Prof. Pinatti the “Father of Niobium”

Posted in 07/23/2021

Prof. Daltro G. Pinatti (1940-2021)
Prof. Daltro G. Pinatti (1940-2021)

With great regret, the School of Engineering of Lorena (EEL) at USP received today, 07/23, the news of the death of Prof. Dr. Daltro Garcia Pinatti, the “Father of Niobium”. Professor Pinatti was an Honorary Professor at USP, the first in the modality. The title was requested from the Congregation of the Unit by the Council of the Department of Materials Engineering and granted by USP in a solemn meeting held on June 26, 2015, informs Prof. Dr. Durval Rodrigues Jr., Deputy Director of EEL and research colleague of Prof. Pinatti for decades. On July 26, Professor Pinatti would be 81 years old.

A high-level scientist was Prof. Pinatti started the Nióbio Project. Under his command, research in the area was concentrated in Lorraine, advancing and modifying the Brazilian export scenario for the product.

Niobium Project: In 1981, the refractory metals smelting and refining plant was installed in the current Materials Engineering Department of EEL. The machine was designed researcher Daltro Garcia Pinatti in cooperation with the German company Leybold-Heraeus. With the installation of this machinery and the development of niobium production technology, the metal started to leave the country in the form of ‘ingots’, with an added value much higher than that which was exported when in the form of ore.

Lorena then began to supply the national demand for niobium, molybdenum, titanium, tantalum and their alloys for research activities. In the 1980s, around 80 tons of niobium left the Department of Materials Engineering, recalls EEL Professor Dr. Rosa Ana Conte, friend and research partner of Prof. Pinatti.

“The model adopted by the Nióbio Project ensured a significant industrial technological return to the country” concludes the Professor. The processed material was exported to several countries, mainly Germany, Austria and Japan. For ten years, the unit in Lorena provided services to CBMM - Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração until it implemented its own industrial melting and refining furnace. niobium.

According to prof. Rosa Conte, another major contribution of the Nióbio project to the country was the training of high-level human resources. “We were at that time and, in a way, we are still a reference for the development of technologies for several companies operating in the areas of mining, casting, mechanical forming, and in the development of equipment and protocols for quality control of metals and special alloys. Until today, professionals trained under the Project stand out in key positions in industries and large research institutions in Brazil and abroad” emphasizes Rosa Conte.

The tribute received in 2015 was a way for EEL to demonstrate to the researcher the immense consideration and recognition for everything that was professionally accomplished by Prof. Pinatti, who, even after his retirement, continued to serve the EEL as a visiting researcher.

Pinatti was a professional extremely dedicated to the development of innovative technologies with a highly entrepreneurial profile. With a creative profile, he had dozens of patents registered in the technological area.

In 2008 the Main Building of the Materials Engineering Department was named after him.

Prof. Pinatti left a great scientific legacy and hundreds of disciples. EEL is dismayed at the huge loss.

To friends and family our deepest and most sincere feelings.