Fall 2007, Issue 13
In This Issue












Quotes and Quips

“A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Contact Us
You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 547, or sending us an e-mail.


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Metals and Money

At Air Products, our goal is to provide you with information and technology to enable you to do your job better. One way is through the graphs below, which have been compiled by Air Products' economists to illustrate three-year trends for industrial production, utility and metal pricing. We will update this information for you every quarter.

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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We Understand Steel

Air Products' Oxy-Fuel Technology Yields Significant Savings for Ladle Preheaters

A firm believer in improving the performance and efficiency of his operation, Joe Malchar, Manager of Ladle Metallurgy and Refractories at Gerdau Ameristeel's Midlothian, Texas mini-mill, was intrigued by Air Products' oxy-fuel technology to preheat his ladles. With the increase in natural gas pricing and the availability of oxygen on-site, Malchar turned to Air Products' novel oxy-fuel technology, eventually converting five preheaters from forced air to Air Products' oxy-fuel burners.

Installation and commissioning of the oxy-fuel technology was accomplished in under 24 hours with Malchar commenting, "Air Products understands steel—they were well informed on our application, ensuring that everything went smoothly."

The mill has been pleased with the ease of operation, excellent reliability and safety of the oxy-fuel burners, as well as the 60% saving in natural gas consumption that has been realized with Air Products' oxy-fuel technology. For more information on how Air Products' steel know-how and novel oxy-fuel technology can positively impact your operation, call us at 800-654-4567, code 547.

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Air Products' Analytical Capabilities: Ready When You Need Them

When you need help with troubleshooting and problem solving, did you know that the experienced technical staff at Air Products is ready to assist you? To help internal R&D as well as Air Products' customers, our Global Analytical Science (GAS) department has built comprehensive analytical capabilities, including more than 40 scientists and $16+ million of capital equipment. Together, they can provide rapid, accurate and thorough solutions to characterization problems.

GAS offers a full range of analytical capabilities for chemical characterization, including product composition, concentration quantification, and impurity and contaminant identification; sorption capabilities; materials engineering expertise; and state-of-the-art instrumentation for measuring the chemical and physical properties of surfaces. Each technique has its unique value in terms of sensitivity, resolution, sample specifications and speed, yet many of them are complementary to each other. The role of Air Products' analytical scientists is to understand your application and analytical problem and use the right technique or combination of techniques to solve your challenge.

> Learn more about how Air Products' GAS Analytical Services can help you solve your challenge.

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Hotter and Cleaner

Aluminum RSI Producer Realizes Numerous Benefits with Air Products' Oxy-Fuel Burners

Twelve years ago, Greenway Industries recognized a need for a rotary furnace operation in Ontario, Canada and decided to use cutting-edge technology in the belief that it would translate into better yields and happier customers. As part of this approach, Greenway turned to Air Products for its proprietary oxy-fuel burners. "We are now on our third rotary furnace using Air Products' oxy-fuel technology," states Rob Rakovsky, Vice President at Greenway Industries, continuing, "and have a good working relationship with Air Products, both from a technical and sales standpoint."

Greenway Industries makes aluminum remelt secondary ingot (RSI) in a multitude of grades, which is processed in two rotary furnaces that have oxy-fuel burners mounted on the door. When the door is closed, a controlled furnace atmosphere is created. Greenway's Rakovsky summarizes the technology and the furnace atmosphere saying, "Air Products' oxy-fuel system burns hotter, burns cleaner and with less emissions." And when Greenway transitions to a new 100,000-square-foot facility with full indoor storage capacity in 2008, Air Products' technology and expertise will be right there with them.

"Our goal is to deliver results," explains Frank Romano, Lead Engineer at Air Products, continuing, "We put our experience to work for our customers, whether it's higher production rates, greater yields, improved emissions or troubleshooting a problem. Our dedicated team of aluminum specialists and local account support will work with you to meet your needs." To learn how Air Products' state-of-the-art oxy-fuel technology can help you increase your production and lower your costs, call 800-654-4567, code 547.

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What's New

10,000 and Counting

Air Products recently installed its 10,000th customer installation of the company's innovative CryoEase® Microbulk Solutions for small-volume industrial gas users. The novel gas supply and services option has had a positive impact in numerous markets, including metals processing, because it virtually eliminates cylinder handling, reduces product deliveries and is particularly cost-effective when compared to traditional cylinder gas options.

Number 10,000 went in to meet argon needs for vacuum furnaces at the Georgia site of a strategic global customer with locations worldwide.

Microbulk gas delivery supply is available for argon, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. This global favorite has been available since before 1990 in Europe and since 2005 in the U.S.

> To learn more about how your operation can benefit with microbulk solutions visit www.airproducts.com/microbulk.

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Ask the Expert

Russell Hewertson

Russell Hewertson
Manager of Combustion Technology


Q: Why do people use oxygen for combustion when air is free?

A: The simplified answer is because 80% of air (the nitrogen) doesn't help your process and, in fact, can hurt it. Since nitrogen doesn't burn, it can negatively impact your operation—whereas, combustible oxygen provides a host of benefits. You can read Russ's full answer or listen to a video where he explains more details at www.airproducts.com/combustion1.

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

> Have a question for us? Send it to gigmrktg@airproducts.com.

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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
Jiyun Xu

Jiyun Xu

Jiyun Xu likes when problems come her way. "I enjoy solving different challenges from a wide variety of sources," she states. Dr. Xu, an expert in surface analysis, is part of Air Products' Global Analytical Services (GAS) department. This unique organization not only supports Air Products' in-house R&D and analytical needs, it also provides analytical support to Air Products' customers. It is this variety that Dr. Xu likes the most, noting "I enjoy communicating with our customers to understand their problem and working with them to find a solution."

Dr. Xu, who holds a bachelor's degree from Beijing University, a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Penn State, and has finished post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, specializes in scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which is able to produce surface images with nanometer resolution, liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS ), and TOF-SIMS. TOF-SIMS, or time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, can obtain chemical information from the topmost surface of a material with 0.1% to part-per-million sensitivity.

Jiyun lives with her husband in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. When not solving another surface analysis challenge, she can be found enjoying Toastmasters or cheering on the Nittany Lions football team of Penn State.

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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 547, or by sending an e-mail to gigmrktg@airproducts.com.

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© Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. 2007 330-07-086.2-US

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