April 2010, Issue 19
In This Issue

Metals and Money

Cold Plasma Activated Gas Injection for Atmosphere Carburizing

Centralized Logistics Helps Ensure Reliable Delivery

Choosing the Right Technologies for Aluminum Melting in Reverb Furnaces

What's New

Ask the Expert

Meet This Issue's Metal Head

Where to Find Us

Useful Web Links

Contact Us

Printer-friendly PDF


Quotes and Quips
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
– Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe

Contact Us
You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 779, or by contacting us online.




To read the full articles, you will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Get Adobe Reader

Metals and Money

For accurate forecasting and planning, it helps to understand the movement of key industry indices. Air Products' economists have compiled the following graphs for you to illustrate three-year trends for utility and metals pricing as well as industrial production. We’ll continue to keep you updated in future issues.

Industrial Production IndexesIndustrial 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.


top


Cold Plasma Activated Gas Injection for Atmosphere Carburizing

Nitrogen-hydrocarbon gas atmospheres can offer a cost and part quality alternative to the conventional endothermic atmosphere and vacuum processes. Oxygen-free, nitrogen-hydrocarbon heat treating atmospheres have been an object of industrial interest for over a quarter century for a combination of reasons, including:

  • significantly reduced toxicity, explosivity and environmental
    impact.
  • flexibility in selecting flow rates and executing on-demand
    start-ups and shutdowns.
  • low capital cost of the atmosphere supply system.
  • elimination of process control and maintenance issues
    associated with endo- and exo-generators.
  • improvements in product quality due to elimination of
    intergranular oxidation defects formed under carbon monoxide
    atmospheres in steels containing reactive alloying additions.

Air Products has recently developed low percentage methane and nitrogen mixtures for use in carburizing which are activated during furnace injection by a novel, nonthermal electric discharge (cold plasma) method. This new method offers quality and cost benefits in a range of treatments by eliminating one of the main barriers—poor dissociation kinetics—which have limited the broader use of nitrogen-hydrocarbon atmospheres. It also provides an effective option to vacuum furnace applications that use acetylene, propylene, propane, or cyclohexane, which are substantially more expensive. To learn more, contact us or read the full article.

Article first presented at ASM Heat Treating Society’s 25th Conference and Exposition. Reprinted with permission of ASM International. All rights reserved.

> read the full article

Top


Centralized Logistics Helps Ensure Reliable Delivery

Air Products' dedicated team of logistics professionals coordinates nearly 300,000 gas deliveries per year with a reliability index of 99.96 percent. As Manager of North American Gases Logistics, Larry Camilli is responsible for making sure that Air Products’ industrial and medical gas customers in North America have a steady supply of product, 24/7. That entails order entering, processing, customer interactions and fulfillment—over and over and over again.

“We engage our customers to understand their usage patterns, from day to day and shift to shift,” says Camilli. “And with our forecasting model, we take it all into account. We look at everything holistically.”

You can learn more about our logistics center and how we forecast customer supply and delivery by reading the full article. Check out our brochure to find out how our automated TELALERT® telemetry systems can help you manage your industrial or medical gas supply.

> read the full article

> read our TELALERT system brochure

Top


Choosing the Right Technologies for Aluminum Melting in Reverb Furnaces

Oxygen has been used for many years to melt metals such as iron and copper, but only more recently for aluminum. Advances in burner design, flow control technology and operating experience have led to improved performance with faster melt times and lower costs in both reverb and rotary furnaces. Since 1989, Air Products has converted over 80 air-fuel fired aluminum reverb and rotary furnaces to oxy-fuel and air-oxy-fuel. With many critical variables, choosing the right fuel and burner technology to achieve the best results in your reverb furnace can be a challenge.

For side-well furnaces, the best technology is often air-oxy-fuel, as it can match the heat input to the operation, while for direct charge furnaces, oxy-fuel with the appropriate burners can result in significant yield improvements. Additional techniques such as flame movement and flameless combustion may also be appropriate for your operation.

Learn more about the advantages of oxygen in combustion for reverb furnaces and the various technologies that are available to lower your total costs, achieve higher production rates and better aluminum yields, and increase the flexibility of your operation during downturns, as well as ways to lower fuel usage and to reduce flue gas volumes.

> read the full article

Top


What's New

Learn how you can lower costs and improve productivity
Are you looking to reduce cost, improve product quality, and increase productivity through proper atmosphere selection and flow optimization in your heat treating operation? Air Products’ engineer Tom Philips can help as he discusses atmosphere functions, types, selection considerations, and troubleshooting techniques for your operations and materials in his presentation, "Furnace Atmospheres for Metals Processing Applications." You may have seen Tom’s presentation in our complimentary webinar last spring. You can view his presentation (about 35 minutes) and the questions and answers from the webinar, online at any time.

Contact us if you’d like to speak to an applications engineer about how we can help you determine the proper atmosphere and flow optimization for your operation.

> view Tom's presentation and Q & A's

Top


Ask the Expert

Jin Cao - expert

Jin Cao
Principal Development Engineer


Q: How can I optimize melting of contaminated metal scrap?

A: Metal scrap contaminated with combustibles like oil, paint or plastic presents many challenges for conventional melting methods. Read Jin’s full answer to learn how to overcome these hurdles and potentially even reduce your energy costs by capturing the combustibles’ energy.

> read Jin’s complete answer ...

> view past "Ask the Expert" questions, answers and videos

> Have a question for us? Contact us online.

Top


Meet This Issue's Metal Head - John Kaiser

John Kaiser

First Line of Defense
With more than three decades of experience at Air Products, John Kaiser has been on the front lines of the evolution of the metals processing industry. “Back then, the industry was just realizing the benefits of gas atmospheres,” Kaiser relates, “Today most metals processing applications are utilizing gas atmospheres and we are no longer just selling gas molecules. We are helping our customers be more efficient and more cost-effective, as well as bringing them new technologies.”

Kaiser, a senior principal development engineer at Air Products, is the technical resource for metal processing applications in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee. As such, customers call on him as the first line of defense when they encounter a problem or are looking to do something new. “We work to solve whatever challenges our customers have,” states Kaiser, continuing, “sometimes we can work through it over the phone; other times we go in person to check out the application, identify the issue, and determine the best way to resolve it.” And with more than 30 years of experience, customers can count on John and the team at Air Products to do just that.

Top


Where to Find Us

Our representatives will be at the following events. We hope to see you there to discuss your metals production and processing needs.

Top


Useful Web Links

Top


Contact Us

You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567, code 779, or by contacting us online.

Top




© Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. 2010 330-10-006.2-US
7201 Hamilton Boulevard  •  Allentown, PA 18195-1501