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On the death of Günther Scharf

We mourn the death of Dr.-Ing. Günther Scharf. He died on 17 April 2019 at the age of 88. Since 1958, when he joined VAW's research department, he had been closely associated with aluminium. When he retired at the end of 1995, together with Dr. Edgar Lossack, he was Head of R&D at VAW aluminium AG Bonn and Head of the Aluminum Materials and Surface Technology Department. He played a major role in developments in the field of processing and refining aluminium materials.

Günther Scharf studied metallurgy and electrometallurgy at the Clausthal Mining Academy, where he passed his diploma in 1957. His professional career began at Fried. Krupp in Essen. In October 1958 he moved to Bonn to join the research department of VAW. There he dealt with issues such as the formation of precipitates, recrystallization and grain growth, in particular in connection with technical shaping processes such as extrusion and rolling. This work led to his comprehensive understanding of metallurgical processes and also to his doctorate in 1969 by the RWTH Aachen.

In addition to his work on the manufacture of semi-finished products, Günther Scharf also dealt with a wide variety of special topics. The production of foils from high-purity aluminium as well as the optimisation of ribbons for offset printing should be mentioned here. The development of new powder metallurgical materials, AlLi alloys and particle- or fibre-reinforced materials was also carried out under his leadership.

Nevertheless, extrusion and the AlMgSi alloys preferably used remained in his focus. From 1980 to 1987, he headed the Research Working Group of the DGM Technical Committee on Extrusion Presses. In 1986 he actively promoted the foundation of the Förderverein at the Extrusion Research Centre of the TU Berlin. Since 1985, Günther Scharf has also held a teaching position at the Chair of Materials Science at the Ruhr University Bochum. He showed many students the advantages, special features and diverse possibilities of aluminium materials.

Such successful work did not fail to produce honours, especially because he was always willing to put his knowledge at the service of the common interests of the industry. As early as 1969, his scientific achievements received special recognition when he was awarded the Georg Sachs Prize of the DGM. In 1988 he was appointed to the board of the Society. In 1995 he was awarded honorary membership by the DGM.

After his retirement, he continued his lectures in Bochum for several years and was available to VAW as a consultant for special topics. In addition, however, he went to the university again and attended lectures on history and religious studies, which he had been interested in for a long time.

Everyone who knew him appreciated him as a committed, open-minded and sympathetic person. They will keep an honourable memory of him.

Wolf-Dieter Finkelnburg



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Editor: Dipl.-Ing. Fahima Fischer
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