-shaped vessel and rotor design minimizes operating costs. Units are available in carbon steel, stainless steel and sanitary construction for a variety of solids-to-solid and solids-to-liquid blending applications. The company has also introduced a new ergonomically friendly Elevation Station(r), which allows mixing and blending equipment (such as the Fluidizing Paddle Blender) to be loaded and discharged at floor level, thereby eliminating the need for stairs and mezzanines.

Call (847) 406-1381, e-mail eirichsales@eirich-usa.com or visit http://www.eirich-usa.com.

Heated Material Distributor

Midwestern Industries, Inc.

This company's material distributors are used for wet and dry applications to ensure even distribution over the entire width of the screening surface. The distributors fit Midwestern's MEV and Multi-Vib rectangular screeners and can be retrofitted to other makes and models. The company recently introduced a new heated material distributor that provides greater efficiency in screening damp or wet material. With this option, the diverter plate is heated to around 150°F, which breaks the surface tension and keeps materials from adhering to the plate.

Call (877) 4-Sizing, e-mail info@midwesternind.com or visit http://www.midwesternind.com.

Polymer Impellers

Norstone, Inc.

The NORBLADE impellers, which were originally cast from polyurethane for use in abrasive water-based slurries and coatings, are now available in a multitude of polymer options, including anti-static polyethylene, nylon, polypropylene and PTFE, for use in all types of systems. These impellers can replace steel impellers to reduce metal contamination and the safety hazard created by the blade wearing to a razor sharp edge. According to the company, the polymer blades are easier to change because they are lighter in weight and can't be put on backwards, and they have proven to outlast steel more than 10 times in most systems. Productivity is reportedly increased due to the polymer blades' higher axial flow capabilities, which also keep the batch cooler. The blades also feature excellent pumping properties, which enable powders to be incorporated at a much faster rate than with standard dispersing blades.

Call (800) 726-1366 or visit http://www.norstoneinc.com.

Cake Breaker and Feeder

Wyssmont Co., Inc.

This company's cake breaker and feeder can reportedly break virtually all filter press cakes and deliver a uniform product rate to the next step in the process. Consisting of specially designed and arranged screws, the unit breaks the cake gently. With an appropriately designed hopper above the screws, the unit becomes a live-bottom bin to hold large quantities of material. It resists bridging and gently handles the material. The feeder can be supplied in stainless steel, carbon steel, special alloys or non-metallics in contact with the product.

Call (201) 947-4600, e-mail sales@wyssmont.com or visit http://www.wyssmont.com.

GLAZING/DECORATING

Glaze Additives

Active Minerals Co. LLC

In natural and frit glaze suspensions, Acti-Gel(r) 208 is designed to improve adhesive strength by more than 80%, which helps to reduce surface defects and glaze chipping during handling and shipping. It eliminates other mineral thickeners and reduces cellulose ethers in glaze formulations, and it allows the glaze to dry rapidly without cracking. According to the company, Acti-Gel 208-based glazes are highly stable and can sit without settling or hard packing for more than 30 days. The product is added directly to the mill for ease of dispersion and for ease of glaze removal from the ball mill, and it works efficiently in suspensions from 25-80% solids. The product contains no sulfates. It should be used without phosphate dispersants such as SHMP or STPP, which chelate excess ions and deactivate the product. However, by using the material to reduce cellulose ethers and phosphate dispersants, the negative effects of sodium are greatly reduced, allowing for increased adhesion strengths and reduced surface defects.

Call (410) 825-2920 or visit http://www.Acti-Gel.com.

Automatic Spray Gun

Binks

The high-performance RHINO automatic air spray gun is designed for extreme multi-gun finishing applications or fixed gun spray systems in high production ceramic coating and sanitaryware environments. The spray gun was designed to offer a substantial increase in durability and much longer life/wear characteristics than the traditional spray guns currently used in ceramic coating environments. The product is suitable for use as a conventional spray or HVLP spray gun, and provides higher transfer efficiencies along with reduced overspray and bounceback. It is suited for such applications as sanitaryware, sinks, water heaters, storage tanks, washers, dryers and cookware products.

Call (800) 992-4657 or visit http://www.binks.com.

Pigments

Mason Color Works Inc.

Several new pigments have been added to this company's product lineup. Deep Crimson #6006 and Crimson #6003, which the company calls its "hallmark colors," reportedly feature superb quality and consistency for all temperatures up to cone 11. Dark Red #K5988 is a new encapsulated pigment that has a very low yellow value, while Red #K5997 is a true cherry red with high red and low yellow values, and Red #K5987 yields a very high red with a higher yellow. These pigments can withstand high firing temperatures (up to cone 11+) and can be used in engobe, body, glaze and overglaze formulations. The company also offers an extremely bright, strong orange, #6028, which is also encapsulated, stable to cone 11+, and capable in all environments. The company reports that Orange #6208 is very versatile and can be blended with any of the encapsulated reds or let down with an opacifier for softer shades.

Call (330) 385-4400, e-mail gvardy@masoncolor.com or visit http://www.masoncolor.com.

UV Inks

RUCO USA, A Division of Comdec Inc.

The new Ruco 935-UV inks are designed to eliminate the need for a post-cure with heat. The inks cure under ultraviolet (UV) exposure only and do not require the use of costly lehr ovens. According to the company, the inks' dishwasher and chemical resistance and other properties are superior to previous formulations, even without post curing. The inks are free of heavy metals and are Proposition 65 compliant. A range of bright color shades can be achieved by mixing from the complete spectrum using the Ruco 12 Color System.

Call (800) 445-9176, e-mail jmorris@comdecinc.com or visit http://www.rucousa.com.

Non-Toxic Reds and Stoneware Glazes

Spectrum Glazes Inc.

The Ceramic Red-olution glazes are a series of lead-free, non-toxic encapsulated reds that are designed to be as bright as lead-/cadmium-based reds. Available in low-fire (cone 06/04), majolica (cone 06/04), underglaze (cone 06/6), mid-range (cone 4/6) and high-temperature (cone 9/10) formulations, the glazes reportedly offer simple firing, no fussing and no burning out. The company also recently introduced its NOVA cone 4/6 stoneware dipping glazes, available in Clear and Satin Clear formulations. The stoneware glazes can be layered in different combinations to achieve various decorating effects.

Call (800) 970-1970, e-mail sales@spectrumglazes.com or visit http://www.spectrumglazes.com.

REFRACTORIES

Pyrometry Tubes

Jyoti Ceramic Industries Pvt. Ltd.

New high-purity alumina Duralox 997 (99.7% Al2O3) and impervious dense mullite MU140 ceramic pyrometry tubes are designed to provide high performance in a variety of applications. The Duralox 997 tubes are fired at around 1800°C to ensure creep resistance under severe firing conditions, and one-end-closed thermocouple tubes are 100% tested under air pressure to ensure gas tightness. The new range of high-purity alumina and mullite ceramic products includes smaller-diameter one-end-closed thin wall ceramic tubes for sensors and capillaries, ceramic pyrometry and radiant furnace tubes, single and multibore tubular insulators, and solid rods, as well as tubes for high-temperature roller hearth kilns, heat exchangers, combustion analysis, molten metals, liquid glass contacts and protective atmosphere sintering furnaces. Other new products-including ceramic laboratory ware, crucibles, boats and custom engineered parts-are also under development. According to the company, all dimensional tolerances and allowances conform to DIN Standards 40680 Medium Class, and rigid quality control checks at various production levels place the new ceramic tubes and other products on par with international quality standards.

Call (91) 253-2350120, fax (91) 253-2350023 or e-mail jcipl_nsk@sancharnet.in.

Ceramic Paper Products

Pred Materials International, Inc.

New ceramic papers made from zirconia and alumina have been developed for use in making superconducting wires, firing glass and powdered metals, and for carburizing carbide tools. The alumina paper (TAP) consists of aluminum oxide fiber and pulp as a binder, while the alumina-carbon paper (TAPC) consists of alumina, carbon fiber and pulp as a binder. These ceramic papers are light and durable at high temperatures. TAP is used as a separator on ceramic trays for firing crystallized glass and powered metals, and TAPC is used for carburizing powdered metals and carbide tools. Zirconia and zirconia-alumina ceramics paper (ZAF) is made of highly purified zirconia (ZrO2) powder and alumina (Al2O3) fiber and binder. ZAF, which is a custom-made product, is used as a separator in making high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wire.

Call (212) 286-0068, e-mail steve@predmaterials.com or visit http://www.predmaterials.com.

Advanced SiC Kiln Furniture

Saint Gobain Ceramics

Advancer® advanced nitride-bonded silicon carbide kiln furniture is now available in multi-sided plates (full and half) to fit most top-loading electric kilns. Due to the extremely low porosity of the shelves (less than 1%), they are highly resistant to glaze sticking when compared to cordierite or other kiln shelves with typical porosities of 15% or more. Made to stay flat, the shelves reportedly never need to be flipped over, and they will withstand repeated firings to cone 10 without warping-even under heavy loads. They are also thin (5/16 in.) and allow for more stacking space compared to conventional, thicker cordierite kiln shelves. The shelves are less than half the weight of conventional shelves, and their high thermal conductivity and low mass provide quicker firing cycles and reduced energy costs. The multisided shelves are available in 20-, 21- and 26-in. sizes, including a full 26-in. size.

Call (508) 795-5577 or visit http://www.refractories.saint-gobain.com.

Kiln Lining Repair Products

Thermal Ceramics

With today's high energy costs, manufacturers cannot afford to have gaps or voids in their kiln refractory lining that allow valuable heat to escape. This company's new line of fiber-based moldable and pumpable products, sold under the brand name Kaofil, are designed to seal damaged areas in the existing lining construction. The materials are available in standard 2300°F-rated (2000°F recommended operating temperature) and 2600°F-rated (2400°F operating temperature) grades. They reportedly feature a smooth consistency and easy workability, as well as excellent strength and low shrinkage properties. According to the company, the Kaofil Pumpable products are well suited for hot spot and kiln lining repair in kiln cars, tunnel kiln roofs and sidewall refractories, while the Kaofil Moldable standard and HT grades feature good tackiness and can be used in a wide variety of repair or joint filling applications.

Call (706) 796-4200, e-mail tceramics@thermalceramics.com or visit http://www.thermalceramics.com.

FIRING/DRYING

Bottom-Loading Furnaces

Carbolite Inc.

This company has reintroduced its Bottom Loading High Temperature 1700 and 1800°C furnaces with several new design features. Every standard 1700°C and 1800°C furnace now features the latest-generation Eurotherm 3000 Series controller, which offers 16-segment programmable control and separate independent over-temperature protection control. The furnaces are also now available with multiple options, including a gas tight muffle for processing under inert atmospheres, a protective ceramic liner to prevent aggressive processes from causing damage to heating elements and/or insulation materials, a safety hearth cage to prevent accidental contact with a hot load, and a radiation shuttle to reduce heat losses and save energy. An electrically actuated hearth mechanism on all furnaces ensures safe and smooth loading and unloading of any load. According to the company, the positioning of the heating elements on each side of the hexagon-shaped chambers provides excellent temperature uniformity, and fan cooling protects the outer case and critical components of each furnace.

Call (920) 262-0240 or e-mail rob@carbolite-usa.com.

High-Temperature Industrial Batch Furnaces

CM Furnaces

The 2300 Series floor-mount box furnace features a maximum continuous operating temperature of 1300°C (2372°F) and is ruggedly constructed for production use. Hot surfaces are shielded with removable panels for reasonable skin temperatures while allowing quick access for maintenance purposes. Available in front or bottom loading configurations, the furnace uses lightweight alumina fiber insulation and Kanthal A1 or APM ribbon heating elements. The standard control system includes a microprocessor-based programmable controller, independent over-temperature control, transformers as required and type "R" thermocouples. The entire package is supplied complete and ready for immediate installation. Metallic retorts are available in the front-loading design for atmosphere applications to 1150°C (2100°F).

Call (973) 338-6500, e-mail info@cmfurnaces.com or visit http://www.cmfurnaces.com.

Energy-Saving Furnaces

Deltech Inc.

New furnaces from this company operate on 120V power and can be plugged directly into a wall outlet. The square bottom loader pictured here features sustained 1700°C operation, a 4 x 4 x 6-in.-high workspace and an electric lift. The control system is housed in a NEMA One cabinet with a hinged door for ease of access to all components. The sturdy furnace exterior panels reportedly stay cool without requiring a fan. The first units of this model were designed and built for a manufacturer of dental ceramics. According to Deltech, low power consumption, uniform heating and low pricing make these furnaces attractive for a variety of materials applications.

Call (303) 433-5939, e-mail sales@deltechfurnaces.com or visit http://www.deltechfurnaces.com.

Fast Firing Brick Kiln

EISENMANN Corp.

A new fast firing system is designed to offer brick manufacturers both high production rates and a favorable return on investment. Faster firing cycles reportedly equate to a smaller kiln and dryer and an overall smaller building footprint, which, in turn, reduces the capital cost for the system. Additionally, the system offers optimal heat exchange for the ware, which results in lower fuel consumption, improved temperature uniformity, and greater control of size and other physical properties. An open ware-loading configuration greatly enhances the ease and speed of drying due to greater recirculation of hot gases around each brick. And since each layer is only two-brick high, the firing cycle can be achieved with less breakage, no kiln marking and minimal defective product. Another reported benefit is that the fast cycles minimize the lead time for sales and provide faster product quality feedback. It has also been proven in lab tests that faster firing cycles reduce fluoride emissions. In a commercial-scale plant, this can eliminate the costly addition of a scrubber.

Call (815) 455-4100 or e-mail Russell.woodside@eisenmann.com.

Heating Modules

I Squared R Element Co., Inc.

Moly-D heating modules consist of custom-made elements mounted to vacuum-formed ceramic fiber shapes. Available in full cylinder or multi-shank half shells, the elements are capable of operating up to 1600°C in an air atmosphere. They are designed to provide high power for applications where compactness, rapid heating and accurate temperature are required. The company also offers free engineering assistance for the application, element selection, and the electrical specifications of the power supply.

Call (716) 542-5511, e-mail sales@isquaredelement.com or visit http://www.isquaredelement.com.

Next-Generation SiC Elements

Kanthal Globar

The new Globar(r) SD silicon carbide (SiC) heating elements, which are specifically designed to replace Kanthal's Hot Rod, Globar LL and Silit ED ranges of SiC rod elements, reportedly combine all the best features of these different elements into a single, versatile heating system. According to the company, the manufacturing process for the new elements has been optimized, and in-process quality control ensures repeatable and reliable performance. For end users, improved element reliability equates to less downtime and improved process yield. The new elements have a relatively large grain size and are less porous than Hot Rod, Globar LL and Silit ED. These features reduce the surface area that is exposed to the furnace atmosphere, which limits the rate of resistance increase with time and extends the life of the elements. Electrical characteristics have also been improved.

Call (716) 286-7600 or (877) GLOBAR9, or visit http://www.kanthal.com.

Front-Loading Electric Kilns

L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.

The new Easy-Load line of front-loading electric kilns is designed to be easy to load, use and maintain. The kilns include L&L's hard ceramic element holders, which protect the firebrick and heating elements; ceramic protection tubes for thermocouples; three-zone automatic control with four Easy-Fire ceramic programs; a refractory coating on the firebrick; evenly spaced elements on the sides, back and door; a sturdy, welded 3/16-in.-thick steel case; multi-layered insulation; arched roof construction; a door shut-off switch; and many other features. Like other L&L kilns, the new line also features a separate, easy-to-remove control panel. The kilns are available in seven sizes, from 4.5 to 36 cubic feet, and are designed to be easy to rebuild with preformed firebrick sections, including the arch.

Call (610) 485-1789 or e-mail steve@hotkilns.com.

1900°C Heating Element Technology

Micropyretics Heaters International, Inc.

The new MP1900 molybdenum disilicide heating elements are designed to achieve a maximum working temperature of 1900°C in an oxidizing atmosphere. The company also provides replacement heating elements that are made to users' exact specifications and are designed to offer a long service life. Other high-temperature products supplied by the company include Ultracoil(tm), UPESP(tm), and Microheater(tm) elements and 1800°C furnaces, as well as Thermoplates(tm), the Robust Radiator(tm) and Airtorch(tm) furnaces, all of which can be customized to fit specific requirements.

Call (513) 772-0404, e-mail sales@mhi-inc.com or visit http://www.mhi-inc.com.

Variable Injector Burner

North American Mfg. Co. Ltd.

The 4408 VHPI (Variable Heat Pattern Injector, patent pending) was developed to overcome the limitations of current injector burners for roof-fired tunnel kilns. While conventional injector burners release the fuel's energy according to the shape of their fixed flame envelope, the new injector is designed to dynamically move the energy release location in the vertical plane between the top of the load and the deck. The VHPI can be manually fixed at any point between short and long flames, or automatically controlled to adapt the heat release zone to the demands of the product load. Benefits of the new injector reportedly include improved temperature uniformity across the hack, reduced firing time, increased production via push rate increase, and improved fuel efficiency due to the reduced push duration.

Call (800) 626-3477 or visit http://www.namfg.com.

Temperature and Roller Monitoring Systems

Sacmi Forni

This Sacmi Group company has introduced two new systems to control temperature and roller damage in roller kilns. IRIDE (InfraRed Intelligent Device) consists of an optical pyrometric scanner, which acquires the surface temperature of ceramic pieces as they move through the kiln, along with dedicated software on the kiln's computer that processes the data. The acquired information is used to obtain a precise reference temperature for zone-relevant control and adjustment devices. The patented SPINMARK roller monitoring system immediately informs personnel of any roller breakages when special components (installed inside a non-magnetic metal tube located under the free-spinning end of the rollers) detect the absence of roller rotation. SPINMARK can be applied along the full length of the kiln or in critical zones only, providing an overview of the situation that can be viewed from both the main control panel and smaller panels located along the kiln.

Visit http://www.sacmi.com.

INSTRUMENTATION

High-Resolution Laser Dilatometer

Linseis, Inc.

The new Laser Dilatometer Pico - Series 0.3 nm reportedly offers resolutions up to a factor of 33.33 higher than the resolutions provided

by conventional push-rod dilatometers. This is beneficial in applications where extremely small expansions take place that are difficult

to measure with conventional push-rod instruments. According to the company, the new dilatometer is based on the interference measurement technique and uses modern computer calibrations, which enables it to provide much higher accuracies-around 0.25% up to 30 nm, compared to the typical 1% up to 100 nm achieved with conventional push-rod dilatometers. Additionally, unlike conventional systems that require infinite adjustments and/or calibration with a reference sample to ensure repeatable analyses, the laser dilatometer relies on an absolute measurement principle. As a result, the accuracy and repeatability of the measurements are not affected by external test conditions.

Call (609) 799-6282, e-mail info@linseis.com or visit http://www.linseis.com.

Particle Size Analyzer

Micromeritics Instrument Corp.

The new generation SediGraph III 5120 particle size analyzer combines the proven SediGraph analytical technique with advanced instrumentation features to provide superior repeatability, accuracy and reproducibility in the size range of 300 mm to 0.1mm. In addition, complete particle accountability ensures that all of the introduced sample is accounted for. The instrument measures mass by X-ray absorption and particle size by sedimentation-no modeling is required. According to the company, the new instrument offers the same dependable results as its predecessor, but with greater ease of use and reporting power. The computer-controlled mixing chamber temperature improves repeatability and reproducibility, and a versatile and interactive reporting system provides a range of custom data presentation options and now includes grain size in Phi units and particle settling velocity. Statistical process control (SPC) reporting and regression analyses are also available. According to the company, SediGraph II 5100 files can be used by the SediGraph III, providing a seamless transition to the new system.

Call (770) 662-3633, fax (770) 662-3696 or visit http://www.micromeritics.com/prod-ucts/sedigraph_overview.aspx.

Particle Size Distribution Analyzer

Particle Sizing Systems

The AccuSizer 780 uses a technique called Single Particle Optical Sizing (SPOS) to measure high-resolution/ high-sensitivity particle size distributions in a range of applications. The SPOS technique makes use of light obscuration to count and size particles one at a time, thereby providing a high level of detail about the distribution being analyzed. When coupled with an appropriate fluidics system (such as the AccuSizer's proprietary Autodilution method), SPOS can accurately characterize highly concentrated dispersions for mean diameter, range and counts. It can also provide a quantitative measure of oversized or aggregated particles even when present at parts per million (ppm) concentrations. In abrasive analysis applications, the technique can be used to evaluate filters that remove abrasive particles that will scratch a surface, and it can also monitor shifts in particle size distribution due to usage and allow a process engineer to determine whether an abrasive has to be changed out.

Call (727) 846-0866, e-mail pohagan@pssnicomp.com or visit http://www.pssnicomp.com.

Water Sorption Analyzer

Quantachrome Instruments

The Hydrosorb-HT water sorption analyzer features an analysis temperature range of 12 to 85°C. Both the HT (high temperature) and standard model (12 to 47°C range) have been equipped with a new two-speed stirred thermostatted bath for better temperature stability, and an indicating thermal sensor for improved operator feedback. The Hydrosorb series of water sorption analyzers reportedly brings a historically slow analysis (days, even weeks) up to speed (overnight, maybe just a few hours) through its combination of intelligent operating algorithms and accurate vapor pressure measurement. Its rugged design has done away with the need for microbalances, so the Hydrosorb is equally at home in industrial labs and academia.

Visit http://www.quantachrome.com/Hydrosorb.com.

Editor's note: "New Product Highlights" represents information submitted by Ceramic Industry advertisers. Additional new product information can be found online at www.ceramicindustry.com, and in print issues of Ceramic Industry.

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