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A multi-disciplinary research team from Germany and the Czech Republic won the 2015 Charles Hatchett Award, which is bestowed annually for the best paper on the science and technology of niobium and its alloys. 

The winning paper* focuses on ferritic stainless steels used in high temperature applications and describes a novel approach to the design of these steels that are strengthened with niobium-containing intermetallic phases. The new alloys provide a combination of both long-term steam oxidation resistance and high temperature strength, essential properties when operating under the extreme conditions necessary for maximum efficiency in power generation. When electricity is produced more efficiently, fewer carbon dioxide emissions occur. 

Ferritic stainless steels are also used in home appliances, by industry, as part of building structures and in transportation applications. They offer a lower cost alternative to some other types of stainless steels, and have useful properties such as corrosion and a​brasion resistance.

The award winners, from the Forschungszentrum Jülich ​GmbH, Institute for Energy and Climate Change in Germany, the Czech Technical University in Prague and Outokumpu VDM Germany, received their medals at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) dinner held in London.

An international seminar "The Role of Niobium in Advanced Ferritic Stainless Steels - Building a Sustainable Future" was held in conjunction with the award ceremony and was attended by stainless steel experts from both academia and industry. It examined how niobium-bearing ferritic stainless steels can have a simultaneous impact on technical advancement and sustainability in a range of applications such as buildings, power generation and the automotive industry.

CBMM has sponsored the Charles Hatchett Award since its inception in 1979. The winning paper is selected by a panel of international experts, with IOM3 providing organizational support. Visit CBMM's Charles Hatchett Award page or the award's official website to learn about past winners, the selection process or to view videos.

* B. Kuhn, M. Talik, L. Niewolak, J. Zurek, H. Hattendorf, P. Ennis, W. Quadakkers, T. Beck and L. Singheiser. "Development of High Chromium Ferritic Steels Strengthened by Intermetallic Phases," Materials Science and Engineering A, 594, (2014), 372-380.