My story of EURO PM2019

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14 November 2019

For the third year running, the Head of HI.Lab, the OMCD Group’s physical-metallurgical laboratory, Dr. Gian Pietro De Gaudenzi, was invited to be part of the Technical Programme Committee (TPC) at Euro PM2019.

The Euro PM2019 is an international conference on powder metallurgy (PM) organized by the European powder metallurgy Association (EPMA), which every year attracts thousands of industry leaders, scholars and researchers related to and interested in the PM sector.

This year it was held in Maastricht, at the Maastricht Exhibition & Conference Center from 13th to 16th of October 2019. During the three-day meeting, several experts from the industry took turns on stage as speakers, presenting key topics of powder metallurgy and its recent developments.

We asked Dr.De Gaudenzi how it went:

1) Dr.De Gaudenzi, as a member of the Technical Programme Committee (TPC), which tasks did you have to perform?

The members of the TPC were asked to select the contributing manuscripts which qualified, to be presented at the conference, ensuring that they met the quality and the scientific level of the conference. From those admitted there is a further distinction for those that will be included in the program of oral presentations, those divided into sessions of specific topics, and those intended instead to be presented only in the form of posters. Finally, between the oral presentations each working group (I was part of the group “Hard materials and Diamond Tools”) select a particularly interesting and worthy memory that will be rewarded during the Plenary Session and presented as Keynote Lecture.

2) With you there were scholars, researchers and industry leaders in the field. All of them world-renowned personalities. On the basis of what criterion are members of the TPC chosen?

As I said, the TPC members have the task of ensuring the quality of the conference and to organizing the sessions regarding the most current topics. Therefore, they are selected from the experts in the field whom are informed about the most interesting and up-to-date topics, and therefore possess some criteria to judge the quality of the research.

3) Where and how did you acquire yours skills and know-how?

I had the opportunity to be trained in Materials Science at the Polytechnic of Milan and had experience at the Joint Research Center in Petten, Holland. I have a PhD, acquired with Proffesor Bozzini, who is now head of the group of excellence on batteries of the same Polytechnic. I worked for five years at the C.I.S.E., a research center on Applied Materials in the field of energy. Above all, I have accumulated more than twenty years of experience in the production of hard metal carbides in OMCD Group companies.

4) In the last two years you’ve presented two studies: one on the corrosion of carbide, and one on the use of abrasion-corrosion measurements to study the kinetics of protecting layer reconstruction. Both have been selected for oral presentation during a session dedicated to the topics.

This year as well you presented a study? How was it preceived by the TPC and what was it about?

This year we presented the results of a research carried out at HI.Lab, the central laboratory of the OMCD Group, (in collaboration with Proffesor Bozzini’s group) about the effect of chromium addition to the carbide metal binder on the mechanical properties and the resistance to tribo-corrosion conditions. The optimization of this type of alligation is the most current subject in the development of new compositions of hard metal carbide. The study has aroused a lot of interest both for the scientific and research aspects and the for the implication to many critical applications.

5) By which criteria are studies selected?

• Validity of the study’s subject with relevance to the conference topic;

• probability that it will actually be a good assignment (consideration of enjoyement by the person presenting it);

• probability of it being presented in a sufficient manor and effectively.

6) In the last years you participated in Euro PM2019 and you were designated “chairman”. How was to oversee the technical interventions of world experts in powder metallurgy?

It is always a great privilege for me to play this role. It requires commitment, both in preparing the session knowing the studies that will be presented as well as in conducting it. It also gives you the opportunity to meet and to speak with persons of absolute importance in our field of application.

7) What have you brought home from this 2019 Euro PM edition?

At HI.Lab we are working on the topics of greatest current interest and I had the opportunity to discuss these with some of the leading experts at Maastricht. This allows us to keep the products of the OMCD Group always at the forefront of the global market and to face the new technological challenges that constantly arise.

8) During the Euro PM is given the opportunity to visit companies near the location where the conference takes place. Two years ago, the conference was held in Milan and OMCD’s physical-metallurgical laboratory was chosen for one of these viewings. What distinguishes HI.Lab from all other metallurgical laboratories?

The physical-metallurgical laboratory of the OMCD Group is distinguished by its specialization in the science of tungsten-based materials, mainly hard metals (tungsten carbide) and metal composites (e.g. tungsten-copper and tungsten-silver), and generally of the hard materials used in the manufacturing of tools and wear-resistant components, including coatings. Thanks to our decades of experience and numerous contacts with the academic world too, our laboratory conducts R&D activities in the areas of the recovery of raw materials, from scrap (city-mining) to backing the eco-friendly process of transformating tungsten minerals.

The laboratory is very well equipped for metallographic preparation of samples with high hardness, observation of microstructures both in optical and electronic microscopy, compositional analysis by X-ray fluorescence (XRF), infrared spectroscopy (IRS) and also ICP-OES (optical plasma spectroscopy, the detection of hardness on Rockwell A and Vickers scales). We carry out bending resistance mechanical tests (Rupture strength transverse, TRS), toughness measurements, wear resistance and corrosion resistance tests by means of environmental tests and electrochemical measurements.

All sizes/dimensions are executed in accordance with the relevant ISO and ASTM scale standards.

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