With the recent purchase of a Zeiss AxioVert A1 Inverted Materials Microscope, with an accompanying Axiocam digital camera, and Zen Core Materials Analysis software package, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA (SAWPA) now offers in-house metallographic testing. The investment represents the continued commitment by SAWPA to anticipate and meet their customers’ needs.
The new Zeiss AxioVert A1 system allows for reflected brightfield, darkfield, polarized and Circular contrasting techniques, along with a 50x to 1000x magnification range. The additional Axiocam and Zen Core Materials Analysis software features automated determination of material grain size. This automation of traditionally time-consuming and labor-intensive processes results in repeatability and increased efficiency, as the human element is removed from the characterization method.
Surface contamination, grain size, and intergranular attack (IGA)/ intergranular oxidation (IGO) determinations will now be performed in-house, providing the customer with expedited lead times and a single source vendor capable of meeting all heat treat and testing needs. Plant Metallurgist, Greg Scheuring says, “This is a big step toward providing our customers a one-stop shop. Now that we have the microscope and camera, we have the ability to offer value-added, metallography services. The next step will be gaining the necessary agency accreditations and approvals from our customer base to be able to support this objective.”
Detroit, Michigan – White House officials have had talks with executives about making ventilators in the coming weeks to treat patients who need breathing support during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Talks are preliminary, but the officials with Ford and General Motors have confirmed that they’re studying feasibility of emergency medical production. All U.S. plants are closed, to slow the spread of the disease, so there’s room for production. Making respirators would require bringing some workers back, figuring out designs and controls, and winning regulatory approval for products.
There are many types of medical ventilators, ranging from simple devices that use mild pressure to force air into patients’ lungs to complex systems that rapidly cycle pure oxygen. COVID-19 attacks the lungs, and in Italy and other countries suffering through widespread outbreaks, doctors have had to pull some sick, older patients off of breathing-assistance devices to support younger, healthier patients.
Great Britain has made a similar appeal to non-medical manufacturers, and several automakers there have pledged to make components for medical parts using excess factory capacity and 3D printers.
In California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company has the expertise to make masks and ventilators, noting that SpaceX builds life-support systems for space, and Tesla cars have high-tech air-circulation systems. In a tweet, he said the company would be able to offer emergency production capacity, but he downplayed the need, asking if any hospitals were yet running short on equipment.
The U.S. auto industry has a history of supplying the government with emergency equipment in times of crisis. During World War II, the U.S. became known as the Arsenal of Democracy for its ability to rapidly produce munitions, tanks, planes, and ships for the war effort. All of Detroit’s automakers converted their car plants to military production, and companies built new airplane and tank plants that converted to car production after the war.
Guest news from GIE Media's Brian Taylor, senior editor of Recycling Today magazine.
The 21st century, though only two decades old, has hosted outbreaks for several new viruses or bacteria, with the COVID-19 epidemic currently underway only the latest.
COVID-19 is proving harmful to economies around the world, with metals demand and pricing in a severe trough. However, one nonferrous metal could emerge with a health-related factor boosting its medium- and long-term prospects.
In a recent website posting, the Copper Development Association (CDA) says more research is essential—and that household consumers must be aware of sensationalized claims. The CDA also makes reference, though, to several studies that have pointed to copper’s current and potential role as a surface that is more resistant to germs than many others.
One such study was conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the CDA, and it found “that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, remained viable for up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces versus up to [just] 4 hours on copper.”
Another study mentioned by the CDA examined the “antimicrobial efficacy of uncoated copper and copper alloy surfaces against human pathogens” in general.
The CDA has long hosted a section on its website aggregating information on the potential anti-microbial benefits of copper surfaces in health care and other applications.
A March 16 online article on the FastCompany website quotes a United Kingdom-based professor as saying researchers have “seen viruses just blow apart” when they land on copper or brass surfaces.
The FastCompany article also cites a 1983 study conducted at a Pittsburgh hospital that swabbed various surfaces and tested them for germ retention. “Sleek and shining stainless steel door knobs and push plates look reassuringly clean on a hospital door. By contrast, door knobs and push plates of tarnished brass look dirty and contaminating,” she wrote at that time.
But Kuhn and fellow researchers reportedly found that tarnished brass killed bacteria effectively while stainless steel did “little to impede bacterial growth.”
The U.K. researcher, Bill Keevil of the University of Southampton, is finding that copper ions “penetrate cells and viruses like bullets,” according to FastCompany. The articles adds, “The copper doesn’t just kill these pathogens; it destroys them, right down to the nucleic acids, or reproductive blueprints, inside.” Keevil states “That’s one of the real benefits of copper.”
In alignment with leading airlines and associations, Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has expanded its call for government action calling for $250 billion of global government support for the airline industry in response to COVID-19.
Fully backing Airlines for America (A4A)’s proposal for $50 billion in U.S. airline support alongside $150 billion more as proposed by IATA, APEX emphasized that both global airlines and key airline suppliers will need support to weather the COVID-19 crisis. APEX proposed that four out of every five dollars of global government support should go directly to airlines with the remaining one dollar held for airline suppliers. For the U.S. alone, an additional $12.5 billion will be required by airline suppliers to successfully weather the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our world must immediately respond to protect its global airline industry with a quarter-trillion dollars in retroactively rebated taxes and emergency loans to its airlines and suppliers,” APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader stated. “Airlines need this support for safety, security, and survival against the unprecedented passenger shutdown triggered by COVID-19.”
To protect airlines, APEX recommended the following actions be taken by governments and organizations globally:
- $250 billion in global airline industry support against COVID-19
- Immediate tax rebates by global governments of previously paid airline industry taxes as $125 billion in grants
- Immediately accessible no-interest medium and long-term loans to provide medium and long-term liquidity of $125 billion
- World Bank should provide needed liquidity in matching grants and ample loans to governments in need
- Amounts allocated to each country should be based approximately on country share of global GDP calculated alongside aviation market share appropriately
APEX’s International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Government Affairs team will work alongside A4A in Washington, A4E in Brussels, and IATA elsewhere where appropriate in full support of their efforts. Leveraging global offices with team members, APEX’s IFSA Government Affairs team also stands ready to support its airlines and suppliers globally.