Originally shared March 28, 2023
In the early 1970s the US was facing a shortage of natural gas, and companies in the PM industry were deeply concerned about how they would be affected due to their dependence on it. This dependence came from a need to use natural gas to heat and generate Endo gas for sintering. Generated Endo gas is made up of 40% N2, 40% H2, 20% CO and small % of CH4, CO2 and H2O.
Around this time, the MPIF’s Technical Board held a meeting in Buffalo, NY during a super heavy snow storm. The natural gas shortage weighed heavily on the mind of everyone in attendance, including TAT Technologies’ President, Harb Nayar, then employed at Airco Gas Company (later BOC, then Linde, now Messer). There is an old saying: Necessity is the mother of invention. It means when the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it.
This is exactly what happened when members of the Technical Board were snowed in together for two days in Buffalo. It was determined that electricity could replace natural gas to heat PM parts. Harb Nayar, coming from an industrial gas company, quickly realized that his company already produced and marketed ALL the constituents of Endo gas – so why not just buy the individual constituents and BLEND them before going into the sintering furnace? The spontaneous name given by Harb to this new atmosphere was: Dial-An-Atmosphere To Replace Generated Endo Atmosphere.
A sense of relief was felt during that wintery meeting in Buffalo. Newer furnaces adopted electrical heating. Within a few years, the PM industry standard atmosphere, Endo gas, was replaced: N2 and H2 storage tanks now stand outside almost all PM companies, making it the new and current standard.