EDITORIAL: Looking Forward by Understanding Our Past
As a metallurgist or someone familiar with the terminologies of the industry, you discover things that are not there anymore. The archived articles from 1931 discuss troostite and sorbite as heat treat terminology. Troostite and sorbite were two phases of transformation products obtained on cooling heat-treated steel from the austenitic phase. Although you may run across these terms in some of the older literature, they are "pre-Bain" and are now considered obsolete.
....Speaking of Edgar C. Bain, his work on the isothermal transformation of austenite led to the common use of time-temperature-transformation (TTT) curves and the discovery of Bainite: significant developments in the world of heat treatment! All of this was occurring as Industrial Heating was in its infancy. In fact, usage of the term "bainite" was not common until the late 1940's, and it was not until the early 1960's that the bainitic transformation mechanism was better understood.
A discussion of steel manufacturing, from the 1931 archive, centered on the blast furnace, open hearth, and Bessemer processes. These processes have given way to technological changes. Today, steels are more often melted in an electric arc furnace and may be refined in an AOD, which only came on the scene in the early 1950's: 20 years after the birth of Industrial Heating. The AOD process certainly allowed for the development of many new stainless grades, particularly low carbon varieties, which would have been impractical without it. Back in 1931, there were only five stainless grades commercially available. Today there are more than 60!
Welding technology has also grown significantly in the last 75 years. In fact, submerged arc welding and stud welding were just coming on the scene in 1931. Other developments ranged from gas tungsten arc welding in 1941 to electroslag and electron beam welding in the late 1950's. Industrial Heating stood watch, keeping you informed all the while.
What is in store for the next 75 years of our industry? If we had an answer to that, you would probably not be reading my column in this publication! Learning from our history, however, it does not take a crystal ball to know conditions will be markedly different.
Advancements in technology are key to your business thriving in the 21st century. We need to not only conceive the ideas but also embrace them as they show their value. These advancements will no doubt enhance productivity, improve efficiency, increase accuracy, improve quality, save energy, and much more. As we engage in all of the above, we will still be in the game 75 years from now.
Industrial Heating will do our part to spotlight the technologies and highlight the organizations that are succeeding as a result of putting new technology into action. We value your trust and loyalty over the last 75 years and look forward to maintaining that trust in the next 75!