/ EIN Presswire / MTI’s Atlas of Microstructures was recently under the microscope at the Metallography Congress in Aachen, Germany. Ms. Ellen Berghof-Hasselbacher and colleagues who helped prepare the atlas for MTI, accepted the Buehler Best Paper Award for their description of the book and the extensive work that went into the project. Berghof-Hasselbacher, Dr. Michael Schütze, Monika Schorr, and Peter Gawenda, DECHEMA e.V. Karl-Winnacker-Institut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany and John J. Hoffman, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, PA, USA contributed to the first place paper, “The Development of a Microstructural Atlas of the Latest Heat-resistant Centrifugally Casting Alloys.

The Atlas of Microstructures, published by Materials Technology Institute in 2008, provides much-needed data on the microstructural changes that occur in HP-modified, HPMA, and 35Cr/45Ni cast alloy reformer tubes upon long-term aging. The study fills in an information void, picking up where a 1975 Battelle Columbus Laboratories report left off, covering the newer alloys used in industry today. In addition to documenting changes that can occur with increased aging time and temperature, the book provides identification and chemical composition of precipitated phases and includes diagrams characterizing the kinetics of phase transformation.

At the Metallography Congress in October 2009, Buehler honored authors of the top three papers published in the scientific journal Practical Metallography in 2008. Twenty-two jurors from the journal’s scientific council judged the entries. From a total of 38 published entries, 18 were considered worthy of merit, according to the jurors.

Hoffman credited the authors of the book for making the first place finish possible. “The award really is to recognize the authors of the work, the Atlas of Microstructures book in this case,” he says. Many organizations were instrumental in providing the material used to create the unique guide. MetalTek International, Duraloy Technologies, Kubota Metal Corporation, and Manoir Industries donated foundry stress rupture specimens. In addition, Air Products & Chemicals, Syncrude Canada, Eastman Chemical, and MetalTek International donated service-exposed samples, which had longer aging times than the foundry stress rupture specimens. Pulling all of the pieces together, the DECHEMA e.V. Karl-Winnacker-Institut team completed the detailed microstructural analyses.

“MTI should also be recognized, since MTI provided the funding to complete this work,” according to Hoffman. He believes that the organization should feel a sense of pride for funding a project with results that are receiving international recognition.

For Hoffman, the greatest reward for all of the hard work is that he now has access to an indispensable tool. “I refer the book routinely when analyzing aged reformer tubes and performing remaining life assessments,” he says. Hoffman explains that individual tubes are very expensive, and some of his company’s furnaces contain hundreds of them. “Replacing tubes before they reach the end of their useful life is a waste of valuable maintenance dollars,” he adds.

Maybe Hoffman and his colleagues will have a second chance at an award. “Because I find the information in the atlas so useful, I immediately welcomed the opportunity to be the champion of the second Atlas of Microstructures project,” he says. “The new atlas, coupled with the current version, will provide highly detailed microstructural information of the entire family of heat resistant cast alloys used in the chemical process industry.”

For more information about MTI’s publications, visit www.mtiproducts.org.