Secat, Inc.

Providing Aluminum Answers

Don’t Forget to Connect with Secat, Inc. on Social Media!

“Connect” with Secat’s Company Profile on LinkedIn.
“Follow” us on TWITTER: @SecatAluminum, #WeLoveAluminum

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment

Featured Capabilities: Salt Bath Furnace

Featured Capabilities

Salt Bath Furnace

The salt bath furnace equipped at Secat uses a eutectic mixture of nitrate salts specifically for heat treating aluminum and other non-ferrous metals.  The salt is heated by an immersed resistance heating element with the salt working temperature range of 480 °F to 1100 °F (249 °C to 593 °C). The bath cavity is approximately 12″ W x 12″ L x 10″ D which can accommodate single or multiple samples through a 12″ L x 9″ W access area.

In a salt bath, the heat transfer to the sample or part occurs through conduction which allows for very fast heating rates.  According to the heat treating, vol. 4, of the ASM Handbooks (1997), a 1″ diameter bar can be heated to equilibrium using a salt bath in 4 minutes with the core heating at almost the same rate as the surface.  For the same bar, an air furnace would require 20-30 minutes.  In addition to the fast heating rates, salt baths provide uniform temperatures minimizing chances of variation within the samples due to placement location within the furnace.  The salt also forms a protective surface on samples which remelts after a period of time minimizing thermal shock and distortion at high temperatures in addition to preventing oxidation and scale for samples prone to such surface issues.

From process development and research perspective, an isothermal annealing treatment of short durations can be used to simulate the microstructures and properties of modern continuous annealing lines in the laboratory.

You can download our newsletter which includes this and lots of additional articles about the #Aluminum Industry by clicking here! 

For more information, please contact Todd Boggess at or 859-514-4989.

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment

SECAT Person of Interest: Randy W. Schumaker, President – Logan Aluminum, Secat Board

SECAT Person of Interest

Randy W. Schumaker, President – Logan Aluminum, Secat Board

Randy W. Schumaker is the President of Logan Aluminum Inc.  He joined Logan on March 1, 2005 from BP North America in Chicago, where he held numerous regional and global leadership posts including the role of Global General Manager for BP’s Performance Chemicals business located in the Chicago area.  In addition to a deep and broad career of commercial and technical leadership, Schumaker has had several direct experiences with international joint ventures.A graduate of the 2005 class of Leadership Kentucky, Randy serves on many Boards and Advisory groups: Director of the Louisville, Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, WKU Foundation Board of Directors, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College Board of Directors,  SECAT Inc. Board of Directors. Randy is a graduate of the Ohio State University (Chemical Engineering, 1979) and University of Toledo (MBA, 1982).  He and his wife Deidre have three adult children and two grandchildren.


What brought you to the Board of Directors of Secat?

Logan Aluminum has had a long connection with Secat.  Fred Mudge, the first President of Logan Aluminum was a Board Member as was the second President of Logan Aluminum, Mike Harris.  It seemed natural and important for me to support Secat in light of the contributions it makes to the industry and the University.


In your opinion, what makes Secat unique/special in the industry?

Secat is unique because it provides a viable research and testing option for industry participants who do not have a central research and testing facility.  The concentration of expertise and equipment provides clients with support and services normally not available without substantial investment in equipment, people, and training.  The ability to consolidate these skills and expertise under one roof provides an advantage in cost and responsiveness for their clients all under the umbrella of an ISO audited and registered operation.


What is the most important/exciting development you see in the future for Secat?

Secat, and the industry as a whole, is standing at the edge of an exciting era.  As aluminum gains acceptance in the automotive market the number of potential clients for Secat will grow exponentially.  Identifying high-probability clients from this field and securing their business will be a strategic focus for Secat.  Growing responsibly while continuing to serve the existing client base is always challenging and exciting and it will be particularly so given the speed of this industrial transition and the number of new entrants; ideal targets for the Secat business model.


Tell us something about yourself that people may not know. . . and anything else you would like to share.

I have always enjoyed being outdoors camping and hiking.  This has enriched my life in many ways over the years.  I had the opportunity to camp as a family with my wife and 3 children and as a Scout leader I watched as my son and his buddies traveled from Cub Scouting to backpacking in New Mexico.  More recently I have had the chance to hike on the Appalachian trail with my daughter and climb Mt. Fuji in Japan with my son.

You can download our newsletter which includes this and lots of additional articles about the #Aluminum Industry by clicking here! 

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment

SECAT NEWS: New Materials Engineer at Secat


New Materials Engineer at Secat

Secat is proud to welcome Dr. Biao Yuan to our staff. Dr. Yuan joined Secat Inc. in February 2014 as a Materials Engineer. He received his PhD in Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) from University of Central Florida (UCF) in August 2012. He was an Instructional Advisor at Notre Dame College from March 2013 to February 2014. He was a Research Associate in MSE at Advanced Materials Processing & Analysis Center (AMPAC) at UCF from September 2012 to April 2013. He was a Graduate Research Assistant in MSE at AMPAC at UCF from August 2005 to August 2012. He had also been studying and working in MSE at Case Western Reserve, Columbia, and Penn State at University Park since August 1993. He has more than 10 years’ experience in materials characterization, physical metallurgy, electron microscopy, mechanical behavior of materials, corrosion, deformation process of metals, and X-ray diffraction. His daughter goes to Ohio State in Columbus although accepted by the Cornell College of Engineering. His hobbies are fishing, tennis, music, and traveling.

You can download our newsletter which includes this and lots of additional articles about the #Aluminum Industry by clicking here! 

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment

SECAT Makes a Difference

SECAT Makes a Difference 

 The evaluation of liquid metal quality is a critical tool for aluminum casting operations.  It is important to ensure that the metal supplied for the manufacture of ingots, slabs, billets and castings does not contain entrapped gases like hydrogen as well as foreign matter like dross, oxides, refractory particles, etc. that can result in gas porosity and or entrapped inclusions within the final wrought, forged or cast products.

Secat was requested to conduct an evaluation of metal quality by a customer who had faced a sudden increase in internal product rejections due to inclusions, which were revealed during the final stages of the rolling process.

Secat used the Prefil Footprinter and Alscan Hydrogen test unit at the customer’s cast house to determine the quality of their liquid metal at various stages of their process, including the melter/holder, before and after the degasser and after the filter. The evaluations were taken at various time intervals throughout the ingot/slab casting process to determine the variations in metal quality during the casting process.  The hydrogen content and the quantity and nature of inclusions were determined and plotted with respect to time and temperature.

Figure 1 below shows a representative graph for the Prefil Footprinter that plots metal flow through test filter with time. The steeper the curve, the cleaner the metal as it indicates that the metal flow through the filter is fast and unobstructed. 

Based on the data, Secat scientists and customer representatives brainstormed the potential sources for the identified inclusions. A detailed control and monitoring system was put in place to reduce the generation of inclusions and entrapment of hydrogen gas by modifying and optimizing their processes. 
The ongoing monitoring system has resulted in improved metal quality with a large reduction in 
internal rejections.


Having a problem with your aluminum manufacturing? Contact Secat – let us be your R&D resource. Call us today! 859-514-4989

You can download our newsletter which includes this and lots of additional articles about the #Aluminum Industry by clicking here! 

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment

Aluminum Tech Talk: Stress Corrosion Cracking Resistance of Peak Aged Al-Zn-Mg-Cu Alloy

Aluminum Tech Talk 

Stress Corrosion Cracking Resistance of Peak Aged Al-Zn-Mg-Cu Alloy

The project was aimed at evaluating and improving the stress corrosion cracking (SCC) resistance of forged AA7010 alloy. A forged block of dimensions (550x150x100) mm was subjected to different heat treatment processes and the response to SCC resistance was compared and studied. Standard round SCC samples were machined from blocks of (70x10x25) mm cut off from the original block where the tensile axis was along short transverse direction for the first batch and along longitudinal direction for the second batch. An attempt was made to study the effect of SCC in both the directions of the forged alloy to compare and explore ways to mitigate SCC by thermal treatments. Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to study initiation and propagation of SCC, crack morphology and other physical properties of forged and heat-treated AA7010 alloy subjected to ASTM G44 and ASTM G47/79 tests. Crack initiation and  propagation in inter-granular mode  were related to various models proposed in the literature. The crack initiation mechanism started at the corrosion pits with propagation mechanism being attributed to the tarnish rupture model and also crack propagation due to wedging. It was concluded that the alloy in short transverse direction is more susceptible to stress corrosion cracking than in the longitudinal direction after forging. Retrogression and re-aging treatments when compared to T6 and T7 tempers improved the stress corrosion cracking resistance of the alloy.

You can download our newsletter which includes this and lots of additional articles about the #Aluminum Industry by clicking here! 

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment

“ACCIDENTAL” ART: Recycling Has Aluminum Cans Flying High: Can Do Airplanes


Recycling Has Aluminum Cans Flying High:  Can Do Airplanes


Shao Lin Xia graduated from Hua Zhon Industry Institute in the People’s Republic of China and earned a B.S.M.E. in 1962. When he moved to California, he worked for California Avi-Tron Co. and was a project and manufacture engineer. He helped to design some of today’s modern “birds” of the sky, such as the 737, 777, and 747.

  Xia has also done several projects for Boeing. After

leaving California Avi-Tron Co. in 1995,  Xia did not stop designing planes. With extra time on his hands, he made a model airplane out of paper and showed it to all his friends. Everyone thought it was very clever and someone just suggested that he should try making it out of aluminum cans – the rest is history!

For over 15 years he and his wife, Sompit,  have made a living selling their aluminum can air planes at various arts and crafts shows. Using the knowledge he obtained from his experience as an engineer and model builder Xia has become an expert in design, beauty, and craft. Xia’s model planes are not produced in a factory using the latest technology. He designs his planes by computer, then focuses all his energy making these models by hand.

For more information visit

Readers are encouraged to send photos and descriptions of Aluminum Art – accidental or not – to info to be included in future issues of Aluminum Wrap Up. You can download our newsletter which includes this and lots of additional articles about the #Aluminum Industry by clicking here! 

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Blog Posts | Leave a comment