Ceramic Industry

NanoMaterials Innovation Center Installs Microwave Furnace

August 26, 2010

The Western Hemisphere’s first high-temperature (1500°C) continuous production microwave furnace is now functioning at New York’s NanoMaterials Innovation Center (NMIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Alfred Technology Resources, Inc. (ATRI) near the campus of Alfred University.

The SPHERIC/SYNO-THERM system was purchased from Spheric Technologies, Inc. “This installation is providing valuable exposure for our microwave furnace technology,” said Joseph Hines, Spheric Technologies’ chairman and CEO. “The NanoMaterials Innovation Center, a magnet for commercial R&D, is the ultimate showcase for our cost-cutting microwave processing system. We are delighted to be associated with an institution that is so highly regarded by academia and industry.”

In Asia, continuous microwave furnaces are used in the chemical synthesis of phosphors for electronics, lighting materials and more, as well as and for the sintering of electronic components and other critical ceramic items. Penn State University and Japan’s National Institute for Fusion Science report that microwave furnaces typically use up to 80% less energy than conventional furnaces, producing stronger, finer grained parts with less deformation and cracking in as little as one-tenth the time. Spheric Technologies’ continuous and batch microwave furnaces can be used for the sintering of certain powder metal and ceramic materials that require high-temperature processing.

Several U.S. companies are using the Alfred furnace for proprietary microwave research. Spheric Technologies is performing contract research on the production of ceramic materials for use in the natural resources development industry. Another company plans to gauge the system’s use in producing cement, evaluating energy, time and production cost advantages. In each case, non-disclosure agreements are put in place.

For additional details, visit www.spherictech.com.