Super strength, super speed, super durability and super senses; Superman may be known as the Man of Steel, but what if the steel he’s named after was even stronger? On top of that, what if through the process of making the steel stronger, it became lighter?
No, this isn’t foreshadowing to a future DC Comic Book. It’s the science behind Advanced Ceramic Fibers.
“If you have a steel bar and you give it a strength test, at some point it’s going to fail,” said Ken Koller. “But if you add in our material, the steel bar will be lighter and stronger.”
Ken is the Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Ceramic Fibers in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where they specialize in a proprietary one-step Direct Conversion Process™ that enables any material, including metals, ceramics and polymers, to be made stronger, lighter and able to withstand increased temperatures and extreme environments.
“Our products are going to change the way materials are viewed,” said Ken. “It’s like introducing plastics for the first time into the commercial marketplace. It’s going to have a significant impact because there are so many different applications and benefits from its use.”
The reinforced material Ken is referencing is called Fi-Bar™, and here’s how it’s made:
Carbon fiber is purchased in shoestring-like spools of filaments called tows. Since carbon fiber doesn’t hold up well in very high temperatures or an environment susceptible to oxidation, it needs a shield. This shield is created from a thin layer of alpha silicon carbide that’s bonded to each individual carbon fiber filament during the Direct Conversion Process™.
Alpha silicon carbide is second in strength only to diamonds, giving Fi-Bar™ it’s highly-desired qualities. Because of the Direct Conversion Process™, incorporating Fi-Bar™ into metals, ceramics and polymers increases their material characteristics, like strength, ultra-high temperature resistance and abrasion resistance, while reducing their weight. Fi-Bar™ can then be put into other materials, transferring those same properties along with it.
“Think of the endless applications where increased strength and lighter weight are beneficial,” said Ken.
From medical rods to turbine engines, and sporting goods to space, the potential for Fi-Bar™ is seemingly infinite, making Advanced Ceramic Fibers one of the strongest companies in Idaho…literally.
The Advanced Ceramic Fibers production facility is located at 2300 N. Yellowstone Hwy., Ste. 210, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401. Visit their home on the web, www.acfibers.com.