ASTM Dedicates New Headquarters

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  • C. C. Hipkins, Bell Telephone Laboratories, technical chairman of one of the sessions, talks with C. H. Rose, National Lead Co., on symposium committee

    J. R. Totvnsend, past president of ASTM, and TF\ C. Edge, president of the Engineers'' Club of Philadelphia, at dedication dinner

    ASTM Dedicates New Headquar te r s A STAFF REPORT

    JL H E new headquarters of the American Society for Testing Materials a t 1916 Race St. in Philadelphia were formally dedicated in special ceremonies held during the spring meeting of t he society in t ha t city Feb. 24 to 28. Several prominent persons from the academic and industrial circles of Philadelphia took part in the dedication and the dinner t ha t followed a t the Benjamin Franklin Hotel.

    Edward U. Condon, director of the National Bureau of Standards, was the principal speaker on the dedication dinner program. The main par t of his address was concerned with a short resume of the many wartime activities of the Bureau of Standards. Among those of which Dr . Condon commented were the bureau's programs on atomic energy, proximity fuses, guided missiles, calculators and computers, and investigations into the possibility of multimillion-volt x-ray techniques and equipment. He also spoke of the intended construction of a large mass spectrometer for t h e investigation of high polymers. The director of the Bureau of Standards closed his address by making the observation tha t developments in the field of physics will be of increasing help to the structural and test engineer in the examination of materials.

    Other speakers a t the dedication dinner included: F . D . Garman, president of the City Council of Philadelphia; G. W. McClelland, president of the University of Pennsylvania; W. C. Edge, president of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia; and R. T . Nalle, president of t he Franklin Inst i tute, all of .whom expressed their congratulations to ASTM on i ts progress and the acquisition of new headquarters. A. W. Carpenter, president of ASTM, ac

    knowledged the tr ibutes paid to the society in its behalf, and predicted t h a t the future will bring ever widening acceptance of ASTM standards and tests.

    T h e high point of t h e technical program of the five-day meeting was reached on Feb. 25 with the presentation of an all-day symposium on "Paint and Paint Materials" at which several interesting papers were presented.

    "Methods of Evaluation of Industrial Finishes" was the t i t le of the paper by R. A. Pringle and . . Yacko of the General Electric Co. in which they outlined some of the procedures of their company used in evaluating organic finishes for the coating of appliances." Test panels, it was explained, of 22-gage cold-rolled satin finish steel are bonderized, dried, sprayed, and baked and allowed to age for 48 hours before tests are begun.

    Salt spray and humidity tests are conducted by scratching large " X ' s " in the middle of the panels and hanging them in salt spray and humidity cabinets, respectively. In t h e former test, the panels are exposed to a 2 0 % salt fog for a period of 200 hours at a temperature of 90-95 F. ,

    subject to examination once a day. At the end of the tes t period, thie panels are removed, dried, and "rated. Failure is shown in the form of corrosion b a c k from the scratches and edges of the panels.

    The humidity tests are conducted for the same period at t h e same tenitperature as the salt spray tes t but in a relative humidity of 100%. After washiing and drying, the film is examined for blistering, dulling, and softening. I n addition t o these tests the coating is also submitted t o tests for alkali resistance, color retention, abrasion resistance, flexibility, hiardness, impact, stain, heat , and adhesion.

    Particular emphasis was given, by t h e speaker, . . Yacko, to the va lue of th.e impact test. I n the lat ter procedure, a 2 -lb. steel rod wi th a /Vinch spherical con-tact end is allowed to fall 10 incies onto the test panel which has been placed at t h e base of the inst rument ; a hea/vy steel block with Vs-inch hole in t he center under the contact point. For kitchen, cabinet finishes no chipping or flaking o>n either side of the panel is tolerated. In case where outstanding heat or alkali resistance is essential, some chipping is allowable.

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    768 C H E M I C A L A N D E N G I N E E R I N G M E W S

  • . U. Condon, director of National Bureau of Standards ; A. W. Carpenter, ASTJM president, F. D. Carman,

    The paper was closed with the explanation that although these accelerated tests can at best only approximate the actual performance of the materials, they do furnish a convenient yardstick for service prediction.

    Newell P. Beckwith of the Rinshed Mason Co. presented a paper which he had written jointly with F. G. Weed of the same organization on methods of evaluation of automotive finishes. The

    president of Philadelphia City Council, and G. W. McClelland, president of University of Pennsylvania authors stressed the fact that to be of service, predictive tests should be run under conditions similar to those in actual use and that the apparatus employed should be simple in nature. Unfortunately, as they indicated, the human component of such tests has not been eliminated and every attempt should be made to make such examinations objective.

    From the point of view of automotive finishes, the salt spray test is of immense

    value because of the abuse such finishes must withstand during the winter when, salt is used extensively for the de-icing of roads. The authors also made the interesting.^ observation that in general direct rain is not so harmful to auto finishes as a heavy dew followed by sunlight, which often results in blistering.

    The authors of this paper stressed the value of a film test in which a piece of the paint film is removed from the test panel and bent along a sharp line. If failure occurs before the film can be bent back to its normal position, an equivalent of one complete flex, inferior performance is indicated. If the eventual split is a jagged saw-toothed type, it is indicative of too high a pigmentation and if a so-called crow's-foot rupture is observed, it denotes a resin content that is excessive.

    J. H. McKenzie of the American Can Co. presented a paper in which he outlined requirements that a good interior coating for a food container must have. In addition to being nontoxic and taste-free, it must not soften, disintegrate, or lose adhesion when subjected to food processing temperatures. It must also resist the chemical action of food acids and essential oils and bake out in a few minutes' time to a continuous, thin abrasion-resistant film possessing sufficient flexibility and adhesion to withstand high-speed metal stamping and forming operations.

    M e l Chemistry Award for Uranium Fission o> fs D E C . 10, 1946, Otto Hahn received from the King of Sweden the 1944 Nobel Prize for chemistry, belatedly awarded

    to him for discovering neutron fission of uranium.

    Max von Laue of the Gttingen Uni-versity has written of the difficulties en-countered by Dr. Hahn before he was finally able to re-ceive the award.

    The following is taken from Dr. von Laue's article in the Gtiingen Universitts Zeitung.

    In the case of Hahn it was a Nobel Prize against obstacles. Early in 1939, together with Fritz Strassmann he published his work on the splitting of the uranium atom into two almost equal parts. His obser-vations and conclusions were at once greeted by amazing agreement and con-firmation from the many places where his experiments were repeated, just as in the case of Rontgen's discovery in 1896. There was at once complete unanimity that this work deserved the Nobel Prize. Against this, however, stood Hitler's ban on any and all Germans accepting a Nobel Prize. Three German award winners, the chemist and biologist Butenandt, the

    chemist Kuhn, and the medical scientist Domagk, had been forced to renounce the prize in previous 3rears. So the award to Hahn had to remain in suspense. The initiated spoke of "the secret Nobel Prize winner of Dahlem". The year 1945 re-moved this obstacle.

    But then something happened which might have delayed the award: the atom bomb. Beyond any doubt it was the fruit of Harm's discovery, albeit it not a wished for or sought after result. The excitement it aroused was enormousonly in Ger-many does it seem to have made compara-tively little impression. In the other coun-tries, however, every degree of feeling found expression, from an easily under-standable satisfaction with the quick ter-mination of fighting to an extreme horror. There were passionate discussions. Would the Swedish Academy of Science confer the award in spite of this?

    I t did so, in any case, under the quite correct point of view that it had nothing else to judge than the scientific achieve-ment. And its significance was only the more emphasized by the success of that gigantic physical experiment which the atom bomb represents.

    So it came about that Hahn learned of the award on Nov. 16, 1945, from an English paper and the British Broadcast-

    ing Corp. The official announcement reached him only several weeks later, for he was at that time held a prisoner in England. Only a very few men knew the closely kept secret of his whereabouts. In public there began a great search for the vanished prize winner. Stories in the press about meetings in the five corners of the globe which this person and that one were supposed to have had with him were a source of great amusement to Hahn and the other nine physicists held like him in England. He could not think of receiving the prize until after January 1946 when he returned to Germany.

    The splitting of uranium is by no means the first significant deed of Hahn. At 26 he had the good fortune to discover a new radioactive element, mesothorium, fol-lowed in 1907 by the discovery of radio-thorium. Then in 1918 he, with Lise Meitnr, found protactinium. He suc-ceeded in proving the existence of "isom-erism"that is, the existence of two radioactively different kinds of atoms of the same mass and nuclear charge. We owe to him some of our best determina-tions of the age of the solid earth crust by radioactive and chemical methods. He improved the methods of high-speed chemical analysis in which sometimes several precipitations and separations must be made in two minutes in a race with the radioactive decay of the atomic species in which we are interested.

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    ASTM Dedicates New HeadquartersA STAFF REPORT