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Metal Smelting Furnace Electrode

Metal Smelting Furnace Electrode   |   Lithium Ion Battery Material   |   Ceramic Filters for Automotive Applications   |   Novel Composite for Automotive Electronic Components   |   Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electrolyte   |   MLCC Materials for Electronic Components

Background

Powder Processing & Technology, LLC was invited to develop a process for a revolutionary material used as a electrode in a metal smelting furnace application. The conventional process was environmentally insensitive and had relatively high operating expenses due to energy costs and expensive consumable materials that had a short life cycle. Our customer’s new material technology was more energy efficient, very environmentally friendly and exhibited a longer life. The customer was in the development stage, but did not have the ceramics processing background or the facility to produce pilot quantities.

Solution

The customer developed the composition in the lab and tested it in a simulated small smelting furnace. They wanted to test their material in a proto-type production unit which would provide a more realistic test environment. PPT’s Innovative Materials Center had appropriately sized equipment to handle the initial scaling of the process.

The next challenge the customer faced was caused by the requirement that material or process modifications for the actual application needed several hundred thousand pounds of material for each trial. The technical input from the PPT engineering team was invaluable to this massive scale up because the customer had a limited understanding of the processing of ceramic powders. The process required raw material formulating, batching, calcining, milling, and spray drying of their patented materials. The final blended powder was sent out for pressing into the desired form and then returned to PPT for sintering in our tunnel kiln in both air and atmosphere conditions. PPT was able to sinter very large parts with few physical defects by precise control of binder burn-off, heating and cooling.

The customer was very satisfied with PPT’s powder processing technology, quality control, and data collection. PPT provided numerous trials in the Innovative Materials Center until the customer finalized the material composition before the production scale up. Even during mass production, the customer benefitted from our flexibility in processing and scheduling whenever they needed to change their plans or modify their material.

The entire program was carried out under a non-disclosure agreement and the intellectual property protected to the satisfaction of the client.

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