MSE Seminar Series: Metallography/Materialography

Friday, December 11, 2020
1:00 p.m.
via Zoom
Sherri Tatum

Speaker: George Vander Voort, Principal, Vander Voort Consulting LLC,Consultant at Struers, Inc.


The lecture defines what metallography is and describes what industries use it to study the microstructure of specimens they work with.  It also describes what the purposes are for doing such studies.  An example is presented of a metallography study of samples from the lower head of the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor after its failure in 1979. This shows how the temperature in different location that was reached due to the failure could be determined using microstructural examination after the failure. The lecture also describes the steps used to create these micrographs. Sectioning of specimens is a critical step as if it is not controlled excessive heat could be introduced into the specimens that would make it appear that the specimens were heated in the accident to a higher temperature than actually occurred. Samples are usually mounted in polymeric compounds so that the edges can be preserved during grinding and polishing. The etchant chosen must be the best to properly reveal the microstructure and alloy the constituents to be identified and, if needed, measured. Finally, there are several illumination methods that can be used with the light optical microscope to best reveal the microstructure depending upon the alloy examined.


George Vander Voort, principal of Vander Voort Consulting LLC and consultant to Struers Inc., is a graduate of Drexel and Lehigh Universities. Drexel presented George with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005 and the Service to the Profession Award in 2016. He had 29 years’ experience in the steel industry. A past president of the International Metallographic Society and past chairman of ASTM Committee E-4 on Metallography, George has over 447 publications, 6 patents, 457 lectures in 42 countries, a video course, and 8 ASTM standards. He has taught 277 seminars and courses and has received 36 awards in metallography contests. He was a trustee for ASM International and is on the editorial boards of Praktische Metallographie/Practical Metallography; Metallography, Microstructure and Analysis; Image Analysis and Stereology, and the International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties. He is a Fellow of ASTM International, ASM International and the International Federation of Heat Treatment and Surface Engineers. George is also a Fellow and Honorary Life Member of Alpha Sigma Mu metallurgy and materials science honorary society and an honorary member of the Polish Society for Stereology. He was named a Distinguished Life Member of ASMI in 2020.

Audience: Campus 

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