For the best paper on the science and technology of niobium and its alloys, the 2017 Charles Hatchett winners are Jun Takahashi, Kazuto Kawakami, Jun-ich Hamada and Ken Kimura, a research team from Nippon Steel in Japan.
The award winning research uses atom probe tomography to demonstrate how niobium improves the high temperature properties of a ferritic stainless steel widely used for automotive exhaust manifolds. The work provides new information on the mechanism by which niobium enhances high temperature properties in ferritic stainless steels and identifies a mechanism which seems to be unique to niobium.
The selection process of the Charles Hatchett Award is concerned with technical excellence and originality, but also takes account of the social, economic and environmental advantages of any proposed application of niobium. The International Panel for the Charles Hatchett Award commented, “The research contains a combination of good science and experimental work and has direct industrial relevance in applications demanding mechanical properties, such as high temperature strength and resistance to thermal fatigue. It clearly demonstrates the significant benefits arising from the addition of niobium.
The annual Award, now in its 39th year, is sponsored by Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM).
The award winners will be presented with their medals at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) 2017 Premier Awards Dinner, to be held in London on 11th July.