Monday, October 29, 2007
Within two weeks, or NLT than 12 November 2007, the checks payable to qualified class-action members will be mailed. This is good news for the Liquidmetaholics!!!!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Q3 2007 Liquidmetal Technologies Earnings Conference Call
November 8, 2007, 4:30 PM ET
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Filed under: Cellphones
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Allegheny Technologies 3Q Profit Rises
Associated Press 10.24.07, 8:23 AM ET
PITTSBURGH -Metal producer Allegheny Technologies Inc. said
Wednesday its third-quarter profit jumped 21 percent on strong demand for high-end alloys and metals such as titanium.
Net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to $193.9 million, or $1.88 per share, compared with $160.2 million, or $1.56 per share.
Analysts expected earnings, on average, of $1.86 per share, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.
Revenue for the quarter increased to $1.34 billion, up from $1.29 billion previously. That figure fell short of analysts' average forecast of $1.38 billion.
Sales growth was driven entirely by gains in the company's high-performance metals segment, which produces titanium, zirconium and alloys made from nickel, cobalt, and other metals. Quarterly revenue at the division increased 14 percent amid robust demand from the aerospace, defense, and energy industries.
High-performance metals accounted for about 37 percent of sales.
Sales slipped 3 percent at the company's flat-rolled products segment despite strong demand for high-end products such as titanium sheet. Sales at the engineered products segment were essentially flat.
"Our third quarter 2007 results had two divergent story lines," Chairman, President and Chief Executive L. Patrick Hassey said in a statement. "Strong demand trends continued in our High Performance Metals segment and for our high-value flat-rolled products. On the other hand, shipments of our standard stainless products were extraordinarily weak."
Hassey expects the company's stainless sheet business will begin to improve early next year. He also reiterated the company's 2007 earnings forecast of $7 to $7.25 per share.
[Blog Editor's Note: Because the health of the specialty metal suppliers directly reflects the sector in which Liquidmetal is imbedded, we will report on such companies as Allegheny (ATI), a company which knows what it is doing, Carpenter Steel (CRS), also a company with a progressive 5 year track record, and Titanium Corp of America (TIE) a stellar performer.
Then, there is Liquidmetal, which has insisted on doing things the same as Medical Manager was run, showing the disastrous results as shown on this chart, going completely ass-backwards (LQMT) .]
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Liquidmetal and Vitreloy are commercial names of a series of amorphous metal alloys . Liquidmetal alloys combine a number of desirable material features, including high tensile strength, excellent corrosion resistance, very high elasticity and excellent anti-wearing characteristics, while also being able to be heat-formed in processes similar to thermoplastics. Although only introduced for commercial applications in 2003, Liquidmetal is already finding a number of uses as varied as golf clubs, and a variety of uses on cellphones: frames for LCD screens, battery cover plates, hinges, casing material (see Nokia Virtu), developed by a California Institute of Technology research team, now marketed by a firm that the team organized calledLiquidmetal Technologies
BackgroundTo understand the qualities of Liquidmetal it is best to start with a more common structural metal, iron. Iron has a relatively large atom, which forms into an open crystal structure given the proper conditions. The atoms can "slide" along the planes of the structure, meaning that pure iron is fairly ductile, often being able to be bent by hand, while still being very strong in tension when one tries to pull the structure apart. In order to improve the strength of iron, impurities can be added to "lock in" the structure to prevent it from sliding. The most common alloying agent is carbon, which results in steel.
When steel solidifies from a liquid after being smelted, it starts to form small crystals of various forms. These crystals grow until they come into contact with other crystals seeded at other points, which have different orientations, and sometimes different mechanical arrangements. When the process is complete, these crystals form a large lattice structure of individual "grains", which are sometimes visible to the naked eye.
Although the alloying process prevents the sort of sliding motions of pure iron, the inter-grain strength is fairly low compared to the strength of the bonds inside the grains. This leads to another form of ductility were the grains themselves slide along their boundaries, or the grains are broken apart from each other. Mechanical cracks formed during the cooling process is another source of potential weakness. Under repeated loading the grains can be forced apart and the cracks forced open, this process, crack propagation, leads to metal fatigue.
Numerous processes can be used to reduce this problem. Wrought iron is repeatedly worked to mechanically force these cracks shut during the forming of an item such as a horse shoe, and the famed Japanese katana uses a similar process to produce high quality steels. More modern techniques like cold rolling and forging are able to remove these imperfections on industrial scales. Alternately it is possible to grow single very large crystals that are free from such inter-grain boundaries by definition, but these processes are slow, energy intensive, and fairly expensive. Such materials are typically limited to aerospace roles, for instance the blades of turbines in jet engines which are subject to repeated heat cycling which is a perfect environment for causing metal fatigue.
Molten metals generally have fairly low viscosity and "flow well". This limits the sorts of molding methods that can be used. For instance, casting processes flow molten metal into formed shapes, but these shapes generally have limitations on their complexity. Metals generally shrink as they cool as well, which means that they have to be "finished" after casting to get a quality surface because they do not remain in contact with the form at all times. Additionally, cast metals retain the mechanical imperfections that the forging and rolling processes remove, making them considerably less strong. Metals are simply not ideal for forming complex shapes except for machining and other post-forming processes, which are more expensive and time consuming.
For this reason, thermoplastics remain a major industrial material. Although they are far less strong that steel, about fifty times, they can be easily formed into complex shapes and retain a good finish. They can be created from raw materials and formed into a product in a continuous process, something that metals cannot generally match. A mixture of metals for "simple" shapes and plastics for more complex ones forms the basis of almost every product made today, from automobiles to televisions.
VitreloyMost of the "problems" with metals are a side effect of their crystalline structure, so producing a non-crystalline amorphous metal would solve many of them. However, crystal growth in a cooling mass of metal is strongly favored, so using any sort of "normal" process will lead to crystal formation. A variety of methods can be used to quickly chill the metal before this can take place, but these are suitable only for small batches.
Vitreloy was the end result of a long research program into amorphous metals carried out at CalTech. It was the first of a series of experimental alloys that could be easily formed and worked, earlier amorphous metals could be formed only in tiny batches. Since then a number of additional alloys have been added to the Liquidmetal portfolio. Vitreloy is created using conventional methods of batch mixing and bulk cooling, allowing it to be made in industrial quantities. It also retains its amorphous structure after repeated re-heating, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of traditional machining processes.
Liquidmetal alloys contain atoms of significantly different sizes. When melted they form a dense mix with low free volume, and as a consequence, fairly high viscosity. Unlike normal metals which are fairly free-flowing, Vitreloy is more "plastic". The viscosity also varies with temperature, increasing with lowered temperatures, allowing the mechanical properties to be controlled relatively easily during casting. The viscosity prevents the atoms moving enough to form an ordered lattice, so the material retains its amorphous properties even after being heat-formed.
The alloys have relatively low melting point in comparison with melting points of their components, allowing casting of complicated shapes without need of finishing. The material properties immediately after casting are much better than of conventional metals; usually, cast metals have worse properties than forged or wrought ones. The alloys are also malleable at low temperatures (400 °C for the earliest formulation), and can be molded. The low free volume also results in low shrinkage during cooling. For all of these reasons, Liquidmetal can be formed into complex shapes using processes similar to thermoplastics, which makes Liquidmetal a potential replacement for many applications where plastics would normally be used.
Due to their non-crystalline (amorphous) structures, Liquidmetals are harder than alloys of titanium or aluminum used in similar applications. The zirconium and titanium based Liquidmetal alloys achieved yield strength of over 1723 MPa, nearly twice the strength of conventional crystalline titanium alloys (Ti6A1-4V is ~830 MPa), and about the strength of high-strength steels and some highly engineered bulk composite materials (see tensile strength for a list of common materials). However, the early casting methods introduced microscopic flaws that were excellent sites for crack propagation, and led to Vitreloy being fragile, like glass. Although strong, these early batches could easily be shattered if struck. Newer casting methods, tweaks to the alloy mixtures and other changes have improved this.
The lack of grain boundaries also means the metals have no "automatic" starting sites for crack propagation, and are therefore much more resistant to metal fatigue (in theory at least), creep, or plastic deformation. This also implies that the metals are very elastic, as the energy normally dissipated in the crystal structure and gain boundaries is retained in these metals. The result is that the metals are up to three times as elastic as other alloys, even titanium, which is itself considered fairly elastic. In a demonstration, ball bearings dropped on plates of metal will bounce three times as long on Liquidmetal.
The lack of grain boundaries in a metallic glass eliminates grain-boundary corrosion — a common problem in high-strength alloys produced by precipitation hardening and sensitized stainless steels. Liquidmetal alloys are therefore generally more corrosion resistant, both due to the mechanical structure as well as the elements used in its alloy. The combination of mechanical hardness, high elasticity and corrosion resistance makes Liquidmetal wear resistant.
The high elasticity and lack of plastic deformation before onset of catastrophic failure limits the material applicability in reliability-critical applications, as the impending failure is not evident. The material is also susceptible to metal fatigue with crack growth; a two-phase compositemetal matrix composite reinforced with fibers of other material can reduce or eliminate this disadvantage. structure with amorphous matrix and a ductile dendritic crystalline-phase reinforcement, or a
UsesLiquidmetal combines a number of features that are normally not found in any one material. This makes them useful in a wide variety of applications.
One of the first commercial uses of Liquidmetal was in golf clubs made by the company, where the highly elastic metal was used in the shaft and for portions of the face of the club. These were highly rated by users, but the product was later dropped. Since then Liquidmetal has appeared in a number of other sports equipment, including the cores of golf balls, skis, baseball bats and softball bats, and tennis racquets.
The ability to be cast and molded, combined with high wear resistance, has also led to Liquidmetal being used as a replacement for plastics in some applications. It has been used on the casing of a late-model SanDisk "Cruzer Titanium" USB flash drives as well as their Sansa line of flash based MP3 player, and casings of some cellphones (like the luxury Vertu products), the Socketcom ring scanner bar code reader product casing, the Biolase stylus and casing, the Motorola antennae and the Samsung frame inserts, as well as other toughened consumer electronics. They retain a scratch-free surface longer than competing materials, while still being made in complex net-shape cast products. The same qualities lend it to be used as protective coatings for industrial machinery, including oil drill pipes (Foster-Wheeler Coatings Div) and power plant boiler tubes as those designed by Alstom.
It is also considered as a replacement of titanium in applications ranging from medical instruments and cars to military and aerospace industry. In military applications, rods of amorphous metals are considered as a potential replacement of depleted uranium in kinetic energy penetrators. Plates of Liquidmetal were used in the solar wind ion collector array in the Genesis space probe.
Although Liquidmetal has very high strength and an excellent strength to weight ratio, its commercial success as a structural material may be limited. Work continues on amorphous iron-based alloys that would combine at least some of the advantages of Liquidmetal with even greater strength, estimated to be two to three times the strength of the best steels made today. This would give such an alloy a strength to weight ratio that would easily beat the best lightweight materials such as aluminum or titanium, and be much less expensive than composites.
Commercial alloysA range of zirconium-based alloys have been marketed under this trade name. Some example compositions are listed below, in atomic percent:
- An early alloy, Vitreloy 1:
- A variant, Vitreloy 4, or Vit4:
- Vitreloy 105, or Vit105:
- A more recent development (Vitreloy 106a), which forms glass under less rapid cooling:
Recent developments have reduced the cost of Liquidmetal alloys substantially by eliminating Berylium and increasing aluminum.
- ^ Liquid metal behaves like plastic, Manufacturing Engineering, Mar 2003
- ^ Ball Bouncer Demonstration - QuickTime movie
- ^ The case for bulk metallic glass, Materials Today, March 2004
- ^ Drivers -- Liquid Metal driver - discussion of Liquidmetal golf clubs
Liquidmetal und Vitreloy sind Markennamen für amorphe Metall-Legierungen (sog. metallische Gläser), die von der Firma Liquidmetal Technologies entwickelt wurden. Durch ihre nicht-kristalline Struktur sind die verwendeten Zirconium-Legierungen härter und elastischer als Legierungen aus Titan oder Aluminium, die in den gleichen Bereichen eingesetzt werden. Die Technologie findet im militärischen und industriellen Bereich vielfach Anwendung; am bekanntesten ist jedoch ihre Verwendung in Sportgeräten wie Skiern, Tennis- Softball- und Baseballschlägern.
A recent order by Justice Steven D. Merryday to distribute the funds to the members of the
class-action lawsuit was confirmed to be received by Gilardi & Co., class-action administrator on August 19, 2007. Gilardi & Co. has requested the funds be transferred from plaintiffs attorneys (Saxena-White on behalf of Milberg, Weiss) to Gilardi & Co. Funds are due in to Gilardi this week and will be distributed within two weeks according to the class-action administrator.
At the outside, then, checks should be cut and mailed no later than the week of November 12, 2007.
Congratulations to all the longs who have waited for this meagre reward while the stock has lost half of its value over the same 1 year period.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Liquidmetal Insert Frame in Samsung U600
Samsung's innovative Smart Surface Mounting Technology (SSMT) reduces the number of components and noise between them allowing for phenomenally slim and ergonomic designs.
The Liquidmetal insert frame is the supporting structure inside of the phone upon which all of the components are mounted, as opposed to the exterior cosmetic frame of the cell phone.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – 18 October 2007 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) third-quarter results are scheduled to be issued at approximately 5:30 a.m. Central Time (USA) on Thursday, 25 October. Motorola will host its quarterly conference call with financial analysts following the earnings release at 6:30 a.m. Central Time (USA) on 25 October. The conference call will be webcast live with audio and slides at www.motorola.com/investor.
Motorola: Picking Itself Up
Motorola, which posted losses in the first two quarters of the year, is trying to shore up market share and profit margins for its slumping handset business. Though management has warned that its core business won't be profitable for the full year, some analysts say the worst may be over even if the recovery proves agonizingly slow. On the plus side, Motorola's new Razr2 model is seeing some success, especially in the U.S. Also, margins are benefiting from cost cutting and a firmer average selling price for the company's phones. On the downside, Motorola's weak entry-level lineup means losing out on the handset boom in China and India, while at the high end the company's models are bumping up against the iPhone.
A replay of the conference call will be available over the Internet at www.motorola.com/investor, approximately three hours after the call has been completed.
[Editor's Note: Investors in Liquidmetal may gain some insight into the analogous quarter for LQMT and future prospects for the components business based upon the results of the cellphone manufactures to which LQMT is making sales. For this reason we will post such notices as a public service.]
Thursday, October 18, 2007
On Wednesday, October 18, 2007, Judge Steven D. Merryday of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, wrote the order authorizing the distribution of funds to all class-action participants in PRIMAVERA INVESTORS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. LIQUIDMETAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., et al., Defendants, Case No. 8:04-CV-919-T-23-EAJ. http://www.gilardi.com/pdf/lqdm1not.pdf
Notice of of the Court's order has been provided to Plaintiff's attornies, Saxena-White
http://www.saxenawhite.com and the class-action administrator, Gilardi and Company,
It is anticipated that the checks will be mailed to recipients no later than the end of November, 2007, upon administrative review and final review of appeals determinations.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
will again present his Liquidmetal Case Study
Amorphous metals: a successful Tech Transfer from space to European industry
October 16 - 17, 2007 in the New Munich Trade Fair Centre
Information from Past Show: Euromold 2006, Munich Germany
35010 Cadoneghe - PD - Italy via T. Edison 9
phone ++39 049 8888511 fax ++39 049 8888688
November 29th - December 2nd, 2006
Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Exhibition Centre
Hall 6.0 - Stand C114
stand: “…a step intothefuture”.
SAGA PROJECT is the gem of SAGA SpA, a true project lab where we perform “engineering ideas”…
from the original concept to the finished parts and up to final distribution.
Today - thanks to the multi-input from Universities, the Italian National Research Centre, MaTech®,
and other design and hi-tech institutions - we are developing research in materials and new technologies
thus giving new advanced levels of product evolution.
and is highly respected in the field of new materials, R&D and technology transfer. All projects are tailormade and
incorporate nanotechnology, biotechnology as well as other more traditional technologies.
SAGA PROJECT and MaTech® have put together a Focus Team “...a step intothefuture”. The chief
result of this special collaboration is a new project which opens up new frontiers in the practicalities
of product development and creation.
Utilizing an entirely new material proposed by MaTech® - the amorphous alloy Liquidmetal® - and SAGA’s exclusive moulding systems, it is now possible to create products at the highest performance levels, as already found in plastics, without physical limits of either shape or use.
To learn more about our world, we invite you to our stand at Euromold where we can present to you
the efforts of the 2 companies in “REALTHINKING”.
Realthinking, Technologies and Materials are the embryos, the foundations for a new chapter in SAGA’s illustrious history and for our new philosophy to challenge techno limits and production frontiers.
The cornerstone will be laid at Euromold where, with our SAGA PROJECT/ MaTech® Focus Team, we’ll present new everyday items created in amorphous alloy, traditionally cast.
The new vision of SAGA conveys an image of the unity of meticulous scientific developments, with
technological precision. Our graphic imagery employed at Euromold reveals the fusion of 2 symbols: a splintered barcode and a colourful shapeless spot. They are, of course, 2 opposites in every sense: formalism against irregularity…
black/white against explosive colours…regulation against fantasy.
These are examples to prove that contrasts can be combined both physically and philosophically.
THIS IS OUR THEME FOR OUR NEAR FUTURE – SAGA PROJECT.
image 3_ Safilo Italy eyeframe part
Photo: compliments of Michael Oryl, editor,
Mobileburn http://www.mobileburn.com the most
up-to-date, most informative website dealing with mobile
phones. Period. I only wish he would cite the materials
of the cases of all the cell phones he reviews. Obviously,
some people like plastic, others magnesium, others aluminum;
but most Liquidmetalcoholics, except Mrs. Moonkotch
Samsung components containing Liquidmetal are manufactured
in China by Grace Metal under license to Liquidmetal Technologies.
Samsung i550 GPS will come equipped with:
- HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz +2100 MHz connectivity
- 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash
- 2.6″ QVGA 262K color TFT display
- Built-in GPS
- FM Radio
- Bluetooth 2.0(A2DP)
- USB 2.0 High Speed
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Symbian 9.2 OS with S60 3.1 UI
- Full HTML browsing
- RSS support
- 1200 mAh battery
- 150 MB of built-in memory
- expandable to 4GB with via microSD
- Dimensions: 115×53x13.8 mm
Samsung i550 will start shipping in November 2007.
Click on the English Flag and then move the cursor to
the southwest of the document until NEWS is prompted
by your cursor. Click on News to read the calendar of
events in which MaTech is promoting Liquidmetal
On July 10th 2007 at PST Galileo (C.so Stati Uniti 14 bis - Padova, Italy) a seminar seminar entitled 'Amorphous metal design' took place. It was dedicated to all designers interested in deep mechanical, chemical and physical features of this innovative materials family. Amorphous metals are metals without ordered crystalline structure and these particular property allow to exploit those typical technologies of polymers processing, such as injection moulding with the consequent advantage of obtaining complex shapes maintaining high mechanical properties and surface hardness.
The opening was planned for 9.00 (Italian time) with a welcome speech by Massimo Malaguti (PST Galileo - Director), followed by interventions of Giorgio Pellizzaro (Scuola Italiana Design - Director), Eugenio Farina (Scuola Italiana Design - teacher), Nicola Belli (MaTech - Director), of Roberto Gorza (Gorza & D), Giancarlo Peruzzo (Liquidmetal Saga Italy - Director), and Tim Taylor and Jan Schroers (Liquidmetal Technologies). At the end experts were available for questions and debate.
More on MaTech, Saga Spa and LSI:
|Process creates lighter, stronger, nonmagnetic steel |
|R. Colin Johnson|
| EE Times |
(07/19/2004 9:00 AM EDT)
to be the wave of the future since their invention, but don't count
metals out yet. By doping some ferrous base alloys with large rare-
earth or yttrium atoms, researchers have been able to prevent
crystallization, enabling "amorphous" (noncrystalline) steel that is
three times stronger than regular steel, one-third the weight and
nonmagnetic to boot. The research was sponsored by DARPA,
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under the
auspices of Dr. Leo Christodoulou and the SAMS program
Structural Amorphous Metals Program.
In their liquid state, metals are amorphous because their atoms
In contrast, amorphous materials have atoms that are oriented
"To make Darva-Glass 101 we added a small amount of rare-
Separately, a government research group at Tennessee's Oak
Both groups also report that the amorphous structure makes it
Possible applications for Darva-Glass 101 include its use in auto-
The novel microstructures of amorphous metals are not confined
Because the material is stronger, it could also be machined into
devoted to science and society via interviews with the outstanding scientists of today:
Dr. William Johnson is Vice Chairman of the Board for Technology for Liquidmetal Technologies. He directed the research that led to the discovery of Liquidmetal alloy.
In addition to serving on the Liquidmetal Technologies Board, Dr. Johnson is the Ruben and Donna Mettler Professor of Material Science at Caltech. He received his BA in Physics from Hamilton College and his PhD in Applied Physics from Caltech. He spent two years at IBM's Research Center (1975-1977).
Dr. Johnson held a Visiting Professor appointment at the Metal Physics Institute in Gottinghen, Germany (1983) and received a Von Humbolt Distinguished Scientist Fellowship in Gottingen (1988). He is the 1995 recipient of the TMS/AIME Hume Rothery Award for his experimental work. o
Liquidmetal Technologies, a publicly traded company (OTC:LQMT), is a leading force in the research, development and commercialization of amorphous metals. The Company’s revolutionary class of patented Liquidmetal alloys and coatings form the basis of high performance materials that are utilized in a range of military, consumer and industrial products.
Liquidmetal alloys were discovered by researchers at California Institute of Technology and are characterized as amorphous alloys that are two to three times stronger than commonly used titanium alloys, retain the malleability of plastic, and are relatively non-corrosive and wear-resistant. Not only do Liquidmetal alloys provide applications that were not possible before, but they also present new opportunities for the current and future designs of metallic based products. This revolutionary class of patented alloys and coatings may change the performance and cost paradigms for materials science.http://www.aph.caltech.edu/people/johnson_w.html
Innovative materials and technology transfer represent are effective tools to support product innovation. The amorphous metals case history is a key example of how mass markets may benefit from technologies initially developed for space applications.
The MITT® methodology - Materials Innovation and Technology Transfer - has been developed and adopted by MaTech since 2001 to define the guidelines that both large and SME may follow to search, identify and apply new materials and process technology into innovative products.
An new methodology to classify materials according to functional performances was also developed within the MITT.
AMORPHOUS METALS FOR THE EUROPEAN INDUSTRY
Amorphous metals are a family of innovative alloys that have a typical amorphous, disordered atomic structure. For this reason they are better known in the academic world as glassy metals.
The amorphous structure can be obtained by super cooling the special melt alloy, thus preventing the solidification from building the crystalline structure. Amorphous metals do not present grain borders and shows very specific characteristics: elastic elongation is about 2%, while most popular steels are in the area of 0,1%; surface hardness is also quite high, ranging from 600 Vickers and up to 2000 HRV when amorphous powder coatings are used. Strength to weight ratio may be more than double than conventional titanium; corrosion resistance is also very high.
The manufacturing process is one of the most interesting advantages of this material. As the thermal expansion coefficient is very low, amorphous metals can be injected in mould like polymers obtaining net-shape components and thus definitely reducing machining costs.
Amorphous metals also exist as powders and wires for surface coatings, to be applied by HVOF, TWAS and TIG process. They show very high performances in low friction coefficient, high temperature, high abrasion application.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CASE HISTORY
Amorphous metal alloy compositions, manufacturing process and related machinery have been initially developed and patented by Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. and Caltech University in California, for space and defense applications.
As the technology became available for commercial applications in mid ’00, MaTech started a long term Technology Transfer project to introduce the technology to the European and Italian markets, as the only manufacturing plant was initially located in Korea.
In 2006 a joint venture between Liquidmetal Technologies and SAGA Spa,
called LSI, was been founded and the first European plant was started in early 2007 in Padova.
This aerospace part was cast of Liquidmetal
by the LSI Joint Venture from a mold
designed by Saga Plastics resulting from the
technology transfer initiated by Nicola Belli
For further details, contact the founder of MaTech, Nicola Belli,
Born in Adria, province of Rovigo, in 1967. He graduated in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bologna with a thesis on the competition vehicle design.
He has worked at the following companies: Ferrari Engineering Spa, as project engineer in 1994. Ferrari Auto Spa – Space Division, as Project Manager in 1996.
He then moved to Benetton Sporsystem Spa, as material research project leader, in 1998. In 2000 he joined Benetton Group Spa as Research & Innovation Manager, responsible for technological transfer from the Formula 1 team to the Sport Division.
Technical Advisor to the International Olympic Committee for the Winter Olympics of Nagano in 1998 and Salt Lake City in 2002.
Materials Researcher for FISI - Italian Winter Sports Federation - from 1993 to 1999.
Materials Researcher for Federation Monegasque de Bobsleigh from 1999 to 2002.
Competition Director of the Italian National Bob Team from 2002 to 2004.
Since 2001, he has worked as Technical Director for MaTech - Innovative Materials - Galileo Scientific and Technological Park Scpa - based in Padova.
Accordo Liquidmetal - SAGA
MaTech – Materiali Innovativi
Corso Stati Uniti 14 bis
Tel. +39 049 8705973
Fax:+39 049 8061222
Monday, October 15, 2007
Die casting machines meeting specific requirements, customized technological services and process know-how are paving the way for new, future-oriented die casting applications. Bühler Druckguss AG has specialized in this field.
Bühler Druckguss AG achieves annual sales of about 150 million Swiss francs, with good earnings. The company plans to boost its market share from 12 to 20 percent by the year 2003. The sales target is 250 million Swiss francs. Market leadership is to be selectively expanded from a position of strength. Possible variants are being carefully evaluated.
Goal: To be the leading global player
In 2003, Bühler Druckguss AG concentrated its activities mainly on Europe. But by focusing on the machine business and services in the US by teaming up with a local production partner, IdraPrince (formerly Holland Prince) the company has become a global player. Due to existing potential China plays an important part.
Electronic industry as a future market
Until recently, about 80 percent of the die casting machines supplied by Buhler were used in the automotive industry. Now, die casting is being pushed also in other fields of industry. Foremost among them is the electronics industry, which is considered an attractive future market. Today, Buhler production systems are already manufacturing casings for cell phone handsets, laptop computers, and various other electronic devices.
Share of aluminum in cars is on the rise
In the area of automotive engineering, business is likely to slow down. At the same time, however, Bühler Druckguss AG expects the share of aluminum in cars to rise sharply. This development may even slightly make up for a slowdown in the automotive business. The research and development department of Bühler Druckguss AG has developed processes allowing passenger car components to be made significantly lighter while maintaining their safety level. This enables the weight of cars and thereby their fuel consumption to be substantially reduced, contributing considerably to the preservation of natural resources.
Buhler shipped its first die casting machine in the year 1927. Other milestones followed mainly during the recent past: For example, 1989 saw the launch of digital real-time control of the casting process with the „Shot Control“ (SC) machine series. This was followed in 1994 by the line of high-tonnage machines based on the SC technology and – a short time later, in 1996 – the second machine generation using SC technology. In 1998, the series was expanded also in high-tonnage machines and the manufacture of die casting machines started in the US.
New model line launched
After the launch of its new machine generation in 1999, Buhler can now for the first time ever offer a complete machine series covering the entire locking force range from 2600 kN to 32,000 kN. Standardization and modularization are the outstanding features of this line of machines, which includes the types Classic, Evolution and Vision. The product policy of the past years is now paying off, which is amply demonstrated by the fact that over the past five years, the number of machines sold annually has risen from 80 to the region of 180.
Meeting a wide variety of requirements
The three new machine types meet a wide variety of requirements: Whereas the „Classic“ is used in classical applications such as for the manufacture of iron soleplates, the „Evolution“ is applied for producing sophisticated components such as magnesium parts for weight reduction in automotive engineering, and the „Vision“ for satisfying the most stringent casting requirements and meeting the needs of new technologies such as semi-solid metal casting. But the new machines are distinguished not only by their high performance and large size; their careful industrial design also gives them a highly attractive appearance: These machines are not only expected to work hard and well, but also to look good.
Technology Center for applications engineering
Cell phone handset and laptop computer casings, vehicle components, sewing machine housings, iron soleplates – we encounter a large number of different die castings in our everyday lives. To further increase production process capabilities, Bühler Druckguss AG recently expanded its Technology Center at its headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. A test hall houses four die casting cells. The Technology Center is an important differentiating factor for the company in the marketplace. It also boasts a laboratory, a metal melting installation, and various classrooms.
The Die Casting Center Lachingen, DCL, is a joint venture of Bühler Druckguss AG and the Die Design and Construction Company Schaufler GmbH & Co in Laichingen, Germany. Here aluminium and magnesium die casting foundries, OEM suppliers and developers receive support in all phases of a project from the idea of the customer up to the series part.
The advantage for customers: Components are manufactured by Buhler on the basis of specifications in collaboration with the customer, whereas up to now the usual procedure was for the customer to submit the actual components as a basis of production. This approach leads to strategic partnerships and valuable services.
Training for customers
At the Center, the training opportunities offered to customers have been enhanced. Training at the new Technology Center in Uzwil reflects real process conditions and comprises two areas: training on machines and training related to casting processes. The goal of the training courses is to raise the qualification level of customers’ personnel. Improved process knowledge enables the customer to produce a larger number of castings per time unit.
Work is done in various areas at the Technology Center, including liquid metal die casting, magnesium die casting, semi-solid metal casting (casting of metal in a semi-liquid, „dough-like“ state), squeeze casting (turbulence-free, slow filling of die cavities) and vacuum applications. Since recently, Buhler also has a metallurgical laboratory where die-cast components can be examined. With its new service center, Bühler Druckguss AG is intensifying its process engineering efforts for the benefit of its customers and is further enhancing its leading position as a global partner in the light-alloy casting industry.
Crucial process operations
One of the services offered is to establish feasibility studies and create die concepts or plastic models in close cooperation between the customer and the specialists working at the Technology Center. The plastic model of a die-cast component allows improvements to be made at an early development stage. Die cavity filling and solidification simulations in conjunction with the associated calculations ensure that production in the customer’s own plant will start up fast and smoothly. Bionic growth analyses conducted at the Technology Center imitate Nature. They thereby enable parts to be designed so that they will optimally withstand the most diverse loadings while minimizing material consumption. The establishment of data on as-cast components or die designs is as much part of the services offered as qualification samples allowing an initial die to be verified for the dimensional tolerances of the die-cast parts. Other important process operations include the casting of prototypes and optimization for quantity production.
Staff and partners worldwide
Bühler Druckguss AG has a global payroll of about 190 – with some 130 employees working at headquarters in Uzwil. In addition to its production partnership in the North American city of York, Buhler also cooperates in the construction of high-tonnage machines with its Austrian partner Engel. Engel produces die closing units for high-tonnage machines for Buhler in Austria which are destined for the European and asian market. Machines with locking forces lower than 1000 tons and the shot units are manufactured in Uzwil.
The Buhler Technology Group
Bühler Druckguss AG is a legally independent Division of the global Buhler Technology Group. Buhler is a partner for efficient production systems and engineering solutions in die casting, food processing, and chemical process engineering. Some 6500 employees are active around the world for Buhler, generating annual sales of almost 1.5 billion Swiss francs.
To the Stockholders of Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc.:
You are cordially invited to attend the annual meeting of stockholders of Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., which will be held at the Courtyard Marriott, 27492 Portola Parkway, Foothill Ranch, California, on Thursday, November 15, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., local time, for the following purposes:
1. To elect five directors to the board of directors, one of whom will serve a one-year term that expires at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders in 2008; two of whom will serve two-year terms that will expire at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders in 2009; and two of whom will serve three-year terms that will expire at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders in 2010; and
2. To transact any other business as may properly come before the annual meeting.
Stockholders of record at the close of business on October 4, 2007, will be entitled to vote at the annual meeting. Information relating to the matters to be considered and voted on at the annual meeting is set forth in the proxy statement accompanying this notice. A copy of our annual report for 2006 also is enclosed.
Please read the proxy statement and vote your shares as soon as possible. To ensure your representation at the annual meeting, please complete, date, sign, and return the enclosed proxy, even if you plan to attend the annual meeting. A proxy and a self-addressed stamped envelope are enclosed. If you attend the annual meeting, you may withdraw your proxy and vote in person.
By Order of the Board of Directors,
/s/ Larry Buffington
President and Chief Executive Officer
October 12, 2007