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Hadfield, Sir Robert (Abbot)

steel firm alloys steels

(1858–1940) British metallurgist: discovered several new steel alloys.

After a local schooling and training as a chemist, Hadfield started work in his father’s small steel foundry in Sheffield. Due to his father’s ill-health he took over the firm when he was 24 and inherited it 6 years later. Hadfield continued the research he had begun in the early 1880s into steel alloys, publishing 150 scientific papers.

The process of steel-making relied on the use of phosphorus-free iron ore; R F Mushet (1811–91) had added Spiegeleisen (Fe-C-Mn), but this resulted in a metal which, although hard, was too brittle. Hadfield found that, by adding large amounts of manganese (12–14%) and subsequent heating (to 1000°C) and quenching in water, he could produce a steel alloy both hard and strong and suitable for metal-working and railway points. His firm took out the patent on this in 1883. Continuing his work on steel alloys he produced silicon steels and showed that they have valuable magnetic properties and were suitable for use in transformers. His firm also produced armour-piercing and heat-resisting steels. He was knighted in 1908 and created a baronet in 1917.

Hadid, Zaha (1950–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS, THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE, CONTEMPORARIES, LEGACY [next] [back] Hades

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