August 2011, Issue 20
In This Issue

Metals and Money

Secondary Aluminum Processing—Air Products’ Oxy-fuel Solutions Deliver Result

Problem Solving: From Blackish Oxide to Chrome Green

CryoEase® Microbulk Solutions for Hydrogen and Helium Are Cost-Effective Alternatives to Cylinder Gas Supply

What's New

Ask the Expert

Meet This Issue's Metal Head

Where to Find Us

Useful Web Links

Contact Us

Archives


Quotes and Quips
Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation.
– Jack Nicklaus

Contact Us
You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 874, or by contacting us online.


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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 indexes Industrial Production Indexes
Source: US Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors
Click here to view the graph.
utility pricing metrics Utility Pricing Metrics
Source: Inside F.E.R.C., Bureau of Labor Statistics
Click here to view the graph.
steel prices Steel 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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secondary aluminum processing—Air Products’ Oxy-fuel Solutions Deliver Results

With more than 100 aluminum furnaces using Air Products’ oxygen enrichment technology, Air Products clearly has proven experience in the industry. Our team of specialists develops state-of-the-art solutions to help meet our customers’ challenges of increasing production rates, improving metal recovery and fuel efficiency, and reducing flux usage and baghouse temperatures.

While oxygen is an essential element to increasing the rate of production, Air Products’ latest advance is specifically designed to help you increase recovery rates as well. Recently put to the test by Imperial Aluminum, Air Products’ technology delivered the technical solution they were looking for. Our team of aluminum industry specialists worked with Imperial’s operations staff to maximize the capabilities of their furnace. The Air Products oxy-fuel burner delivered, yielding increases in metal recovery, production rates, and melting efficiency, as well as lower noise levels at the furnace.

> Read the full article to learn more about the benefits Imperial Aluminum achieved with our oxy-fuel systems. (PDF, 103 KB)
> Contact us for more information about how Air Products’ oxy-fuel technologies can deliver proven results to your operation.

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Problem Solving: From Blackish Oxide to Chrome Green

A world leader in the manufacture of ceramic to metal assemblies wasn’t seeing green—they were seeing black. In part of their glass to metal seal operation, our customer intentionally oxidizes the 316 stainless steel parts, causing them to form the proper oxide which is characterized by its green color. However, instead of being the familiar “chrome green,” the parts coming out of their furnace were covered in a blackish oxide.

Their plant engineer thought that moisture might be causing the problem and therefore had been changing the furnace’s dew point by adjusting the setting on the bubbler. When that wasn’t successful, they knew more expertise was needed and contacted Air Products.

From the time Air Products was contacted with this particular issue to the time they had the answer was less than 24 hours.

> Read the full story to learn more about the problem solving process and the cause of the issue. (PDF, 139 KB)
> Contact us to request a process optimization audit or to speak to an Air Products applications engineer about an issue you need help resolving.

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CryoEase® Microbulk Solutions for Hydrogen and Helium Are Cost-Effective Alternatives to Cylinder Gas Supply

Air Products’ CryoEase microbulk solutions option for your hydrogen and helium needs offers the same benefits, same enhancement, and same great supply mode as Air Products has been providing for nitrogen, argon, and oxygen. We developed this supply option for customers looking for a cost-effective, reliable alternative to cylinders.

We designed a storage system for hydrogen and helium that enables the module to be installed and filled on-site. This novel storage system replaces traditional cylinder change-outs and offers numerous benefits, including maximizing safety and improving quality control. In addition, greater efficiencies can be achieved since cylinder storage space is no longer needed and cylinders no longer need to be changed out—yielding reduced costs.

> Contact us to see if our CryoEase microbulk solutions are right for you.
> Check out our data sheet to learn more about Air Products’ microbulk solutions for hydrogen and helium. (PDF, 176 KB)
> Visit our website to learn about our complete line of CryoEase microbulk solutions, a cost-effective alternative to cylinder supply.

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What's New

A new look for www.airproducts.com!
As you may have noticed, our website has undergone a complete overhaul both in appearance and functionality. We hope you find our new site easier to navigate and full of useful information. Starting from a top level industry, like Metals, you can drill down through sub-segments like Iron and Steel Production, Metals Fabrication, Metals Processing, or Non-Ferrous Production to your specific applications. At that point, you’ll find a list of related offerings designed to help you improve your operations. You can obtain a variety of additional information throughout our entire site, including interactive conversion tools and MSDSs. If you are having trouble finding what you’re looking for, please contact us.

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Ask the Expert

Don Bowe

Don Bowe
Sr. Applications Engineer


Q:What are some considerations to properly select a vacuum furnace surge tank?

A:The shift towards faster quenching through higher pressure backfills has made surge tank selection—size and pressure rating—more critical.

First, you need to determine the required tank operating pressure that will provide the necessary furnace backfill pressure and time to backfill. There are tradeoffs between the tank size, its pressure rating, the resulting stored volume of gas and the cost of the tank. Plus, the gas supply system also must be able to provide adequate pressure to refill the tank.

There are other factors to consider for your tank selection. To find out more information that can help you determine the required pressure and tank size to properly backfill your furnace—including examples—read Don’s full answer.

> read Don’s complete answer
> view past "Ask the Expert" questions, answers and videos
> Have a question for us? Contact us online or call 800-654-4567 and mention code 874.

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Meet This Issue’s Metal Head: Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon

To some, having customers in different industries might be a bit overwhelming, but for Josh Gordon, it is just that challenge that he finds so exciting. “I’ve found that working in multiple industries often enables me to bring fresh ideas as we work to solve customers’ operational issues,” Gordon states. As a relative newcomer in a group of individuals who each have decades of experience, Gordon is able to bring new ideas and bounce them off his experienced colleagues. “We have found that often the best answer is a combination of the tried and true, blended with a new concept. We are always working to deliver the best solution for our customers.” Going out to customers’ locations, seeing the actual process, and applying Air Products’ technology to help solve challenges are what Gordon enjoys most, continuing, “I see my job as delivering the difference to our customers and enabling them to get the maximum benefit from the gas they use.”

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Where to Find Us

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

  • Heat Treat 2011
    Booth 1823
    October 31–November 2, 2011
    Cincinnati, Ohio

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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 874, or by contacting us online.

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View archived issues of Gas-Metal Interactions newsletter.

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