Retrospect

JOM, Feb 1994

Dennis F. Hasson

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Retrospect

Professor Dennis F Hasson 0 0 Department of Mechanical Engmeermg, U.S Naval Academy FEBRUARY-1984 Pand steelmaking is the topic of the LASMA TECHNOLOGY in iron­ cover and of a thorough treatise by K Upadhya,J.J. Moore, and KJ. Reid. They describe the physics of the plasma and cover the application of plasma in the reduction of various metal oxides. The Plasmared gasifier process and the Plasmasmelt process, which are both procedures based on nontransferred arc plasma systems, are presented and illus­ trated schematically. The Plasmared process produces sponge iron; the Plasmasmelt process yields pig iron. A plasma system based on a transferred­ arc plasma is also described. News & Update announces the or­ ganization ofthe Titanium Development Association (TDA). The TDA's purpose is to work with other industries and government to improve and expand the use of titanium. The formation of the association was long overdue. Important aspects of aluminum pro­ duction are the topics of two papers. E. Keuland A. Tokerud evaluateS02 scrub­ bing technology in regard to regulation of S02 emissions in primary aluminum smelters. Larger, modern smelters are a significant source of sulfur-dioxide emis­ sions at the local level because high­ sulfur petroleum coke is used in the manufacturing of anodes. Dry technolo­ gies for S02 control, such as the Flakt system, are reviewed for their potential application in aluminum smelters; how­ ever, the most proven solution noted by the authors is still some form of wet scrubbing. Addressing the problem of increased energy costs, S. Tanji, O. Fuji­ shima, and K Mori report on a method to reduce d.c. power consumption. They found that the prebaked cell voltage can be reduced by the application of a lithium bath. Also, reducing heat loss by using an alumina covering and controlling the anode-effect power input by computer contributed to substantial energy sav­ ings. FEBRUARY-1964 R open-hearth steelmaking control is APID CARBON determination for reported by W.G. Hines, RL. Addinall, and J.P. Orton. They describe how samples of molten steel can be taken, prepared, analyzed, and their carbon content reported within three minutes. Pin samples are collected by reusing sealed, evacuated tubes. A sample of about 15 mm long with a 3.3 mm diameter is needed to obtain enough volume to accurately determine the carbon level. A one-gram sample slug is transferred to a combustion crucible, which is then placed in a Thermocarb analytical unit for determination of carbon content. The authors note that while the installation of Thermocarbs on the pouring deck to avoid off-analysis material is technically feasible, economic aspects still require additional study. The pilot production of tantalum al­ loy sheet is described by D.J. Maykuth, G.S. Root, and H.R Ogden. They report on fabricating two alloys-Ta-l0Hf-5W and Ta-30Cb-7.5V-into sheet by extru­ sion, forging, and rolling. Their mechani­ cal property data show an increased strength-to-weight ratio as compared to pure tantalum for test temperatures from ambient to 1,093°C and beyond. Tung­ sten inert gas welds performed on re­ crystallized samples of each of the alloys showed that the Ta-Cb-V alloy retained excellent bend ductility and changed little in room-temperature strength and elongations. TheTa-lOHf-5W alloy, how­ ever, became embrittled by welding. An article byF.D. Richardson describes an interdisciplinary metallurgy program for students of the Imperial College of Science and Technology at the Univer­ sity of London. He emphasizes that the teaching of metallurgy should be ac­ complished in an engineering context and be balanced among chemical, physi­ cal, and process engineering. FEBRUARY-1944 T nual review issue. Encompassing a HE COVER identifies this as an an­ wide subject area from mineral eco­ nomics to geophysics, 40 articles are di­ vided almost evenly among metals, coal, and petroleum. A.B. Parsons' editorial, on the other hand, focuses on petro­ leum, coal, and liquid fuel. He is con­ cerned that the United States' petroleum reserves are only sufficient for 13 years' consumption at present rates and that an immediate shortage of crude oil looms. He also notes that the virtually nonexist­ ent production of liquid fuel from coal for internal combustion engines must be substantial within 15 years. There are many technical gems con­ tained in the numerous articles. For ex­ ample, a new method is described for the satisfactory arc welding of magne­ sium sheet or other metallic sheet. It utilizes a tungsten electrode with a matching filler rod in a neutral atmos­ phere such as helium-an early applica­ tion of gas tungsten arc welding. F.T. Sisco's Preview and Review of Metallurgy contains two interesting items. The first is an announcement by Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation on the use of tantalum wire, foil, and plate for surgical implants and plastic sur­ gery. He also notes another surgical material-a Co-30Cr-5Mo alloy with the trade name Vitallium-that has been em­ ployed in major surgery and used in dental applications since the 1930s. The second article addresses concerns of the Can Manufacturers' Institute about antic­ ipated competition resulting from war­ time developments in alternative non­ metallic packaging materials. The institute's plan calls for those in the steel industry who are concerned with tin and tinplate to spend several million dollars on ambitious advertising cam­ paigns and a two-year analysis of con­ sumer likes and dislikes. Glass, cello­ phane, and plastics are the targets. A final gem is L.W. Kempfs report on nonferrous physical metallurgy discuss­ ing work by R Mehl and coworkers on a new hypothesis of precipitation harden­ ing in metals. They concluded that the major factor in hardening by precipita­ tion results from stresses inthe matrix that keep the precipitate in a strained, coherent condition.


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Dennis F. Hasson. Retrospect, JOM, 1994, 80-80, DOI: 10.1007/BF03222569