Materials Performance

DEC 2014

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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Your Association in Action 77 NACE INTERNATIONAL: VOL. 53, NO. 12 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE DECEMBER 2014 In Memoriam Memories of Hector Campbell, FNACE By Roger Francis H ector Campbell passed away on August 8, 2014 at the age of 93. He was very self- effacing and did not talk much to his family about what he did at work. Those who worked with him were very familiar with his wide range of talents. He was a first-class chemist and a very good corrosion scientist and engineer; this is an unusual combination. I first met Hector Campbell at BNF (British Non Ferrous) Metals Technology Centre in Wantage, Oxfordshire in 1974. I had just joined the organization as a very junior research scientist fresh out of university. I was to work on condenser tube corrosion problems using an appara- tus designed by Hector. The Campbell Condenser Tube Test Apparatus is still in use today in laboratories around the world. Hector established a worldwide reputation for BNF in the corrosion field, along with coworkers like Mervin Turner and Vic Lucey. I discovered soon after starting work at BNF that Hector was known and respected all over the corro- sion world. One example of this makes the point. Peter Elliott in the United States, who has been a technical witness in several lawsuits involving corroded copper and copper alloys, is grateful for the defin- ing work done in this area by Hector and his colleagues at BNF. Peter's last case settled for $20 million, which shows that the research work is as valid now as it was 30 to 50 years ago and it has significant value. Hector qualified as a chemist and during World War II he worked on quality issues in an electroplating shop. After the war he applied for a position in the corro- sion department of BNF, then in London. An early project was on the corrosion of uranium and then he began a long period of looking at corrosion problems of copper and copper alloys, as well as other materi- als, in fresh waters and seawater. The work resulted in the publication of numerous technical papers and research collabora- tions around the world. When BNF moved to Wantage, Oxfordshire, Hector became head of the Metal Users Consultancy Service, looking at service failures and offering advice on materials selection and use. In addition to the mundane there were also many inter- esting corrosion problems. One enquiry came with a call from the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. Their brewing coppers dated from the early 1900s and were cleaned every brewing cycle. They were getting thin and the brewery wanted BNF to identify a cleaning system that would enable the coppers to last three more years, when the new brewery would be ready. Both Mark Carpenter and I volunteered for the site visit, but this was one time when Hector pulled rank and said that if anyone was going on a site visit it would be him. However, he did say afterward that the Guinness from the old coppers did taste very good. We did also identify a less aggressive cleaning solution to get the extra three years of life for the coppers. Throughout his time at BNF Hector had represented the United Kingdom on a number of BS and ISO commit- tees, drawing up standards in the field of corrosion. He retired from BNF in the 1980s and became a consultant and he was made an Honorary Senior Research Fellow by the University of Surrey. However, he still found time to take on the consulting editorship of the British Corrosion Journal (now CEST). The journal had been struggling, but Hector used his persuasive powers to solicit quality papers and revived the journal's fortunes. Hector gradually phased out his consultancy work, but he was still regularly phoned up for technical advice through his 80s and into his 90s. This shows both the respect and reputation that he had achieved. Affairs like that at Guinness, of pulling rank, were rare and Hector encouraged young engineers to join him on site visits to investigate service failures in the field; a good training ground. He was always available for advice on any issue and his reprimands were infrequent and mild. Hector was not just a good boss and a good engineer, he was also a good friend.

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