H.C. Starck Solutions has a rich manufacturing history and has always prioritized the health and safety of its employees. The work our team does in our plants can be dangerous and requires strict safety measures and awareness. Always striving for excellence, the company is continuously optimizing its production processes to ensure highest quality parts for its customers while keeping its team members safe.
The Newton site manufactures high technology products made from tantalum and niobium for customers in the electronics, chemical processing, superconductor, and defense industries to name just a few. It is a critical part of the semiconductor value chain and has been operating as an essential business throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
To produce such specialized refractory metal parts, the plant has advanced melting/refining capabilities and a suite of metalworking equipment which requires a skilled workforce as well as extra care and precaution to operate correctly and safely. Our Operations team handles sharp, hot, and/or hazardous materials daily so maintaining a safe working environment needs training and awareness. As hands are especially at risk of accidents when operating fabrication equipment, handling sharp metal parts, or working with chemical substances, the Newton site devoted an entire week to hand safety awareness.
The Hand Safety Week was held in the week of June 7-11 and included various trainings, activities, and giveaways with a hand safety theme. The Newton Fire Chief Captain Phil McCully and his team came to visit, providing the local employees with valuable tips and tricks to keep hands safe on the job. The H.C. Starck Solutions Health and Safety department organized Toolbox Talks with a different topic each day related to hand safety, and during the Glove Matching Challenge, participants had to apply their acquired knowledge to match a glove to the correct work station for a chance to win a prize.
But the Hand Safety Week did not focus on safety training alone. The company also wanted to recognize individuals, departments, or other employee groups that are taking extra steps to promote health and safety, and to reduce accidents, incidents, and injuries to others. Throughout the week, employees had the opportunity to nominate a team member for the Stars of Safety Awards, resulting in three winners that were awarded special prizes at the end of the week for their safety contributions. This recognition supports H.C. Starck Solutions’ mission of improving human health and wellness (through employee safety), along with the commitment to provide an environment that protects and supports its workforce.
The week was a full-on success with our local team participating in the activities, from creating our new Hand Safety Banner to challenging each other in the safety-related obstacle course. It was a fun and interactive way to not only bring the team together, but also emphasize the importance of hand safety and the many ways we can avoid accidents at work. H.C. Starck Solutions will continue its hand safety and employee appreciation activities at other sites over the summer and is looking forward to many other Safety Weeks to follow.
Press release originally published on PR Newswire.
April 7 – Newton MA. The essential role of H.C. Starck Solutions in the semiconductor, aerospace and defense markets was the focus of a visit by Congressman Jake Auchincloss to the global headquarters in Newton on Wednesday. The company supplies the most technically advanced tantalum sputtering targets for the semiconductor supply chain as well as refractory metal products for space and defense applications.
“We were excited to give Congressman Auchincloss the opportunity to see how H.C. Starck Solutions is an essential business, has been successfully executing Covid protocols and keeping our employees safe, while maintaining continuous production of high technology products for our customers in the semiconductor, medical and defense industries” said Jake Homiller, President & CEO of H.C. Starck Solutions.
During the Congressman‘s tour of the plant, several key areas of operations and the differentiators of H.C. Starck Solutions’ process technology were highlighted. Congressman Auchincloss addressed the workforce, emphasizing the importance of the work being done to support the strategic needs of the US and the continued importance of investing in high quality jobs in Massachusetts.
“H.C. Starck Solutions is a critical node in the semiconductor value chain and it represents Massachusetts’ advantage in advanced manufacturing. We are a state that is a world leader in the manufacturing of complex, high value goods. And right here in Newton, we have an example of an employer that is doing work that is critical for many of the products we take for granted in daily life. H.C. Starck Solutions represents not only the jobs of today and of the future, but also America’s competitive advantage,” said the Congressman.
The group discussed the plant’s capabilities, processes, and end products. “It was great to share with the Congressman how our Newton facility supports the semiconductor industry, which has been highlighted by the Biden Administration as a critical supply chain risk. We are proud of what our plant does, and it was great to see the Congressman and his team so engaged with our workforce,” said Homiller.
With the support of our elected officials, H.C. Starck Solutions looks forward to building on its legacy of refractory metal innovation and continuing its support of customers in critical end markets.
About H.C. Starck Solutions
H.C. Starck Solutions is a leading global manufacturer of metal powders, complex fabrications, and additively manufactured parts made from refractory metals. It is headquartered in Newton, MA, with operations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Its three U.S. manufacturing plants are in Newton, MA, Euclid, OH, and Coldwater, MI. The company works with four key refractory metals and their alloys, supplying its products to the semiconductor, aerospace, defense, medical, chemical processing, glass melting, and commercial heat-treating industries.
H.C. Starck Solutions was a recent a sponsor at the TIPE 3D Printing Virtual Conference powered by Women in 3D Printing January 27-28, 2021. Women in 3D Printing is an organization that supports and inspires women in additive manufacturing, with a mission to close the gender gap in the field. Through memberships, host events, job boards, and a dedicated magazine, they endeavour to increase the visibility of female leaders in the additive manufacturing industry and encourage newcomers to use 3D printing technologies.
About TIPE 3D Printing
With a focus on case studies, additive manufacturing user applications, visionary talks on the future, and people shaping the industry, TIPE 3D Printing curates an inspirational all-female agenda of speakers and panelists. Long-lasting connections and networking opportunities are emphasized throughout this human-centred event, which welcomes all members of the additive manufacturing community and related fields. The conference had an inspirational all-female agenda of speakers and panelists highlighting the latest work in additive manufacturing technology, the industry, the people, and the global economy.
Our very own additive manufacturing R&D Engineer, Faith Oehlerking, was a speaker in the “Material Innovations” session of the Technology Track on January 28. This presentation, “Optimizing Refractory Metals for Additive Manufacturing” highlights H.C. Starck Solutions’ materials, methods, markets, and recent research developments within the additive manufacturing space.
Faith currently works in the Coldwater, MI facility, focusing on developing the company’s refractory metal AM powders for the laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) additive manufacturing technology. Previous to H.C. Starck Solutions, Faith was a product development engineer for Formetrix Metals, a metal 3D printing start-up developing L-PBF materials for the tool and die industry. Faith received her B.S. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
Using a Renishaw RenAM 500 Series AM machine with refractory metals supplied by H.C. Starck Solutions, HiETA and the University of Southampton have unlocked new design thinking for satellite propulsion by enabling engineers to build fine structures and complex 3D geometries that could not be produced using traditional fabrication techniques. Through close collaboration, the team delivered an innovative new resistojet propulsion system named STAR (Super high Temperature Additively manufactured Resistojets) consisting of nested and interconnected heating elements.
Through funding from the UK Space Agency Flagship Program and with the additional collaboration from the Satellite Applications Catapult and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the team has been able to demonstrate the potential benefits of an AM design approach for enhancing performance of a refractory metal-based resistojet propulsion system. The webinar will cover all of the challenges that the team had to overcome to successfully build refractory metal-based resistojets using AM. Topics will include the design, modeling, material selection, AM build and testing of the resistojet propulsion system.
At H.C. Starck Solutions, we have accrued significant expertise in tantalum, molybdenum, tungsten, and niobium-based powders as well as a broad spectrum of highly engineered furnace hardware (from simple trays and boats to complex hot zones, racks and other assemblies). With a diverse suite of engineering tools available to us, we employ advance modelling to develop design and manufacture custom solutions for specific products used in high temperature sintering or heat treating furnaces.
This presentation discusses the importance and role of manufacturing optimum Mo and W powders for MIM feedstock as well as design and modelling of furnace hardware for optimum performance and extended lifetime.
H.C. Starck Solutions is excited to be a sponsor at the upcoming TIPE 3D Printing Virtual Conference powered by Women in 3D Printing happening January 27-28, 2021. Women in 3D Printing is an organization that supports and inspires women in additive manufacturing, with a mission to close the gender gap in the field. Through memberships, host events, job boards, and a dedicated magazine, they endeavour to increase the visibility of female leaders in the additive manufacturing industry and encourage newcomers to use 3D printing technologies.
About TIPE 3D Printing
With a focus on case studies, additive manufacturing user applications, visionary talks on the future, and people shaping the industry, TIPE 3D Printing curates an inspirational all-female agenda of speakers and panelists. Long-lasting connections and networking opportunities are emphasized throughout this human-centred event, which welcomes all members of the additive manufacturing community and related fields. The conference will have an inspirational all-female agenda of speakers and panelists will highlight the latest work in additive manufacturing technology, the industry, the people, and the global economy. H.C. Starck Solutions is excited to share its wealth of knowledge in refractory metals for additive manufacturing at this show.
Our very own additive manufacturing R&D Engineer, Faith Oehlerking, will be a speaker in the “Material Innovations” session of the Technology Track on January 28, 12:30-1:00pm EST. Faith will be giving a presentation titled “Optimizing Refractory Metals for Additive Manufacturing” which will highlight H.C. Starck Solutions’ materials, methods, markets, and recent research developments within the additive manufacturing space.
Faith currently works in the Coldwater, MI facility, focusing on developing H.C. Starck Solutions’ refractory metal AM powders for the laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) additive manufacturing technology. Previous to H.C. Starck Solutions, Faith was a product development engineer for Formetrix Metals, a metal 3D printing start-up developing L-PBF materials for the tool and die industry. Faith received her B.S. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
We are excited to be a part of this virtual conference and share our extensive knowledge of additive manufacturing with the Women in 3D Printing community.
The H.C. Starck Solutions centennial celebration is almost ending. During 2020, we have alternately reflected on the equipment, the facilities, and – indeed – the personnel who have helped build our global reputation for excellence in the field of refractory metals. It has also given us an opportunity to look back on some of our greatest successes with a view to understanding how all the largest milestones are reached in incremental steps.
This month, we are shining the spotlight on our expertise in the chemical process industry (CPI) with a focus on the extensive research and development (R&D) our teams have carried out into novel corrosion-resistant systems based on niobium and tantalum alloys.
Why Use Niobium & Tantalum Alloys in the CPI?
The CPI has grown dramatically and, that growth has yielded a host of new processes and supply-demand issues. Complicating the development pipeline for this already complex industry is the need to push the limits of materials science and achieving superior corrosion-resistant solutions for new processes. Modern chemical plants require materials that can deliver high-temperature and high-pressure service in increasingly concentrated acids with longer lifetime. Tantalum alloys continue to fill a niche in applications where long-life, reliability, maintenance-free and rapid heat transfer are required.
Tantalum alloys owe their exceptional corrosion resistant properties to a thin surface layer of tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) that forms on the metal’s surface when exposed to oxygen. This adherent, self-passivating protective layer is extremely stable, defect-free, and capable of spontaneously reforming in the event of damage.
With similar properties but less resistance to chemical attack, lower mechanical strength, and a lower cost than that of tantalum, niobium covers an important niche in the world of CPI.
Since the early 1970s, the tantalum alloy Ta2.5W (patented in July 1971) became the standard CPI material, replacing pure tantalum due to its high mechanical strength and superior corrosion-resistant properties. Ta2.5W offers an exceptional combination of mechanical strength, high corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement resistance, and high thermal conductivity making it an ideal material for tubing or sheet used in heat exchangers, reactors, and other critical chemical equipment.
In 1976, H.C. Starck registered the trademark NRC®76 for Ta2.5W made in Newton, MA, USA (a suburb of Boston). Manufactured via in-house electron-beam, vacuum arc melting, and a combination of thermo-mechanical processes refined over decades, our signature NRC®76 welded tubing offers the customer a defect-free product with a tightly controlled composition and most importantly uniform wall thickness which is paramount in engineering calculations to secure safety for many years in operation.
Once our NRC®76 got the prestigious German TÜV certification the alloy became the undisputed leading tantalum alloy in the global CPI market.
A unique NRC76 (Ta2.5W) product of our plant in Newton, MA, the E-clad sheet is the only large tantalum sheet in the market which features excellent surface quality and best-in-class flatness, making it the choice solution for explosion cladding.
Our Research into Novel Tantalum Alloys
Around 2010, we pioneered research into new tantalum alloys with greater corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement resistance. Little progress had been made by other players in the industry since the genesis of Ta2.5W almost forty years prior. H.C. Starck Solutions developed and patented the ULTRA 76 tantalum alloy (US patent 9,725,793 issued April 2017) which shows dramatically improved corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement rates in hot and concentrated hydrochloric and sulphuric acids (which constitute the majority of applications for tantalum in the CPI).
Responding to market pressure to reduce the cost of ULTRA 76, additional work resulted in the development of ULTRA76+, a modified Ta2.5W alloy with significantly improved mechanical and anti-corrosion properties and a reduced cost when compared with the previous the generation (ULTRA76). ULTRA76+ is patented across the world and already generating value to customers in need of solutions in extreme corrosion environments.
Continuing the tradition of leadership in this field, H.C. Starck Solutions carried out advanced R&D into new alloying systems and have developed and patented a family of niobium alloys with superior properties compared with pure Nb for CPI (patent no. 9187802, Nov 2015).
As a key player in the industry, H.C. Starck Solutions contributed throughout the years to standardizing the material and product requirements for the CPI industry being an integral part of the ASTM B10 Committee (Reactive and Refractory Metals and Alloys – Subcommittee B10.03 Ta &Nb).
The Future of Niobium & Tantalum Alloys
We are keenly and actively engaged in the future of the CPI industry by constantly working with customers to develop creative solutions. Some of the most exciting work involves the creation of powders and wire used as feedstock in additive manufacturing but, even more exciting, the creation of advanced solutions for CPI by using 3D printing to develop and produce highly advanced equipment for extreme performance in challenging operational conditions.
Looking for tantalum alloys?
At H.C. Starck Solutions, it is incredibly important to us that all our growth be sustainable. Throughout the years, our vertical integration as well as continuous technical progress developed us into a manufacturer that champions societal progress through sustainable technological innovation. We recycle an ever-increasing percentage of the niobium and tantalum alloys we use for production ever year. Want to learn more? Contact a member of the team today. Or, refer back to our 100 Years of Refractory Metals Expertise page to learn more about our centennial celebration.
H.C. Starck Solutions will be exhibiting virtually at the upcoming Formnext Connect Virtual Conference, November 10-12, 2020. Formnext Connect is the virtual alternative for business and knowledge exchange for the global Additive Manufacturing (AM) community in these times of a global pandemic. At Formnext Connect, the whole world of additive manufacturing will be presenting the latest solutions for the entire process chain. We are excited to participate and showcase our extensive knowledge in AM methods and refractory metal part manufacturing.
Our competency in material selection, part design, process validation and full-scale manufacturing provides a leading edge in the fast-paced AM industry. With refractory metal feedstocks including both powder and wire, we can support multiple AM methods and our refractory metal parts portfolio covers all key markets.
Based on 100 years of experience in manufacturing and development of refractory metals, we have powder and wire feedstock with tailored properties perfectly suited for AM. The company’s core competencies of W, Mo, Ta, and Nb, in pure and alloyed forms, ensure materials with the highest quality and performance for our customers. As an integrated player, we use our feedstock materials and turn them into innovative finished products using the best suited additive manufacturing methods.
Register for Formnext Connect and meet with industry experts from H.C. Starck Solutions to learn more about our AM capabilities.
H.C. Starck Solutions is proud to announce its participation at this year’s Glasstec Virtual 2020 on October 20-22. This show is the world’s leading trade fair for the glass industry. Top speakers from various areas of the glass industry will be presenting the latest trends and developments in glass production, glass processing, glass finishing, as well as glass products and applications. We are excited to attend and share our knowledge of molybdenum products used in the glass manufacturing industry.
We will be a virtual “exhibitor” at this show. Our Market Directors, Cristian Cretu and Robert Marchiando will be presenting a live panel session, “Molybdenum in Glass Melting – Products, Applications, Benefits” on October 20, 7:40AM EST (13:40 -14:10 CEST). This presentation will offer an overview of molybdenum (Mo) products used in the manufacturing of various glass types. With applications ranging from traditional glassware to advanced fiber glass and pharmaceutical vials, Mo proves to be the material of choice for glass melting electrodes (GMEs). Benefits of different types of GMEs as well as criteria for choosing the right product will be discussed.
Learn more about the show here