A very British solution for constructing better commercial buildings

PBC Today | June 25, 2020

Metal composite panels are becoming a commercial builder’s dream. Lightweight, structurally tough and watertight, they can be erected very quickly and provide the ultimate U value. The internals, such as flooring and fit-out, and external fixtures such as screening can be worked on simultaneously, saving a fortune in time and labour.

Add to this the fact that the panels’ lack of weight means further savings on the cost of designing and laying foundations, and it’s no wonder that the last few years have seen a rapid increase in their usage.

However, despite the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, some construction sites remain closed because of an inability to source materials from abroad. Which is where British manufacturers come in.

Spotlight

Want to apply your engineering skills to the medical field? Bioelectrical engineering and its impact on the future of medicine and medical care is examined by members of the electrical & computer engineering community at The Ohio State University.
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Spotlight

Want to apply your engineering skills to the medical field? Bioelectrical engineering and its impact on the future of medicine and medical care is examined by members of the electrical & computer engineering community at The Ohio State University.
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MATERIALS

Hyperion Executes Option Agreement to Acquire Leading Metals Technology Company

Blacksand Technology, LLC | October 21, 2021

One year option to acquire Blacksand Technology, LLC (“Blacksand”), a leading advanced metals R&D company which has developed breakthrough patented technologies that can produce low carbon, low cost titanium metal and powdersThe combination of Hyperion and Blacksand is transformational – bringing together two highly complementary organizations to establish a world-class advanced materials and critical minerals market leaderBlacksand was spun-out of the University of Utah in 2013 and, led by founder Dr. Zak Fang, along with Dr. Kesh Keshavan and Dr. Pei Sun, has achieved major milestones including;Development of the HAMR process and other advanced metals technologies based on the scientific breakthrough by Dr. Fang linked to the hydrogen destabilization of metal oxides;Development of 5 core patent families (over 40 patents worldwide) covering the supply chain from primary titanium metal production to downstream titanium manufacturing, focused on these technologies that can produce low cost and low carbon titanium and other critical metals; Total investment of US$12m into the development of these patented technologies, including funding of over US$7 million from government agencies including ARPA-E/DOE, EERE/DOE, NSF, and NAVAIR/DOD;The development and commissioning of a titanium metal powder production facility in Salt Lake City, Utah currently producing titanium powder for commercial qualification with prospective customers; andThe establishment of strong relationships within industry, including with major aerospace anddefense companies and U.S. government agencies If Hyperion exercises its option to purchase Blacksand, Hyperion will have Established a world class advanced materials market leader with the potential to offer low cost, low carbon and sustainable all-American metal and critical mineral supply chain solutionsBest-in-class innovation capabilities with a leading U.S. based advanced materials R&D team supported by the world class University of Utah metallurgical engineering departmentThe potential to extend the research and development activities of the HAMR technology to rare earth metals, zirconium metals and other strategic metal powders. Ownership of an operational pilot titanium production facility in Utah, USA, that can upgrade titanium minerals, produce titanium metal and produce titanium spherical powdersSecurity and control over the patented Blacksand technologies, being the exclusive commercial licensing rights for more than 40 global patents focused on advanced metal production technologiesThe benefit of over 8 years of research and development, with approximately US$12m of funding invested to date, including over US$7m from U.S. government agencies including ARPA-E/DOE, EERE/DOE, NSF, and NAVAIR/DODLife of technology cost benefits through a significantly reduced royalty rate on titanium sales. Anastasios (Taso) Arima, CEO and Managing Director said:"The potential market size for a low carbon, lightweight, strong, heat resistant, corrosion free metal that can be 100% recycled is more than $270bn pa. That metal should be titanium. Titanium is a superior metal and has only been held back from widespread adoption by high cost.the patented technologies developed by Dr Fang and the Blacksand team can produce aerospace grade titanium metal and powders at significantly lower costs with minimal carbon emissions.The combination of Hyperion and Blacksand Technology is transformational, bringing together two highly complementary organizations, supported by the world class metallurgical engineering department at the University of Utah, to create a leader in sustainable low carbon titanium metal and powders. Hyperion’s Titan Project in Tennessee will supply low carbon titanium mineral feedstock to produce low carbon, low-cost titanium metal and powders using the HAMR and GSD technologies.We aim to build on Blacksand’s strengths in material science and innovation to scale and commercialize these breakthrough American technologies and make the US, once again, the leader in titanium metal. "Blacksand is excited about the prospects of commercializing its suite of titanium technologies through Hyperion Metals. Hyperion recognizes the potential of the breakthrough HAMR process based on a simple and elegant scientific principle to lead the titanium production industry away from the old, energy intensive, and environmentally challenging Kroll process. This is a historical opportunity to change how Titanium is made with an energy-efficient, potentially zero-emission, and low-cost technology." -Dr. Z. Zak Fang, Professor of the University of Utah and founder of Blacksand Technology LLC, Dr. Michael Simpson, Chair of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Utah said:”The Department of Materials Science & Engineering of the University of Utah is excited and honored to partner with Hyperion Metals on education of undergraduate and graduate students majoring in both metallurgical engineering and materials science and engineering to progress research and development of Hyperion’s metal technologies.Hyperion’s support in the form of scholarships, internships and an ESG legacy endowment will be of significant benefit to our current students as well as supporting future research. The research funding will enable the application of our world class metallurgical engineering resources to performing exciting research on high end metals production related to Hyperion’s patented technologies.We are very appreciative of Hyperion Metal’s generosity and trust in our department and are excited about the long-term partnership.

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UK Construction Continues Recovery

PBC Today | September 11, 2020

Monthly construction output grew by 17.6% in July 2020, following the record monthly growth of 23.5% in June 2020, according to the latest ONS figures. The level of construction output in July 2020 was 11.6% below the February 2020 level. Construction output fell by 10.6% in the three months to July 2020, compared with the previous three-month period. This decrease was driven by falls in both new work (9.7%) and repair and maintenance (12.4%). The plummet in new work (9.7%) in the three months to July 2020 was due to falls in every new work sector, apart from infrastructure, which grew by 6.0%. The largest negative contributor for new work was private new housing, which fell by 17.0%. The repair and maintenance sector witnessed a 12.4% decrease in the three months to July 2020 – this was attributed to falls in all sectors which was largely impacted by a 17.9% drop in private housing repairs. Commenting on the new construction output figures, Clive Docwra, managing director of McBains, said: “Today’s figures will be welcomed by the construction sector as a sign of its continuing recovery, but in reality they need to be viewed in the context of an industry that experienced a record 40% drop in output at the height of the lockdown.

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Penspen Secures Contract with Engineering Construction Company

Penspen | October 13, 2020

Penspen has been awarded a detailed engineering contract for crude receiving facilities at Jebel Dhana from Target Engineering Construction Company, an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The scope of work that will be completed by Penspen includes the development of facilities for unloading the Upper Zakhum (UZ) field and Non-System (NS) crudes at Jebel Dhana from tankers. The work will be carried out using the existing single point mooring (SPM-2), subsea pipeline, onshore pipeline and gravity pipeline to the three large tanks already in place. Both UZ and NS crudes will be blended and the crude will be transferred to Ruwais Refinery West to feed the crude oil distillation unit (CDU) with 420 000 bpd. Target Engineering Construction Company offers in-house services for major construction disciplines in onshore and offshore areas, with more than 40 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector. This contract is the second that the company has awarded to Penspen this year.

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