SECAT Newsletter

Volume 11, Issue 1

February 2023 – Pre-Spring Issue


Secat Offers

On-Site Training

If you are looking for personalized training for your employees, Secat can help! We are available to come to your facility and conduct training in a variety of specialized subjects such as… 

• Aluminum 101 – A Basic Understanding of Aluminum 

• Fundamentals of Aluminum Ingot Casting 

• Fundamentals of Aluminum Billet Casting 

• Efficiency in Aluminum Scrap Remelting 

• Recovery During Melting in a Rotary Furnace 

• Aluminum Extrusion Processing 

• Aluminum Can Metallurgy 

• Quality Testing Procedures 

Don’t see what you need? Contact us and we can discuss options.

Check out more training courses from our website

Andrew VanDenBroeke

Joins Innovatech

Andrew joined Innovatech in December of 2022. He works primarily in the IC (Ion Chromatography) and GC/MS (Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry) laboratories where his responsibilities include analyzing client samples and working with clients to understand their needs and communicate the capabilities of our analytical equipment. 

In a typical day of work, Andrew verifies the IC instruments are calibrated and ready for any client samples that may arrive, answers client questions that may come in and reviews clients requests for quotes to verify they are within the scope of our analytical equipment. 

Prior to working at Innovatech, Andrew was the scientist team lead at the Pace Analytical Air Lab in Minneapolis. 

Andrew says “I have three cats and a dog. The dog is a husky mix we named Marge. Marge takes up a lot of my time when I am not at work. My other hobbies include playing videogames, board games with friends, and finding new and exciting restaurants around the Minneapolis/St.Paul area.“ 

Welcome, Andrew! 

Check out more news on our website

Exclusive Aluminum Automotive Sheet Training Course Offered

May 10-11, 2023 Lexington Kentucky

Secat, Inc. and Innoval Technology are jointly offering a two day training course designed to increase your knowledge of material behavior during manufacture and in service. The course will help you develop a thorough understanding of automotive sheet from a materials point of view. Consequently, you will be able to get to the root cause of problems faster and use your knowledge to improve processes and develop better products.

The course outline is below:

• Background to the use of aluminum in automotive applications

• Equipment needs and supply chain considerations

• Metallurgy basics and 5000-series alloys property control

• Surface control and lubrication

• Vehicle manufacture

• 6000-series alloys property control

• Surfaces and corrosion

• Testing requirements and OEM qualification

Whether you’re a potential entrant to the automotive sheet market or anyone in the supply chain—from Senior Managers to Technical Specialists—this course is designed for you.

Register Here Visit for more information.


Tech Talk

Development of a High Strength Corrosion Resistant AA6XXX Alloy

Over the past two years Secat has undertaken work on an alloy development program. The program objective was to develop a new AA6XXX alloy with improved strength compared to existing alloys and good corrosion resistance for use in automotive and aerospace applications.  

Thermodynamic modeling (ThermoCalc) was used to determine promising experimental alloy chemistries based on intermetallic phase equilibrium. A copper book mold was designed and manufactured, and ten candidate alloys were initially cast at the University of Kentucky. 

After casting, the ingots were homogenized, hot rolled, solution heat treated and then aged to final temper. Samples were taken from each stage of the manufacturing process and microstructure was analyzed by use of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Optical Microscopy. Representative images of the particle and grain structure are shown below.

The strength of the candidate alloys was evaluated by tensile testing of subsized (1 in) gauge flat samples that were machined with a CNC mill and then tested on a servo-hydraulic MTS 810 testing system in strain control. The plot below demonstrates clear improvements in strength compared to the baseline alloy composition.   

Corrosion resistance was determined by performing an acetic acid-salt spray (CASS) test according to ASTM B368 in Secat’s Q-Fog test chamber. The samples were exposed for 24 hrs and evaluated for pitting and intergranular corrosion. An image of the samples after testing is shown below.

The amount and severity of pitting on the sample surface was measured by use of Secat’s Keyence Digital Microscope. The data below shows that the new alloys performed as well or better than the baseline with respect to resistance to intergranular corrosion.

Having obtained positive results from the tests, Secat will continue the development process in 2023, leveraging the recently acquired equipment at the Nicholasville facility to further fine tune the alloy chemistry. Secat is planning to cast a full scale, 10 inch diameter billet of the refined chemistry in 2023 and is seeking collaboration with extruding and/or forging companies for full-scale demonstration.

The Secat project team involves: Alex Fryman, Andrew Schaedel, Tony Peters, Randall Bowers and Nick Nanninga.

Visit us at and check out all that we have to offer!

Featured Capabilities

Secat Upgrades with new FE-SEM/EDS/EBSD

In January of 2023, a new Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) was installed at Secat’s Lexington laboratory. These investments represent an upgrade to a SEM microscope system that has been a work horse for Secat customers over the past 20+ years. Both microscopes will now be utilized to meet the demands of our customers for world class interpretive microstructure and fractographic analysis. Additionally, the new microscope offers new capabilities for improved efficiency, accuracy, and resolution.

The JSM-IT700HR InTouchScope™ Field Emission SEM is a versatile SEM that is compact in footprint but equipped with a large chamber. The chamber has a robust mechanically eucentric stage that can handle large, heavy, and oblong specimens. The SEM can be operated in either high or low vacuum modes for managing a wide variety of specimen types in their native state. Specimen navigation is enhanced with an integrated CCD camera mounted on the chamber. This helps simplify specimen navigation including automated image analysis for routine specimens, such as billet slice analysis.

Combining large probe currents with a small probe size increases analytical resolution. Dispersoids are nanoscale particles that pin grain boundaries and prevent recrystallization and grain growth in aluminum alloys. The higher resolution capabilities of the new FE-SEM will allow Secat to now characterize the size, shape and density of these particles (red arrows in image below).

Secat’s new FE-SEM is equipped with an Oxford Ultim Max 170 EDS detector and Symmetry EBSD detector with Aztec software. The automatic particle analysis will provide differentiation of Fe rich phases in aluminum alloys and provide accurate particle analysis to our customers. Further, the new EBSD can be used to more accurately measure grain size compared to optical methods that utilize image analysis tools. Both of these advanced analytical analyses can be performed very quickly and will improve Secat’s efficiency.

Particle analysis in cast aluminum billet by use of new EDS

Grain size analysis of cast aluminum billet by use of new EBSD

Visit us at and check out all that we have to offer!

Aluminum Art


New Sculpture Uses 404 Pounds of Aluminum and Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Award-Winning Partnership

At a recent Atlanta Hawks game, the Hawks and Novelis unveiled “FULL COURT PRESS”, a sculpture made up of nearly 404 lbs. of upcycled aluminum cups and cans in the shape of the primary Hawks logo. The piece is located on the Terrace level by the Gate 2 entrance at State Farm Arena. 

“We are thrilled to unveil this sculpture in partnership with Novelis,” said Andrew Saltzman, Chief Revenue Officer for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. “We trust that this will serve as a reminder to all our fans how critical sustainability is to the future of our planet.” 

“FULL COURT PRESS” celebrates the one-year anniversary of the Hawks’ partnership with Novelis, the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, which officially launched on National Recycling Day in 2021. This sculpture symbolizes a circular economy where maximum effort is employed to make sure precious resources are recycled and reused, rather than discarded as waste. 

“Seeing fans’ aluminum cans and cups live on in this piece of art adds a unique step to the circular economy Novelis is building with the Hawks and State Farm Arena,” said Tom Boney, EVP and President of Novelis North America. “This piece of art is a testament to the versatility and sustainability of aluminum products, and I hope it inspires more fans to recycle their aluminum.” 

The Hawks and Novelis worked with Taylor Means, a local visual artist, to highlight the organizations’ shared vision around sustainability. The artwork was conceived and facilitated by Atlanta Art Consultant, Amy Parry. 

“It was an honor for me to collaborate with the Hawks and Novelis,” said Means. “It took Hawks fans making a collective effort to recycle these cans and cups and make this sculpture come to life.” 

In April 2022, Green Business Certification Inc., the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body, announced that State Farm Arena earned TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification. With this achievement, State Farm Arena is now the only and world’s first sports and live entertainment venue to receive TRUE certification. Since May 2021, the venue has consistently diverted a minimum of 90 percent of all waste from landfills. 



Do you have a piece of Aluminum Art you’d like to share? Contact us at

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