March 2009, Issue 17
In This Issue










Quotes and Quips
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
– Steve Jobs

Contact Us
You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 680, or by contacting us online.



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Metals and Money

To facilitate your forecasting and planning, Air Products’ economists have compiled the following graphs, which illustrate three-year trends for utility and metals pricing as well as industrial production. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the movement of these key industry indices in future issues of this newsletter.

Industrial Production Indexes Industrial Production Indexes
Source: US Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors
Click here to view the graph.


Utility Pricing MetricsUtility Pricing Metrics
Source: Inside F.E.R.C., Bureau of Labor Statistics
Click here to view the graph.


Steel PricesSteel Prices
Source: Market Pricing
Click here to view the graph.


Key Metals Prices Key Metals Prices
Source: London Metals Exchange
Click here to view the graph.


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Metal Tech: Flame or No Flame

“Flameless” Oxy-Fuel Combustion for Metals Heating and Melting
Combustion and its application for metal heating and melting have been around for a long time, with new innovations relatively few and far between. While oxy-fuel technology to replace air-fuel combustion helped revolutionize the industry, the newest advancement is “flameless” combustion.

Flameless combustion does not mean the absence of a flame, just the absence of a flame visible to the human eye. Also known as volume, spacious, or mild combustion, flameless combustion in many ways has some unique characteristics that can deliver significant savings. Achieved by precombustion dilution, flameless combustion is effective when the furnace temperature exceeds the auto-ignition temperature of the fuel due to the delayed onset of the combustion reaction.

Air Products’ new flameless combustion burner requires minimal or no modifications to the existing combustion flow control systems. Unlike other flameless burners, ours is designed for a wide turn-down with seamless and continuous mode transition, helping ensure safe burner operation, even in cold furnaces. While oxy-fuel combustion can bring up to 50% fuel savings compared to cold air-fired operations, our flameless combustion burner can deliver up to 10% fuel savings and 10% oxygen savings over and above the benefits achieved by a conventional oxy-fuel burner.

To learn more about how your operation can benefit from flameless combustion read the full article or contact us to speak to a technical representative.

> Read the article:
“Flameless” Oxy-Fuel Combustion for Metals Heating and Melting

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Nitrogen - An Industry Workhorse

Making up more than three-quarters of the earth’s atmosphere, nitrogen is inert, noncorrosive and nonflammable, making it ideal for a wide variety of industrial applications that benefit from using it in either its gaseous or liquid form. Commercial nitrogen can be produced using a variety of air separation processes and is used in numerous industries—everything from aerospace and metals production and processing, to pharmaceuticals, and wine and beverages. In metal applications, nitrogen provides a broad range of benefits such as reducing oxidation, minimizing surface defects, and much more. For more information on nitrogen’s uses and the benefits you can achieve by using it in metals applications, read the full article or contact us.

Read the article:
Nitrogen: An Industry Workhorse

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Ask the Expert

Rob Hostinak

Rob Hostinak
Industry Engineer


Q: How does hydrogen compare to traditional hydrocarbon fuels for my HVOF thermal spray operation?

A: More juice! With its higher thermal conductivity, hydrogen achieves the best heat transfer, even with an overall lower flame temperature than traditional hydrocarbons. In addition, unique benefits are realized with hydrogen, including lower oxide production, highest particle velocity and much more. To learn how hydrogen fuel can benefit your HVOF thermal spray operation, read Rob’s full answer.

> Read Rob's full answer.

> View past "Ask the Expert" questions, answers and videos.

> Have a question for us? Contact us online.

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Where to Find Us

Our representatives hope to see you at these events to discuss your metals processing needs.

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Meet This Quarter's Metal Head - Rana Ghosh

Rana Ghosh

The Whole Picture
As the global R&D manager for Air Products’ metals processing group, Rana Ghosh brings a unique perspective to solving customers’ problems. “My master's and Ph.D. are both in machining and manufacturing,” he explains, continuing, “and while I draw on extensive experience in heat treating and metals processing, I always look at challenges from a different viewpoint.” This ability to see the problem more broadly provides a unique advantage, enabling Air Products to find not just any solution, but a solution that will be the most advantageous both upstream and downstream in your value chain.

Dr. Ghosh believes one of the most important aspects of finding this solution is through more engagement and dialogue with the customer so that we can better understand the customer’s problem and where we can help. His overall responsibilities at the company include managing three atmosphere technology platforms, including heat treating, surface enhancement, and electronic packaging and technology.

Rana relates how he was recently at an industry conference where a new technology was being described. He realized that while it was a possible solution, they had not considered how it would impact the process prior to and after the heat treating process—simply because they weren’t talking to each other.

“That is my role at Air Products,” he states, “looking at the whole picture to find how we can provide the best overall solution for our metals processing customers.”

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Useful Web Links

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Contact Us

You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567, code 680, or by contacting us online.

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