MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES for multi-anvil research
Carbide sources (in order of the approximate year of first use in 6-8 multi-anvil research):
Toshiba Grade F is the Cadillac of multi-anvil carbides: it is used for reaching the highest pressures that carbide can reach, and like a Cadillac it is a little bit more expensive. Toshiba is based in Japan, but now they have a distribution center in the USA. Besides having greater yield strength, this carbide has remained consistent over the many years of its widespread use as an anvil material.
Toshiba Japan address link.
Toshiba USA address link.
Kennametal has been used by SUNY Stony Brook for many years, as part of a strategy of using 2 carbides: Toshiba for the highest pressures, and Kennametal for better carbide survival rates and lower cost, but with a lower pressure efficiency. The dropoff in pressure efficiency at highest forces for Kennametal are clearly shown in Liebermann and Wang (1992). However, the good news is that Kennametal carbide seems to be more forgiving than Toshiba carbide; for example, Kennametal survives blowouts better. Getting et al. (1993) measured carbide strength for various commercial carbides, and their results are also consistent with the observations made at Stony Brook over the years on Kennametal versus Toshiba carbide (ie Kennametal has higher axial strain at failure, but Toshiba has a higher yield strength - see his Figure 3).
A very good batch of carbide from Federal in the 1990's (labeled FC-22) led several laboratories, including ASU, to dive in to a large joint purchase of several hundred carbide cubes (labeled FC-3M). The later batch turned out to be bad. Unfortunately, the use to which carbide is put by the high-pressure community is not a typical or standard use, so we could not get the company to do anything to help. In this instance, we (ASU) had to swallow the cost of the carbide, most of which is still in our cabinet, untruncated and unused.
Rockland Research developed a new grade of carbide in collaboration with the Fansteel corporation. This is a toshiba-similar, or "Toshiba equivalent" grade. A published comparison of this carbide to Toshiba carbide is not available. The cost is significantly lower than Toshiba carbide.
Bayreuth tried this carbide, and reported it to be "even better" than Toshiba carbide. It seems, though, to be quite expensive. More recently, rumor has it that a newer batch of Krupp carbide did not live up to the excellence of the previous batch. Unfortunately, as was found with the Fansteel carbide, consistency of carbide is as important as its performance - especially in conventional work, where the calibrations could change if the technique of fabricating carbide were to change (and, we normally have little information about how our carbide was fabricated).
This is mentioned only because the paper by Getting et al. (1993) reveals this carbide to be a potential anvil material for reaching higher pressures than those attained with Toshiba Grade F and other carbides. This idea has not been tested experimentally.
Sources of Octahedra:
The original Japanese source of octahedra. Mino Yogyo has several types of octahedron material available, including 100 percent MgO, MgO doped with Cr2O3, and others. All of the materials have a porosity of about 30 percent.
This is mainly a distributor for Japanese ceramics companies. Their octahedra are from Mino Yogyo, their lantahanum chromite is from Japan Ceramic Engineering, etc.
This Isle of Wight-based company was called upon to duplicate the Mino Yogyo octahedra, and they have managed to make a very similar product at a somewhat lower price.
Carbone of America (can do machining).
Cherry-O sells a porous LaCrO3 that can be machined to form furnaces. The material is sold in blocks, which need to be cut into sticks and turned on a lathe to the final shape. The material is brittle and tends to suddenly snap during machining.
Fabrication of Platinum-based thermocouple wire: Type S, Type R, with calibration sheets. Other types are outsourced by Engelhard.
Type C, Type K, and other types of thermocouple wire, all outsourced, provided with calibration sheets.