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In this Issue:

Scenes from Monday Events
2013 Aluminum Keynote Covers the Spectrum of "Impurities in the Aluminum Supply Chain"
REWAS Plenary: Collaborations and Sustainability
Magnesium Technology 2013 Kicks Off with Plenary Session
Plenary Session Opens Ni-Co 2013 Symposium
Picking Up the Pace of Networking
FEMS Young Leader International Scholar Discusses Graphene as a Chemical Platform
Steigerwald Offers 'A View from the Hill'
Energy Networking Breakfast Convenes Technical Committees
What's On Today

Scenes from Monday Events

More than 65 attendees gathered early yesterday morning for the Women in Science Breakfast. Following opening comments by TMS Women in Science Committee Chair Mary Juhas of The Ohio State University, participants engaged in roundtable discussions that opened dialogue among young professionals, students, and established professionals. 

Professor Morris E. Fine was honored at Monday's Materials Research Applied to National Needs (MARANN) Symposium, which honored the Northwestern University professor on his 95th birthday for his outstanding contributions to the field of materials science and engineering. Left is Alan Taub, presenting "Lightweight Materials for the Automotive Industry - Materials Research Applied to National Energy Agenda." Right is Morris Fine, whostepped in when presenter Julia Weertman had to cancel due to illness, and discussed a steel he was instrumental in developing known as NUCu 70 steel. 

Alex Zunger, professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, delivered the William Hume-Rothery Award Lecture, "First Principles Alloy Theory--A Retrospective" on Monday morning.

2013 Aluminum Keynote Covers the Spectrum of "Impurities in the Aluminum Supply Chain"

Examining the impact of impurities across the entirety of the aluminum industry was the focus of the TMS2013 Aluminum Keynote Session on Monday. While each of the seven presenters focused on different issues, approaches, and technologies, a consistent theme underscored each of them, noted Barry Sadler, program organizer and editor of this year's Light Metals, in his opening remarks: "There has already been a lot of work underway on impurity issues and it will only continue to grow."

Setting the stage for the subsequent discussions was Stephen Lindsay, Alcoa, in his talk, "Raw Material Impurities and the Challenge Ahead." As the demand on the existing resources for raw materials increases, raw material purity is likely to decline over time, Lindsay said. In turn, impurities and changes in impurities will take on greater meaning for process control, equipment design and selection, metal products, and environmental, health, and safety considerations. "Impurities have the potential to reshape certain aspects of the design and operation of smelters, electrode plants, cast shops, and refineries," he said. "Many of the potential outcomes of higher impurities may not require new technology, but different applications of existing technologies." Lindsay further noted that "the story about impurities is not all bad," specifically citing the benefits of the research that will be required to better understand and address impurity issues. "The study of trace impurities reveal a lot about work practices and process control," he said.

James Metson, University of Auckland, followed with his presentation, "Impacts of Impurities Introduced into the Aluminium Reduction Cell." Metson looked beyond metal quality, noting, "It is also necessary to consider those impurities which don't report to the metal." On this point, he observed that control or even analysis of bath chemistry had become quite challenging. Metson said that while the industry is getting better at some aspects of managing impurities, "The neglected part is the electrochemistry and the impacts on the process are considerable. This is driving down our ability to dissolve alumina and tightening the production window. In some parts of the world, we are well out of our comfort zone in terms of our understanding of this chemistry, decreasing our ability to dissolve alumina at the rate we need."

In the next presentation, "Changes in Global Refining and Its Impact on Anode Quality Petroleum Coke," Karl Bartholomew, KBC Advanced Technologies, Inc., outlined the economic drivers that have profoundly affected the quality and quantity of calcinable anode grade petroleum coke. Of particular significance has been the rapid emergence of shale oil production in the United States. "Since 2009, the U.S. has gone from almost no production of shale oil to over a million barrels a day," he said. However, in the prevailing business model, a very small percentage of this high quality crude is sent to the coking room. Comparatively, more than 30 percent of certain types of poor quality crude from outside of the U.S. is used to make petroleum coke. As a consequence, although the United States is producing a better quality crude, the "quality of pet coke has gotten worse," Bartholomew said. "30 to 40 years ago, the only region of the world that coked oil was North America. That has changed," he continued. "Coking capacity is now growing everywhere else but North America."  

Andrea Weber, RTA Sebree, then provided an overview of how her company developed and deployed an effective technical improvement plan in "Impact of Higher Vanadium Levels on Smelter Operations." RTA Sebree made a choice to accept increased impurities in one of the primary cokes used in the coke blend supplied to the smelter, in return for a significant cost discount. Faced with a negative impact on anode consumption, current efficiency, power consumption, and other metrics, RTA developed a work quality management system to ensure that all potline operators, regardless of experience level, were well trained in basic practices. The project started with a focused analysis of practices in a 42-pot test section. The most critical 20 percent of these procedures were then identified and made the subject of an intensive training session for all operators, using photographs of depicting "go" and "no go" situations as a teaching tool. A system to monitor individual performance, based on these parameters, was also implemented as a means to identify the need for further coaching. "This illustrates what can be achieved through effective management and people working together," Weber said.

Stewart Hamilton, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd, also touched on the human factor necessary for success in "Impact on Smelter Operations of Operating High Purity Reduction Cells." Presented as a case study, Hamilton noted that "everyone must be engaged in the mindset," because of the expense and complexity of high purity production. "The good thing about a high purity focus is that it rubs off into other areas," he said. "The more we focus on purity, the more we understand and improve other parameters of smelter operations."

Muhammad Rhamdhani's presentation moved the discussion from the pot room to the cast house. In "Management of Impurities in Cast House with Particular Reference to Ni and V," he offered an in-depth overview of current and emerging technologies for impurities removal. While these work well for selected elements, he concluded that the boron treatment process for controlling vanadium is not optimized, while no existing technique effectively controls nickel in the cast house. "Strategies through the whole process chain may need to be considered," he said. "And, some fundamental studies need to be carried out."

John Grandfield, Grandfield Technology Pty Ltd., examined the potential impact of impurities on the end product in the final presentation, "An Initial Assessment of the Effects of Increased Ni and V Content in AA6063 and A356 Alloys." He shared an initial investigation conducted for two commonly used alloys, AA6060/6063 and A356, in which castings were produced with low typical levels of NiV and with high NiV levels approaching the maximum P1020 specification of 300ppm each. Microstructural changes, tensile properties, and corrosion resistance were measured, with small changes in corrosion performance and tensile properties detected in some instances. While the exact effects depend on the alloy system, Grandfield noted that "vanadium and nickel may have effects even at dilute levels on some properties. We need to start to coordinate with customers so that they do not suddenly find that the properties of their products have changed."

A question and answer session followed the presentations, moderated by Les Edwards, session chair. All of the technical papers presented in the keynote session will be published in the 2013 Light Metals proceedings.

REWAS Plenary: Collaborations and Sustainability

By Graduate Student Reporter Alex Leary, Carnegie Mellon University

Organizers planned REWAS 2013 to be a platform for stakeholders from different fields tointeract and discuss the implementation of sustainable products and processes. Helga Vanthournout from McKinsey & Co. summed up a recurring theme from Monday's talks stating "more collaboration is needed since scale is required to create value across the supply chain."

Leaders in several business sectors described the challenges facing their respective industries. Todd DiNoia, Technical Director Habitat R&D from Saint-Gobain framed the issue in the building industry by contrasting the significant efficiency gains in the transportation sector over the past thirty years to the relatively flat performance from building technologies. "The energy problem in the building industry will not be solved by one or two products," said DiNoia, "and requires investment in several areas." He further stated that "many of the technologies already exist, and we need to show the community of architects and builders how to assemble them." DiNoia described investments by Saint-Gobain into several technology areas including electronically tintable glass, solid oxide fuel cells, IR reflective roof shingles, and VOC scavenging wall boards that are all designed to improve building comfort while lowering energy costs.

The needs in the building industry, where the typical product lifecycle is 50 years in the United States, was contrasted by the rapid market growth and short device life cycle found in the electronics industry. Bill Bader, CEO of iNEMI, produces a Roadmap based on input from a consortium of electronics stakeholders. When asked how he organizes input from potential competitors, Bader replied "the key to successful collaboration is to pick problems that are precompetitive in nature and where intellectual property is not at risk. Solutions to environmental problems often fit this criteria and we have situations where four to six of the top companies in the electronics world are working together." 

Bill Bonkoski from GE offered his perspective on water resources. Over the course of his career, the low price of water limited the incorporation of new technologies, but "the scarcity problems that we're seeing in the world have spurred a growth in the use of technology in the water industry" in the past ten years, according to Bonkoski. He predicts that "electricity consumption will double and water use will triple by 2030. Historically it's been a matter of treating and discharging. This is not the wave of the future." A new system based on various levels of reuse is being developed to accommodate needs in both urban and rural areas.

Vanthournout further described the need to modify our production and consumption systems. "We take resources and put them through our manufacturing process, sell them, and dispose of the materials. So basically all the materials leave the economy." She called for more sophisticated business models that not only recycle, but also incorporate reuse and remanufacturing of materials that were previously considered waste. "The idea that you need to own something to use it is changing," added Vanthournout, who cited a tire company that leases tires to trucking companies that pay per mile. This encourages the company to develop materials that reduce waste as well as lower costs.

Sustainability was seen as a key driver for material advances and Julio Friedmann from Lawrence Livermore Laboratories described several key technologies that are speeding up the innovation cycle in materials design including modeling to screen potential materials and advanced manufacturing processes.

Magnesium Technology 2013 Kicks Off with Plenary Session

By Graduate Student Reporter Graham Sanborn, Georgia Tech

The TMS conference kicked off the week with a special plenary session at the Magnesium Technology 2013 symposium.Throughout the morning, six presenters spoke about topics ranging from magnesium (Mg) grain refinement technology to testing their corrosion resistance and phase transformations. At the beginning of the session, four best paper awards from the 2012 proceedings were given in the topics of application, fundamental, poster, and student.

Karl Kainer from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht started the morning with a review of Mg alloys in the 21st century. Kainer started by discussing Elektron, the first patented Mg-based alloys, and the International Magnesium Association (IMA). From here, he detailed the process development of high-purity alloys. Examples covered the engine and transmission housings used in the first VW Beetle to the high-temperature-resistant Mg materials used for today's automobiles.

An invited talk by David StJohn of the University of Queensland discussed the history of grain refinement technology in cast Mg alloys. This talk started with the first work on grain refinement in the 1930s and zirconium addition to induce grain refinement. StJohn introduced the Interdependance Theory as a theoretical framework to understand the mechanism of grain refinement and the role of solutes. He also spoke about the importance of Mg-Zr master alloys and the current developments of Mg-Al commercial implementation.

Joy Forsmark, Ford Motor Company, gave a talk about the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) magnesium front end research and development project. This project is a collaborative partnership between Ford, GM, Chevrolet, and the U.S. government to develop and advance Mg front-end structures in automotive parts. Specifically, Forsmark reviewed results from phase 1 of the project, which set out to develop and test a Mg "demonstration" structure. The design study found that the use of Mg parts could result in a 45% weight reduction and 60% part consolidation in unibody designs, and could result in a 25% weight savings in body-on-frame designs. 

The next talk focused on AC-DC-AC testing methods to assess corrosion resistance of polymer coatings in Mg alloys. This talk was given by Robert C. McCune, Robert C. McCune & Associates LLC, and focused on the automotive Mg parts discussed in the previous talk. McCune discussed how the automotive industry could use better characterization methods, and presented results from the AC-DC-AC and impedance spectroscopy testing methods.

Rainer Schmid-Fetzer of the Clausthal University of Technology presented on the thermodynamics of phase transformations in Mg-La-Ce-Nd alloys for new material development in the industry. He spoke about the need for better experimental data and the formation of complex intermetallic solid solutions in these systems. 

The last talk of the morning was presented by Yoshihito Kawamura from Kumamoto University on current developments of high strength and non-flammable Mg alloys. He discussed a new high strength, non-flammable, and corrosion resistant alloy that could make Mg production more cost effective and safe.

Norbert Hort of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research served as the session moderator. 

Plenary Session Opens Ni-Co 2013 Symposium

By Graduate Student Reporter Alex Leary, Carnegie Mellon University

This week, San Antonio hosts the world's experts in nickel and cobalt production. TMS, in collaboration with several internationalsocieties, sponsored the gathering that occurs every four years. In Monday's NiCo plenary session, Gary Coates and David Weight, respectively from the Nickel Institute and the Cobalt Development Institute, described the historical development, major material classes, and wide range of applications benefiting from these elements. 

Stainless steel accounts for 65% of Ni usage annually and the Nickel Institute recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of Maurer and Strauss' patent with an exposition in Beijing last May. Cobalt is typically a byproduct of other manufacturing processes and demand for cobalt production increased by 5% over the last 10 years, according to Weight. Rechargeable batteries account for the largest usage per year of cobalt, recently surpassing its usage in superalloys. 

Joe Ferron described cobalt recycling techniques, many currently practiced by industry. "The most efficient method for recycling is to re-melt the scrap at the source," said Ferron, but he continued to show potential value in recycling from other sources including Co-based catalysts, spent batteries, and various wastes from primary cobalt production. While he believes that the technical challenges to cobalt recycling have largely been solved, the current Co recycling rate of 32% is limited by economic factors such as the costs to sort and transport spent materials. Comparatively, primary production methods remain the more attractive option over recycling. However, as the copperbelt in central Africa contains nearly half of the world's known cobalt reserves, difficulties arising from regional instability may affect prices considerably.   

Availability of sulphides, the traditional source ore for nickel production, is also decreasing. Alan Taylor of ALTA Meltallurgical Services described production methods based on laterites, an alternative ore source. Most of the operations currently processing laterites use a sulphate process that is well known, but requires complex downstream processing. Alternative methods using chloride and nitric acids have been tested, but not yet commercialized. The advantages and disadvantages of each technique vary, especially since ore bodies are not necessarily located near cheap useful energy sources. Taylor encouraged further research into these processes, as "there is not yet a clear winner."

The large production scale and capital costs associated with metal production can slow the adoption of new technologies. Antoine Allanore from MIT approached metals production by first asking, "What would be your wish list?" He listed reduced environmental impact, lower costs, added flexibility in raw materials, and improved metal quality as the top priorities. Allanore, speaking on behalf of Professor Donald Sadoway, believes molten oxide electrolysis (MOE) offers a potential path to making these wishes realities. 

The benefits from MOE derive by replacing carbon with electrons as the fuel and reductant. Additionally, the process flow can be streamlined through the use of a single continuous reactor, which generates oxygen as a valuable byproduct. Allanore estimates CO2 reductions of 22% with natural gas derived electricity and the entire process can be carbon free with renewable sources. Allanore's group demonstrated lab scale production of several metals including Ni, Ti, and FeMn, and future efforts will focus on the scale up design of an efficient self-heating cell.  

The Ni-Co 2013 symposium continues through Thursday.

Picking Up the Pace of Networking

"I felt like I got through the entire TMS2013 week in one hour," said Cindy Belt at the conclusion of the Peer-to-Peer Networking event held on Monday.  

A professional development opportunity offered to symposium organizers and TMS committee, division, and board members, the program enabled participants to establish connections with ten different colleagues in a very compressed timeframe. For less than 10 minutes at a time, everyone met individually with one of their networking "partners," matched according to professional interests provided in a questionnaire prior to the event. A customized networking schedule provided to each participant provided background on each of their partners, eliminating the need to use up their precious time on details. 

Most of the participants found the experience enjoyable, although trying to constrain all that they wanted to share in a few minutes was a little intense. "You really have to condense your story," said Iver Anderson, "but you meet a lot of people in a short period of time." 

Kyle Brinkman agreed. "I'm in ceramics and about half the people I met were not in my area of materials - I would not have encountered them in technical sessions. These are individuals I would probably never have otherwise met." 

The Peer-to-Peer Networking Event is one of several resources that TMS has offered at TMS2013 to support and thank the volunteers who make the Annual Meeting-and many other aspects of TMS-possible. To find out how you can become involved as a TMS volunteer, visit the TMS Volunteer Central website.

FEMS Young Leader International Scholar Discusses Graphene as a Chemical Platform

By Graduate Student Reporter Graham Sanborn, Georgia Tech

This exciting new lecture is the result of a recent partnership between TMS and the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS), insupport of the society's strategic goal to "Be the destination society for young professionals: technically, professionally and socially." The FEMS Young Leader International Scholar, Vincenzo Palermo of the National Research Council of Italy, gave the lecture titled "Not a Molecule, Not a Polymer, Not a Substrate: The Many Faces of Graphene as a Chemical Platform."

Palermo discussed the use of functional organic materials today and how the development of graphene compounds could revolutionize the ways they are used. Depending on the treatments and form of graphene, it can be used as a molecule (in the form of graphene oxide), a polymer, and a substrate. These different "roles" are a result of graphene's unique electronic and dimensional properties. Palermo compared the large single layer graphene (SLG) that is produced today to a material the thickness of a blanket that was the area of a soccer field.

Developments on new ways to obtain SLG were also presented. Current exfoliation techniques to obtain SLG are insufficient for industrial applications. He presented developments on nano-graphene compounds that act as "wedges" between graphene layers and assist graphene exfoliation during sonication. The new method shows improved production of SLG; however, developments are still underway.

Steigerwald Offers 'A View from the Hill'

Want to know what it's really like to work, on a daily basis, influencing policy in Washington, D.C.? Ask Andrew Steigerwald, 2012-2013 MRS/TMS Congressional Fellow. At his Monday morning presentation, "A View from the Hill: The 2012-2013 Congressional Fellowship," Steigerwald provided his audience with a glimpse of his activities working in the office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown--going so far as to show what his calendar looks like on a typical work week. (Hint: It includes meetings - lots of meetings.)

The talk was designed as an informational session for any TMS members interested in working with public policy issues or in applying for a future fellowship. Steigerwald described how his work involves developing policy ideas, turning ideas into legislation, and taking and processing input from stakeholders.

His conclusion about the program: The experience is an "absolutely, unparalleled opportunity to jump into the highest level of policy-making."

The selection process for the 2013-2014 MRS/TMS Congressional Fellow is currently in progress. Applications for the 2014-2015 Congressional Fellowship will open in early September and are due January 2014.  

Energy Networking Breakfast Convenes Technical Committees

Representatives from more than ten TMS energy-related committees agreed early Monday that annual meeting attendees as well as committees would benefit from greater collaboration on future programming and activities. The Energy Networking Breakfast, sponsored by the Materials and Society Committee, was organized by committee members Cindy Belt and Iver Anderson. 

During the session, Belt invited participants to describe what symposia their committees were organizing at the 2013 Annual Meeting. In addition, numerous topical areas such as waste heat recovery and lightweighting were explored in an exercise that highlighted how multiple committees at times organize programming in the same areas, unintentionally competing with one another for attendees' attention. 

"We want to make sure there is no overlap," Belt, who is Energy Committee chair, told the group. She suggested that committees consider working together to co-sponsor symposia if their programming covers similar topics. 

Although the potential was suggested for a single Materials for Energy Production symposium, the practicality of such a program was questioned, as some symposia currently involve many sessions already, and would be too unwieldy to fold into a larger event. However, the group agreed that a future plenary session presenting highlights of those individual symposia would be possible, and warranted further discussion. After the annual meeting, Belt told the group, the discussion should continue at the committee level to begin to encourage more cohesive programming. 

What's On Today

Institute of Metals/Robert Franklin Mehl Lecture
9:05 a.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 201

Extraction & Processing Division/Materials Processing & Manufacturing Division Joint Luncheon Lecture
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Texas Ballroom C

Young Leader Tutorial Luncheon Lecture
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Texas Ballroom D

Exhibit Hall Luncheon
Noon to 2:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C

Acta Materialia Materials and Society Award Special Symposium:
Global R&D Trends -- Implications for Material Sciences
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Lila Cockrell Theatre

Student Career Forum
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Bonham B

Exhibit Hall Happy Hour
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C

142nd TMS-AIME Annual Awards Banquet
6:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Lila Cockrell Theatre

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