Summer 2004, Issue 1              

"If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the
man who has so much as
to be out of danger?"

– Thomas Henry Huxley


Contact Us

You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 182, or sending us an e-mail.

Introducing Air Products' quarterly E-Mail newsletter. Watch your inbox for upcoming issues to learn more about best practices and useful tips for your metals treating operation.

Forecasting and planning aren't easy, but it helps to have historical information on key indices. The following graphs compiled by Air Products economists show 3-year trends for utility and steel pricing as well as industrial production. Look for updates each quarter.

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

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

Steel Prices
Source: Global Insight
Click here to view larger version.

Key Metals Prices
Source: London Metals Exchange
Click here to view larger version.

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The flammability limits of gas constituents commonly used in heat treating atmospheres are fairly well known. However, much of the available data only applies to ambient temperature and one atmosphere of pressure. The effect of temperature on the upper and lower flammability limits is much less understood.

A technical paper entitled "Temperature Influence on the Flammability Limits of Heat Treating Atmospheres" can help you learn more about the temperature factor and its impact on safe furnace practices. Written by Air Products engineers John Dwyer, Jr., James G. Hansel, and Tom Philips, the paper also describes a method for determining the upper and lower flammability limits using CAFT Theory.

Temperature Influence on the Flammability Limits of Heat Treating Atmospheres technical paper (PDF, 291K)

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Tom Philips
Principal Metallurgical Engineer

Q: How can I prevent copper filler metal from spreading away from the brazed joints in my steel parts?
A: In furnace brazing, the tendency for melted copper filler to flash and spread is generally caused by one of four factors . . . Click here to view the rest of Tom's answer.

Introduction to Furnace Brazing—Technology Guide

View the "Ask the Experts" archive.

Send us your questions. Each quarter, we'll select the most technically challenging question to win a $100 gift certificate.

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In the metals treating industry, your profitability and competitiveness depend on process improvements that can increase your efficiency and lower your overall costs. To do that, you need a complete understanding of the process variables that affect your metals treating operation. But how can you monitor, record, evaluate, and troubleshoot dozens of different variables, then turn raw data into usable information?

By using Air Products' PURIFIRE® process management system to track and organize data about your operation, you can gain invaluable insight that can help you lower operating costs, increase production, improve quality and yields, and improve safety. You can download a copy of our brochure or view our 23-minute audio presentation to learn more about how the process management system can help you reduce costs and improve productivity. Or call us to schedule an appointment.

PURIFIRE® Process Management System Brochure (PDF, 656K)

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Founded in 1952, the Rath Manufacturing Company developed an exclusive Micro-Weld™ technology that produces a smooth, uniform weld with superior pressure-handling ability and structural integrity. Today, Rath is committed to setting the standard for service, quality, and innovation in their industry and shipping product around the world for a wide range of applications. During production, they rely on helium and argon for welding, hydrogen for annealing, and high-purity nitrogen for packaging. Rath looks for suppliers who share their commitment to customer service and has been our customer for several years. To meet their needs, Air Products dedicated a service team to manage the account, with a customer service rep to handle delivery and to help with process improvements. Thus far, the relationship is as seamless as Rath's welded products-products delivered on time, savings in product costs, and installation of a PURIFIRE® process management system. To learn more about Rath and the work we're doing with them, click below to download the pdf of a recently published case study.

Rath Manufacturing Company and Air Products, Our Work Together (PDF, 631K)

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He's traveled through more than 100 countries on six of the seven continents. And he and his wife are raising two sons under the age of four.

So rest assured, Principal Engineer Matt Thayer is prepared to tackle almost any metals processing problem you throw his way.

Responsible for the Southeast and Gulf Coast territory for Air Products, Matt works extensively with customers to help them optimize their manufacturing operations. With almost 20 years of experience in the metals industry, he can help with issues related to technical troubleshooting, purchasing, engineering, product development, market development, and much more. His specialty is customer relations and communications. In addition to being on the front line with customers, he has hired and trained customer care teams, restructured field service programs, and spearheaded dozens of technology seminars.

A member of the Materials Testing Institute, NACE, ASM International, and the International Titanium Association, Matt now lives in Georgia with his family.

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We are going to be present at the following trade shows and hope to see you there to discuss your metals processing needs.

  • PM2 Tech 2004—on Monday, June 14 we are one of the sponsors fot the dinner cruise aboard the Odyssey—Chicago, IL
  • ASM—Material Solutions Conference and Exposition
    October 18–21, 2004—Columbus, OH
    (Greater Columbus Convention Center)
  • 23rd Heat Treating Conference & Exposition and Materials Science & Technology Conference (MS&T)
    September 26–28, 2005—Pittsburgh, PA
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You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 182, or sending us an e-mail.

© Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. 2004