We provide testing services to certify product and materials compliance, support quality control, and ensure the health and safety of workers and their environment. We provide assistance for clients who are not sure what tests they need. Our accredited materials characterization laboratory is the foundation of all the services of RJ Lee Group provides, including standardized testing for compliance, industrial hygiene and environmental analyses, quality control, and materials research and development.

We provide credentialed expertise supported built by robust scientific data. We provide significant support to industrial clients for product development, industrial hygiene and overall production support.

RJ Lee Group maintains a visible and respected reputation within the legal community, having offered scientific support in civil litigation matters for nearly 30 years. 

  • Product Liability 
  • Toxic Tort
  • Construction Defect
  • Fugitive Emission
  • Personal Injury
  • Patent Infringement
  • Contract Disputes
  • Insurance Subrogation

Subject Matter Experts

From our core business of providing scientific solutions to our clients, we have developed innovative products. Some are produced internally, and some have arisen from partnerships with other research organizations. 

For example, we build lab software solutions to help manage and streamline your labs data, and environmental testing products for a variety of applications. 

  • IntelliSEM is a powerful automated particle analysis system.
  • ParticleID is  a customizable cloud hosted web application used to identify foreign particulate matter and  assist with root cause investigations. 

Other products we create count particles and help keep the air and environment safe.

RJ Lee Group is a materials analysis laboratory and consulting company which serves many different industries. We offer scientific solutions such as industrial forensics services, laboratory and testing services, litigation support, and laboratory software to many industries:

Uncovering the Mysteries of Duplex Stainless Steels

James V. Pellegrino, Jr.

July 26, 2014

As early as the 1930s, companies were researching the development of duplex grades of steel that were more resistant to cracking and corrosion, but it wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s when improvement in refining techniques resulted in better product quality, that major progress was made. Since that time, the use of duplex stainless steels has grown and new grades have entered the market. How these grades react under various conditions is not precisely known since many of these steels are produced by individual companies whose formulations differ. The Duplex Stainless Steel Atlas of Microstructures published by Materials Technology Institute, Inc. (MTI) helps uncover these mysteries with an atlas of instructive, high quality images of the microstructures of duplex stainless steels. Written by Jim Pellegrino (RJ Lee Group), Heather Stine (Materials Technology Institute), Jim Fritz (TMR Stainless/Outokumpu High Performance Stainless), and Hira Ahluwalia (Materials Selection Resources/Nickel Institute), the atlas discloses seldom-seen images of duplex-alloy grade product forms that include flat rolled and tubular products with and without welds, and cast, forged, and HIP materials that have been exposed to various thermal treatments, and more.

Super Duplex Stainless Steel

Cross section perpendicular to the axis of the weld showing narrow heat affected zone (HAZ). The microstructure in the HAZ consists of larger grains of ferrite and a relatively small volume fraction of austenite.

Simplifying the Duplex . . . through Images

Duplex stainless steels have a two-phase microstructure containing both ferrite and austenite–a combination that results in a variety of superior properties such as high corrosion resistance and mechanical strength. However, despite their advantages, duplex stainless steels are also known for a complicated microstructure that makes them more difficult to produce and fabricate. They are often subject to precipitation of phases that are detrimental and may adversely impact both strength and corrosion resistance. It is important to reveal and evaluate these properties and their microstructure to understand their relationships to each other.

To better understand these relationships, MTI member companies prepared and donated samples of various stainless steel grades and products to RJ Lee Group’s laboratory for metallographic analysis. More than 100 samples, which included specimens as-produced, annealed, and those artificially aged in used materials, were metallographically prepared and examined using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and scanning electronmicroscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Some of the samples were heat treated and all were photo-documented at RJ Lee Group’s headquarters laboratory to show how the microstructure was impacted.

Super duplex stainless steel

Cross section perpendicular to the axis of a weld showing as-solidified weld metal. The microstructure consists of acicular austenite (light colored phase) in a ferrite matrix.

Jim Pellegrino, recognized steel expert, shot thousands of optical and electron images, analyzed samples, and contributed to portions of the text. A variety of etchants have historically been used to selectively reveal matrix phases and second-phase constituents, but to better understand the complicated microstructure of the samples, he developed a special etchant (Pellegrino’s Etchant) which he used to examine the samples. Using this etchant, he was able to control the etch depth, so that, when necessary and depending on the alloy content, the etchant could be modified so that it was slow acting allowing him to investigate secondary phases and reveal not only the general microstructure, but also carbides, nitrides, and the intermetallics in the samples. Anyone who needs to understand the microstructure and behavior of available duplex stainless steels will find this atlas to be an expert handbook.

The 159-page atlas is available in hardcover to MTI members.

MTI Membership

MTI members can utilize MTI’s books, reports, software and video training programs immediately as needed. To inquire about membership in MTI, please contact MTI at or at mtiadmin at or call 314-576-7712.

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