Bedford, MA, December 15, 2009-
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today that it has selected a project proposed by a joint venture led by wTe Corporation for funding under the NlST Technology Innovation Program (TIP). The new $11.5 million research project will develop advanced sensor technologies to recycle aerospace metals such as titanium and nickel-cobalt superalloys. Scott Mellen, wTels President and CEO, said that, “wTe and our partners are very pleased to be selected on such an important strategic project targeted at developing technologies that are essential to the long-term manufacturing competitiveness of the United States.” The project was a response to TIP’S solicitation to address a Critical National Need: “Accelerating the lntegration of Materials Advances into Manufacturing Processes.”
wTe Corporation, together with its two joint venture partners, National Recovery Technologies, Inc. and Energy Research Company will develop, scale-up and integrate transformational technologies for high-speed scrap sortation of mixed machining chips and small solids by alloy type, and for real-time, molten metal analysis of high-temperature alloys. The project, titled “Building U.S. Strategic Metals Competitiveness Through lntegration of Advanced Sensor Technologies,” will apply Spectramet and Melt Cognition technologies (proprietary advanced compositional sensor technologies). The Spectramet Technologies accurately identify and automatically sort aerospace metals such as titanium and nickel/cobalt superalloys at ultra-high speeds so they can be recycled more cost effectively. The Melt Cognition Technologies enhance capacity for existing melting furnaces by measuring composition in real time at high temperatures.
Dr. David Spencer, wTe’s Chief Technical Officer, added that “the project will reduce the amount of recycled aerospace metal that is downgraded to inferior product applications so that this very valuable scrap metal can be recycled into its highest value, namely so it can be used again as clean alloy feedstock for making new aerospace parts.” As a result of this project, Spencer suggests that there will be less United States dependence on supplies of strategic virgin metals recovered at primary refineries from ore (most of which are purchased abroad), there will be substantial energy savings from use of scrap rather than ore and virgin metals, and there will be greatly reduced emissions because secondary smelting consumes much less energy than primary production followed by remelting.
It is critical that the United States remain competitive in manufacturing of advanced aerospace materials because these materials are necessary for national defense (fighter jets, armored vehicles and tanks), jet engine manufacturing and for the aircraft industry in general. Moreover, aerospace products have consistently produced large trade surpluses for the United States since the 1990s.
wTe Corporation is a technology-driven recycling company located in Bedford, MA. The Company operates downstream plastics and metals recycling and refining operations in several locations in North America. Spectrameta LLC, a joint venture with National Recovery Technologies, Inc., Nashville, TN, targets high speed sorting of various high value non-ferrous metals using a revolutionary approach. Melt Cognition” LLC, a joint venture with Energy Research Company, Staten Island, NY and Materials Strategies, Inc., Worcester, MA, promotes development and sale of optoelectronic equipment for continuously measuring liquid metal composition and controlling melt chemistry on-line.
The NlST Technology Innovation Program supports innovative, high-risk research in new technologies that address critical national needs. The merit-based, competitive program provides costshared funding for research projects by single small-sized or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that also may include institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories.
Contact: Scott Mellen, CEO and President
(781)275-6400 x 107