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Materials Newswire Stories

Cone Calorimeter Available to Aid in Iowa Manufacturer Test Standards

All building materials must meet a specific test standard in order to move forward with manufacturing. This standard, the ASTM-E84 Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, is used to determine how various materials act upon ignition. It is a costly, complex, and large-scale standard that has been the norm. However, a … Continue reading Cone Calorimeter Available to Aid in Iowa Manufacturer Test Standards

CIRAS Guides Grinding Improvement at Weiler

A Knoxville-based heavy equipment manufacturer estimates that the company retained more than $10 million in sales after CIRAS helped it solve a problem with cracking shafts on a rock drill used in highway construction.

Mark Prachar, a project engineer with Weiler, said the company took control of a new process for making components for its rock drills in 2018—only to find cracks in the shafts produced. Company engineers, many of them Iowa State University graduates, turned to CIRAS for help diagnosing the problem.

Iowa State Lab Tours Turning Virtual This Fall

Iowa State University uses a wide variety of equipment and technology for testing and scientific research. With proper coordination, this same equipment and personnel can be used to help Iowa companies test or analyze their products – but first you have to know what’s possible.

Throughout October, CIRAS experts will be leading a series of four virtual tours to help Iowa manufacturers get more familiar with the tools and capabilities available in various Iowa State labs.

CIRAS TAP—Connecting Iowans with Tech, Each Other

Pengo Corporation had a problem. Pengo, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of drilling attachments and related wear parts, went in late 2016 to test a new auger in front of a major client. And it failed. The company turned to CIRAS materials specialists Paul Berge and Adam Bosenberg, who quickly found decarburization in the … Continue reading CIRAS TAP—Connecting Iowans with Tech, Each Other

NDE Testing Helps VT Industries Save Time, Avoid Costs

A Holstein, Iowa, maker of doors and countertops saved time and money last summer after CIRAS experts helped the company quickly identify problems with two potential products.

Aron Fleischmann, an engineer with VT Industries, said his company will avoid tens of thousands of dollars in potential warranty work because CIRAS helped pinpoint the cause of cracking discovered during inspections of shipments from a supplier.

CIRAS Solves Case of Computer Corrosion

Methodical detective work by a CIRAS metallurgist helped a Hiawatha computer company keep a new product on track—and preserved the potential for an estimated $25 million in new sales.

Crystal Group, a manufacturer of rugged computers for use in extreme military and industrial environments, was working on machines for a new autonomous vehicle last spring when the company noticed a problem. CIRAS project manager Adam Boesenberg ultimately diagnosed some corrosion in the computers’ cooling systems as stemming from the use of a coolant that has known problems interacting with aluminum parts.

Birmingham Manufacturing gets Reawakened to the Value of Innovation

Michael Nunn hasn’t yet found the product improvement idea he was searching for, but at least he now knows that he’s on the correct path.

Nunn is the owner of Birmingham Manufacturing, a four-person shop in Birmingham, Iowa, that makes condensated evaporating pans for use in commercial coolers. The pans, which contain a heating element and sit below refrigeration units, work to evaporate the water that drips from inside coolers.

Quick Service by Metallurgist Gives ALMACO Peace of Mind

A Nevada, Iowa-based agricultural equipment company saved a possible $12 million worth of business because CIRAS metallurgists helped the company confirm the viability of a new machine.