SECAT Newsletter, Vol. 9, Issue 1

Aluminum WrapUp
Volume 9, Issue 1
February 2021
2021 Training Scheduled Launched!
Visit to stay up to date.
Sales Representative for Mexico Joins Secat
Gustavo Chavez recently joined the Secat sales team as Sales Representative for Mexico and is based in Puebla City, Mexico. Mr. Chavez received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad La Salle and a Masters degree in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Gustavo brings more than 25 years of technical sales experience from the automotive, metal-mechanical, oil and gas, plastics, industrial machinery and electrification industries. We are happy that Gustavo has joined the Secat team!
You can learn more about us on Secat’s website here.
Visit to stay up to date.
What’s New?
Secat Launches New Website has a new look and new features. The homepage has been redesigned to make it easier for customers to access quote requests and more clearly defines all available services. The Services section has been updated to include more content including case studies and examples of customer projects, with a “customer focus” section showcasing the equipment Secat uses for each particular service. Visitors can also check on upcoming training programs on various topics related to aluminum manufacturing. 
Visit us at and check out all that we have to offer!
Alloy Developments in 2021
Secat has recently initiated an internal project to explore the development of a new AA6XXX aluminum alloy with high strength and good corrosion resistance. If successful, the alloy could have applications in the automotive, transportation, aerospace, or marine industries. The project will be conducted throughout 2021 and will focus on one novel elemental addition to a common AA6XXX series alloy. The development work will be conducted by Secat engineers and with equipment located at Secat and University of Kentucky laboratories.  
The initial development step is focused on specifying exploratory chemical compositions for experimental study. For this work, Secat will utilize our software tools Thermocalc and J Mat Pro, where predictions of equilibrium phases are calculated as the chemical composition is modified. Once the trial alloys are selected, book mold castings with rapid cooling will be manufactured. Secat will then use a combination of SEM, DSC and TEM analysis to study the as-cast and homogenized microstructures that form as the alloy composition is varied. From there, the castings will be homogenized and rolled into sheets using the Secat rolling mill. Tensile, fatigue and corrosion tests will be conducted on the suite of rolled sheets with different chemical compositions to determine if an optimized composition can be identified. Secat is excited to explore this exciting research topic and we look forward to providing our customers with potentially a new aluminum alloy with improved properties for possibly multiple applications. Look for project updates in the next few newsletters.
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Person of Interest
Tom Dobbins, CAE -President & CEO Aluminum Association
As president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, Tom Dobbins, CAE serves as the chief advocate and spokesperson for the full aluminum value chain in the United States, which supports nearly 700,000 American workers. The association’s more than 120 members produce the vast majority of the aluminum and aluminum products shipped in North America. He has over 30 years of experience in public affairs and over 20 in association management.
The Aluminum Association advocates on behalf of the industry to the Congress and the Administration on issues regarding the regulation of the industry, trade and market growth issues. In addition, the organization works to help grow the industry through developing standards, conducting research, communicating the advantages of aluminum, and connecting members to customers. 
Prior to joining the Aluminum Association in 2020, Dobbins served as the president & CEO of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the largest trade association in the world representing composites manufacturers and their suppliers.
Dobbins is a recent member of the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) Board of Directors, past chair of the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) Public Policy Committee and a past co-chair of ASAE’s Lobby Task Force.
Before joining ACMA, he worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), where he created a comprehensive outreach and education program for small businesses for which the agency won an award from the Small Business Administration. Dobbins brings a wealth of experience from his time at one of Washington, D.C.’s top lobbying firms and as a staffer on Capitol Hill.
His wife, Rebecca, serves as director of global affairs at the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.
We asked Tom to answer a few questions for us-
What brought you to the Aluminum Association?
I’ve worked in Washington going back to the 1980s – starting on Capitol Hill and with stints in and out of government including as the Director of Partnership Outreach at the IRS. (I know, I know, not the most popular agency. But I had an opportunity to do some really good work there including improving outreach and education for small business.) I then spent more than 15 years as head of the American Composites Manufacturers Association. Working with the team and membership there, I was able to ramp up our market growth and development program, reimagine our trade show and grow membership. When the opportunity at the Aluminum Association came up – which I knew by reputation as a top-notch organization – it was too good a chance to pass up. As I’m approaching the one-year mark on Team Aluminum, I’m already so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish on behalf of the membership – including a number of key policy wins on trade and recycling; kicking off an Automotive-Aluminum Roadmap program; releasing a suite of new research; and more all while navigating the COVID-19 environment.
How would you describe the role of SECAT in the industry?
Firms like SECAT provide such a vital service to the industry through high quality, credible technical research. The aluminum industry can only succeed to the extent that it continues to evolve and innovate and R&D is a huge part of that story. Even as an advocacy organization, the Aluminum Association relies on a foundation of reliable research and data to help serve as the industry’s voice. Some of that work is done in house but we also rely on partners like SECAT. (For example, several years ago, the association worked with SECAT to test various protective fabric technology to minimize the effect of molten metal contact and improve worker safety. And we also collaborated on a recent publication on “Aluminum and Its Alloys.”) In an increasingly competitive marketplace – and one in which the need for continued innovation and increased sustainability will only grow – credible research and data like that provided by SECAT will become ever more important.  
What is the most exciting development in the industry right now?
Certainly there are a number of developments on the policy front – especially on global trade – that are critical to the near-to-mid-term health of the U.S. aluminum industry. We’re working with policymakers everyday in Washington to ensure a level-playing field for the entire domestic aluminum value chain. But perhaps even more essential in the long-term are the developments we are seeing on sustainability. Innovations in primary aluminum production – from Alcoa and Rio Tinto’s Elysis program to Rusal’s inert anode technology – are helping to lead the way. But we also want to make sure that businesses, policymakers and the public understand the entire life cycle of our material – including recycling and use-phase benefits — in telling the “green aluminum” story. The energy saved by recycling 100 percent of aluminum cans in the United States could power 4.1 million homes for a full year. And by lightweighting cars and trucks with aluminum, automakers can achieve up to a 20% reduction in total energy consumption across the life cycle of the vehicle. All of these issues are important in understanding aluminum’s role in a more sustainable future.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know. . . and anything else you would like to share.
I am proud to be the fourth generation to live and work on my family’s apple farm and the third generation to work in our family’s apple processing and storage facility. My brother is running the business and has sold apples all over the world as well as in the US. As the son, grandson, nephew and brother of small businessmen and businesswomen, I have been dedicated to helping small and mid-sized businesses throughout my career. It is why I interrupted my public affairs career to go to the IRS to try and help small businesses. I am very proud that the Small Business Administration gave the IRS an award for the work I did in this space. 
You can learn more about us on Secat’s website here.
Featured Capabilities
Sample Prep for Fatigue Testing
Haas TL-1 Toolroom Lathe
Preparing a sample for testing is a time consuming and important step in any testing program. Secat has invested in equipment for specimen machining and polishing so that we can provide customers with reliable testing services at best in class turn-around times. We are proud to announce the purchase of a new CNC lathe, coming in February of 2021. This new lathe will complement the CNC mill that was purchased in 2020. The mill and lathe provide Secat with the captive ability to accurately machine a variety of flat and round test specimens for tensile, fatigue and fracture toughness testing. The new lathe will be primarily utilized for turning of round tensile and axial fatigue specimens but may also be utilized for machining test fixtures or facing specimens for chemical composition analysis and metallography. Samples up to 16” in diameter and 30” long can be cut in the lathe, with x and z travel of 8 and 30 inches, respectively. The lathe is capable of spindle speeds of up to 3000 rpm and feed rates of up to 450 ipm. Fixtures, chucks, and tools have been purchased with the lathe to ensure that Secat can turn, face or thread samples.
Preparation of axial fatigue specimens requires stress risers and surface residual stresses generated during turning or milling to be removed by linear polishing. To meet these requirements, Secat has designed and is in the process of building an automated polishing system for flat and round aluminum fatigue coupons. The polisher is mainly constructed of basic lathe components, but instead of cutting, progressively finer grinding pads are used to produce a stress-free surface with all surface roughness features aligned parallel to the loading axis. This preparation technique has been shown to produce data that is comparable to results on polished specimens and accurately represents the materials fatigue properties.
Both the lathe and polishing equipment are expected to be commissioned in the Spring of 2021. In addition to recent purchases focused on sample preparation for materials testing, last year Secat invested in a new servo-hydraulic test frame and this year the test frame has been upgraded with software and extensometers for performing fatigue and fracture testing. These targeted investments are designed to provide Secat customers with an alternative source for advanced mechanics of materials testing. The advantages that Secat can offer are quick turn-around times and advanced characterization for understanding the mechanisms of fatigue and fracture failure modes. 
Aluminum Art
The Potential of Art
Dale Enochs began as limestone carver – using the material found literally in his back yard, Bloomington, Indiana. The stone found here is considered some of the finest in the world.
Though Dale began working primarily in stone, over time he added contrasting materials and recently created sculptures in other materials, including aluminum.
Ultimately I believe that art has the power to address people on many levels. Art has the potential to bring diverse images and ideas together making them whole. Art also has the potential to bring people together and speak of their shared ideals. These challenges are at the heart of what motivates the work that I do.”  Dale Enochs
Dale creates sculpture for both public and private settings. His work includes large free standing sculpture, wall sculptures, water features, memorials and architectural elements. It can be seen in public and private collections throughout the US as well as in Japan and China.
Works by this artist may be found in prominent public and private collections. Since 2015 alone, Enochs has been commissioned to create monumental sculptures for the Monroe County Courthouse (Bloomington, IN), Longs Peak Totem (Westminster, CO), Bicentennial Plaza for the Indiana State House (Indianapolis, IN), and Indianapolis Firefighters Campus (Indianapolis, IN). In 2016, he was named one of the top 200 artists in Indiana’s history and created a piece for the Indiana State Museum’s Bicentennial exhibit. That work was added to the permanent collection of the Indiana State Museum in Fall 2017.
Do you have a piece of Aluminum Art you’d like to share? Contact us at
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2023-01-30T09:15:05-05:00February 11th, 2021|Newsletter|Comments Off on SECAT Newsletter, Vol. 9, Issue 1

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