If you drive a car, tractor or motorcycle you have enjoyed the benefit of local technology. Ever fly in a plane? Local technology was likely involved in making the plane. Do you wear any type of jewelry? Local technology could have been involved in purifying the metal.
You are probably wondering which companies provide such technology. You will be surprised to find we are referring to just one. SELEE is a hidden gem in Hendersonville NC. No glamor and no glitz but they are one of the world leaders in the manufacture of filters for molten metal. Virtually any cast metal part, such as an engine block or piston, flows through a filter to remove impurities. Each filter is destroyed in use which keeps SELEE busy making more.
The filters SELEE makes can be described as elegant simplicity. If you picture a kitchen sponge, like you would use to wash dishes, you are picturing the start of a SELEE filter. They essentially replicate an open cell foam with ceramic. By pressing and releasing the sponge in the presence of an aqueous slurry of ceramic precursor all of the interstitial parts of the sponge get covered. After drying, they coated sponge is heated to the degree necessary to vaporize the sponge and sinter the ceramic. The result is a ceramic replica of the sponge.
While this sounds simple making a “ceramic sponge” is anything but trivial. They must be sufficiently strong to allow a large volume of molten metal to drop on them, without breaking, and then allow the metal to flow through to remove impurities. SELEE has a team of highly educated ceramicist and engineers that make it their life work to solve the complex material science issues encountered. We are fortunate to have such a company here.
When you ride down Shepherd Street and see that big American flag flying you will now know that the things they make find their way to all corners of the globe.