Products Finishing

SEP 2018

Products Finishing magazine is the No. 1 industrial finishing publication in the world. We keep our readers informed about the latest news and trends in plating, painting, powder coating, anodizing, electrocoating, parts cleaning, and pretreatment.

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8 SEPTEMBER 2018 — PFonline.com Therma-Tron-X Purchases Wisconsin Furnace Maker Therma-Tron-X (TTX) of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, has acquired Heat Treat Furnaces (HTF), which is also located in Sturgeon Bay. The deal was completed in May. HTF has been making industrial furnaces for more than 30 years in applications ranging from aging and annealing to forging and tempering. TTX fabricates custom ovens and au- tomated finishing systems for electrocoat, powder and liquid paint systems. TTX officials say they will add high-temperature furnaces to their product offerings and carry on the HTF brand. Former HTF employees, who officials say supported the sale, now will be employed by TTX. Visit ttxinc.com and heattreatfurnaces.com. Pioneer Metal Finishing Acquired by Private Equity Firm Private equity firm Aterian Investment Partners has acquired Pioneer Metal Fin- ishing, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Founded in 1945, Pioneer is among the largest providers of outsourced anodizing, plating, hardcoat, adhesive, electroless nickel and other value-added surface treatment services in North America. The company operates eight plants servicing approximately 3,500 customers across numerous end markets and service lines. "We are excited to add Pioneer to the Aterian portfolio and for the opportunity to collaborate with management as the company's enters the next chapter in its long history," says Brandon Bethea, a partner at Aterian. "We intend to facilitate management's efforts to invest in key growth initiatives across new products and regions and by doing so support the com- pany's existing reputation for outstanding customer service." Pioneer CEO Bob Pyle says the transaction will allow for Pio- neer to enter its next stage of growth with an ownership group focused on operations and performance. "We are looking forward to Aterian's support to help the company pursue growth initiatives and continue providing high-quality services to our customers," he says. Visit pioneermetal.com. Purdue University researchers have developed a super-strong material that may change some manufacturing processes for the aerospace and automobile industries. Led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in the university's School of Materials Engineering, the team created a high- strength aluminum alloy coating. "We have created a very durable and lightweight aluminum alloy that is just as strong as, and possibly stronger than, stainless steel," Zhang says. Yifan Zhang, a graduate student in materials engineering, says this alloy could be used for making wear- and corrosion- resistant automobile parts such as engines, as well as coatings for optical lenses on specialized telescopes for aerospace. The Purdue researchers created the aluminum alloy by introducing "stacking faults" or distortions in the crystal structure of aluminum. Such distortions can lead to so-called "nanotwins" and complex stacking faults, such as 9R phase, they say. "The 9R type of stacking fault is usually rare in aluminum," says Qiang Li, a doctoral student on the research team. "We in- troduce both twin boundaries and 9R phase within nanograins to the lightweight aluminum alloys that are both strong and highly deformable under stresses. Besides coating applica- tions, we are also looking into scale up potentials of bulk high-strength aluminum alloys." The team also has created a way to develop the super- strong alloy coatings by introducing iron or titanium atoms into aluminum's crystal structure. For information, visit purdue.edu. Researchers Create Super-strong Aluminum Alloys for Automotive, Aerospace Applications Qiang Li and Yifan Zhang load samples into a sputtering chamber to prepare high-strength Al alloy coatings. NEWS

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