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Worlds Largest Vacuum Furnace Set to Go Online

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania and Solar Manufacturing, Inc. have nearly completed what is believed to be the world’s largest vacuum furnace. The working hot zone of this high-vacuum (three 35-in. Varian diffusion pumps) furnace is 80 in. dia. by 48 ft. long with a maximum operating temperature of 2400 F. Its patented dual-load-car-design will have the capacity to transfer as much as 150,000 lb. of material in and out of the furnace. For dimensionally critical, near-net-shape jobs, the design will be capable of maintaining the critical support needed at elevated temperatures to keep parts flat to within 0.030 in.
All of the major components have been delivered and installed, and the remaining installation of all the electrical components and wiring will occur over the next several weeks. The furnace is expected to enter production at Solar Atmospheres in July.
For more on Solar Atmospheres, visit For details on Solar Manufacturing, visit

GM Begins Testing New NanoSteel AHSS Grade

Thursday, May 26, 2016
With an approximate tensile strength of 1200 MPa and 50-percent elongation, a new advanced high-strength steel from NanoSteel appears promising for automotive lightweighting initiatives. That’s why General Motors recently has initiated testing of the material, produced via a joint development program between NanoSteel and AK Steel Corp. Learn more at

AISI Awards SSAB Americas' Chuck Schmitt its Gary Memorial Medal

Monday, May 23, 2016
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has announced that Chuck Schmitt, president of SSAB Americas, is the 2016 recipient of the Gary Memorial Medal—the industry’s highest honor. Schmitt, AISI’s immediate past chairman, “is an outstanding leader for AISI and for the entire steel industry in North America,” says Martin Lindqvist, CEO of SSAB AB. “His hard work continues to help strengthen the role of steel in American manufacturing.”
The Gary Memorial Medal is presented annually to recognize an individual for his or her remarkable lifelong contributions to the North American steel industry.
The medal’s inscription reads, “For his outstanding leadership in representing the critical public policy interests of the Institute and American manufacturing in a period of tremendous challenge; [and] for his unwavering commitment of time and energy to matters that will impact the future of the North American steel industry, the Institute and the people we support and serve to keep our vital industry strong.”
Schmitt served as chairman of the AISI board of directors from May 2015 through May 2016 and chaired a number of board-level committees. He was elected to the AISI board in 2011, and will remain as an officer on the board for another year.


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