The global glass market is broken into several facets including container glass, specialty glass, reinforcement glass, and others. The global market is estimated at 145 million tons of glass produced in 2015. One type of glass in particular is expected to experience a market boom in the coming decade, flat glass. Flat glass accounts for about one-third of the global glass market, and demand exceeded $72 billion in 2015, with 65 million tons produced. The flat glass market has several end-users including the construction, furniture, and automotive industries. The construction industry, specifically building windows, accounts for 70% of the flat glass market.
Ceramic materials have been used in the cutting industry for over 100 years. In fact, it did not take long for manufacturers in the metalworking industries to understand the benefits of using ceramics to increase productivity and efficiency in many applications. Ceramic cutting tools are constructed mainly from alumina (Al2O3) and silicon nitride (SiN). Recent advances have also introduced the use of silicon carbide (SiC) and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) in order to enhance the performance of the cutting tool.
The world market for nanostructured materials continues to show strong growth in the face of decreased manufacturing in 2009. In 2010, the global market for nanostructured materials will surpass $5.0 billion, and manufacturers continue to look for practical methods that meet quality specifications. Despite inhibiting factors that slow the ubiquitous incorporation of nanomaterials into the production of many products, volume growth levels will exceed 30% annually from 2008 through 2011.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. government, global energy consumption will increase by close to 40% by 2030 to nearly 700 quadrillion BTUs from its present level of 500 quadrillion BTUs. On average, the increase in developed countries such as the U.S., Japan and Germany will be 17%, following an average growth rate of 0.7% annually. In developing countries, the increase will be closer to 67% by 2030, following an average growth level of 2.5% annually.
The financial risk of rushing a new product out the door has now been significantly softened as a result of today's production lead-times of less than 14 days (10 kpcs) for delivering programmable MEMS clock oscillators. MEMS clock oscillators rely on cost-effective silicon-resonator technology, which allows the quick introduction of new products without added expense. Despite today's challenging economic climate, program managers need no longer make a trade-off between price and delivery, while design engineers enjoy greater leeway.
Though diamond tools offer longer tool life and greater long-term productivity, end-users often don't look beyond the higher price tag. Industrial diamond can be defined in two ways: natural diamond that does not meet the standards of gem diamond because of color, size or other imperfections; or diamond that is synthetically manufactured for industrial applications. In 2007, over 90% of all industrial diamond use was synthetic.
FITCHBURG— The floor of the 400,000-square-foot plant where Simonds International Corp. manufactures sharp and biting band saws looks like brick, blocks of clay that have been coated with black paint and worn smooth by nearly 70 years of workers’ movements. But looks deceive. The floor beneath machines that have been carefully placed according to the latest thinking in efficient manufacturing management is made of blocks of wood specifically placed there to soften the blow if any of Simonds’ saws should hit the floor.
Nanoceramics Defined: Nanostructured materials, or nanomaterials, can be loosely defined as organic or inorganic matter composed of discrete particles that exist in a variety of shapes including spheres, strands and clusters ranging in size from 1 to 100nm. However, arguments continue to be raised over the definition. Some argue that any material capable of being manipulated at the atomic level is a nanomaterial; or that some materials exist discretely in the slightly larger 250nm range but should nevertheless be defined as nanomaterials. In any case, the definition like so many other aspects of this growing market will be determined by emerging markets and applicability as opposed to pure science.