Greetings from The Refractories Institute! Welcome
to the inaugural edition of the Institute's on-line newsletter.
This electronic version has replaced the monthly printed edition.
Purchases New Savage Plant
Industries has obtained final approval to purchase the New
Savage, Maryland plant of ANH Refractories, according to J.
Donald Harris, CEO of Clayburn. The sale of the facility was
approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Western Pennsylvania
on November 22, 2002.
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The sale of certain National Refractories assets under Section
363 of the Bankruptcy Code reached another milestone as initial
bids, or "stalking horse bids", were recently announced.
These are the bids that are deemed to be the best legitimate
bids received to date. They serve as the starting points when
the public auction is held on December 12, 2002, in San Francisco.
At that time, additional parties may join the bidding process
by making offers above the "stalking horse" bids.
Products has offered $5 million for certain brands, product
lines, equipment, raw materials, and other assets from the
National plants in Wellsville and Mexico, Missouri, and the
plant in Columbiana, Ohio. Allied Mineral Products has made
an initial bid for the Chicago Fire Brick monolithic operations
of $3 million, plus inventory. In addition, Rex Roto reportedly
has made a bid for the fused silica operation of National
Affiliated Technologies in Cumming, Georgia.
not clear if other parties are prepared to offer higher bids
at the December 12 auction.
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Mills Files Dumping Charge
Mills Electro Minerals Corp. of North Grafton, Massachusetts
has filed a petition with the International Trade Administration
(ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce alleging that Chinese
companies are dumping brown fused alumina grain in the United
a positive determination in dumping cases can be a lengthy
process. First ITA conducts an initial review to determine
if a case may have merit. The second stage is a lengthy investigation
by ITA to determine if dumping has taken place. A separate
body, the International Trade Commission, conducts a parallel
investigation to determine if a domestic industry has been
materially hurt by the dumping and what remedies will be applied.
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Industrial Ceramics, Worcester, Massachusetts, restructured
its North American marketing and sales organization for Energy
Systems. Kevin Paskale, applications engineer, is responsible
for sales to the gas turbine market and certain petrochemical
accounts. Wade Taber, applications engineer, is responsible
for design and sales assistance for the gasification business,
including direct sales from Worcester of chrome-alumina refractories
for the coal gasification market made by the Savoie Refractaires
division in France. Robert Jones and Joseph Quellet, refractory
sales specialists, will continue to provide sales and refractory
installation support to the waste-to-energy and coal-fired
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31st ALAFAR Congress
ALAFAR Congress was held in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil, October
28-31. About 180 registrants and 70 companions convened at
the Marriott Resort and Spa fifty miles northeast of Salvador
thirty keynote presentations and technical papers were presented
in the course of the meeting, including updates on the steel
and cement industries and discussions of current practices
and future trends in monolithic refractories, with a U.S.
monolithics update presented by Dennis Peters of TRI member
Resco Products. In a departure from the traditional format,
a two hour panel discussion on economic and technical challenges
of monolithics was also held, chaired by Paulo Bittencourt
of Magnesita and Alvaro Lopes of Possehl.
meeting is not complete without companions' tours and a social
agenda which provide important opportunities for informal
exchange. This year companions were provided a shopping trip
to Salvador and a tour of the village of Praia do Forte and
the sea turtle conservation project there.
will be no ALAFAR Congress in 2003 as the decision has been
made not to host a Congress in a year when a UNITECR is held.
UNITECR will be held in Osaka, Japan, October 19-22, 2003.
ALAFAR Congress will be held in Guatemala in November, 2004.
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Product Manager for Orton Ceramic Foundation
Slevin was hired as Product Manager for Instruments, a newly
created position, by the Orton Ceramic Foundation in Westerville,
Ohio. He will be responsible for sales and marketing and product
development. He is a graduate of Ohio State University with
a BS and MS degree in Ceramic Engineering. He has held a variety
of R&D, sales, marketing and management positions within
the refractories industry.
Rewrites Exit, Emergency Action Rules
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a revision
to its requirements for exit routes, emergency action plans,
and fire prevention plans found in Subpart E of Part 1910
of the Code of Federal Regulations. The revision was printed
in the Federal Register on November 7. It addresses three
aspects of exit routes: design and construction requirements;
maintenance, safeguards, and operational requirements; and
requirements for warning employees on the need to evacuate.
The rule is effective December 9, 2002. Single copies are
available to TRI members from the Institute.
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Issues HazCom Memos
Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued two memoranda
related to its enforcement of the agency's recently published
regulation on hazard communication. Procedure Instruction
Letter No. 102-III-1, entitled "Compliance Procedures
for the Hazard Communications Standard," dated 10/4/02,
establishes policies and procedures necessary to ensure uniform
enforcement of the HazCom standard by MSHA field offices.
Program Policy Letter No. P02-III-2, dated 9/5/02, incorporates
the HazCom training provisions into MSHA's training requirements
in Parts 46 and 48 of the MSHA regulations.
of these documents may be found on the MSHA website: www.msha.gov.
Single copies are available to TRI members by calling
(412) 281-6787, faxing (412) 281-6881, or
Deck for 108th Congress
lame duck session of the 107th Congress having adjourned,
planning is underway for the 108th Congress which will start
work in January. The Republican control of both houses, plus
the upcoming 2004 presidential election, will make for some
interesting dynamics, with the conservative agenda sometimes
tempered and sometimes trumped by legislators seeking to appease
the widest range of potential voters. Likely legislative initiatives
and passage of a Patients' Bill of Rights and a
prescription health benefit for senior citizens.
debate and possible compromise on a National Energy Plan
which encourages domestic exploration, contains incentives
for new technologies and promotes voluntary conservation
business support for tort reform, tax reform including repeal
of the alternative minimum tax and accelerated capital cost
recovery, efforts to counter a too-strong dollar, and changes
to social security.
bashing will continue with efforts to impose "safeguards"
on corporate governance to remedy and prevent "abuses."
pressure for an economic stimulus package, whether needed
or not, which, if enacted, will probably be too little,
too late, and misdirected.
on terrorism and the Iraq situation may ultimately end up
dictating much of the congressional agenda.
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Reviews Mental Stress for Asbestos Exposure Argument
6, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments seeking reversal
of a West Virginia jury's award of $5.8 million to six retired
railroad workers who alleged they might develop cancer from
job-related asbestos exposure (Norfolk and Western Railway
Co. V. Ayers). The award was made as compensation for "emotional
distress" caused by the fear of the possibility of getting
cancer. The West Virginia State Supreme Court had denied review.
Attorneys for the defendant cited the case as another example
of the "asbestos litigation crisis" arising out
of claims for stress and possible future undiagnosed medical
problems which sap resources which should be used to compensate
legitimate victims of asbestos-related disease.
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Shipments in 2002
Census Bureau has released the MA327(c) report on refractories
for calendar year 2001 in October. The following quotes the
Summary of Findings:
2001, total manufacturers' shipments of refractories amounted
to $1,907.3 million, a decrease of 8 percent from $2,063.7
million in 2000.
of clay refractories decreased 14 percent to $756.8 million
in 2001, from $878.3 million in 2000. Clay refractories shipments
accounted for 40 percent of total refractories shipments in
2001 and 43 percent in 2000.
of nonclay refractories decreased 3 percent to $1,150.5 million
in 2001, from $1,185.4 million in 2000. Nonclay refractories
shipments accounted for 60 percent of the total refractories
shipments in 2001 and 57 percent in 2000.
"Brick and shapes continue to be the dominate form of
refractories. Brick and shapes from clay refractories showed
a decrease of 12 percent to $396.4 million in 2001, from $451.8
million in 2000. Brick and shapes from nonclay refractories
showed a decrease of 4 percent to $607.8 million in 2001,
from $636.1 million in 2000. Unshaped clay refractories decreased
18 percent to $296.8 million in 2001, from $364.1 million
in 2000. Mortars increased 9 percent to $23.2 million in 2001,
from $21.3 million in 2000. Plastic refractories and ramming
mixes from nonclay refractories increased 42 percent to $165.4
million in 2001, from $116.4 million in 2000."
of the full report is available on the web at: "Current
Industry Report (CIR)." Click on "CIRs by Subsector,"
then choose the survey of interest. Follow the menu to view
the PDF file or to download the worksheet file (WK format)
to your personal computer. These data are also available on
Internet through the U.S. Department of Commerce and STAT-USA
by subscription. The Internet address is: www.stat-usa.gov.
Follow the prompt to register. You may also call (202) 482-1986
or 1-800-STAT-USA, for further information.
copies are also available to TRI members by calling TRI at
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Geological Survey published in November, 2002, the Mineral
Industry Survey covering lime in the United States for the
years 1950 to 2001.
the Mineral Industry Survey 2001 Annual Reviews are available
covering bauxite and alumina, chromium, and iron and steel.
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of domestic primary metals, steel, aluminum, and copper activity
during September, October, and November, 2002 are available
to TRI members on request.
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Correspondence Institute of the American Ceramic Society now
offers the course, "Refractory Technology" on line.
The course consists of three sections: Refractory Materials,
Compositions, and Forms; Refractory Engineering and Installation
Technology; and Refractory Applications in Industry.
is available to take on line and also comes in a traditional
printed format. Visit CCI's website at www.ceramics.org/cci
for more information.
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4th International Symposium on Refractories is scheduled March
24-28, 2003, in Dalian, China. For more information, call
Process Heating Advance Materials Forum
U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Industrial Heating Equipment
Association (IHEA) are sponsoring a Process Heating Advance
Materials Forum on February 5-6, 2003, at the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
purpose of the Forum is to provide an environment in which
representatives from the process heating industry, the associated
user community, and scientists and researchers from the national
laboratories and elsewhere can share information on recent
research and development, and discuss the future research
needs of the Process Heating Industry, in the area of advanced
materials. The Forum will provide an opportunity for the attendees
to visit R&D facilities at ORNL and to discuss various
means available to pursue collaborative R&D and other
activities at ORNL.
agenda has been structured to allow for both formal and informal
opportunities to exchange information. The planned outcome
of this event is a written report that identifies areas of
research and development that demonstrate particular promise
for the process heating industry and comments on a strategy
for DOE and the National Laboratories to work with the industry
on R&D that meets future needs of the industry.
is no registration fee, but a security form must be completed
by January 5, 2003, if you want to attend. Contact TRI for