Did you know that Paul Revere was an early metallurgist? Revere’s early education was sufficient to enable him to later read the difficult metallurgical books of his day. His early training was by his father, who was a Boston silversmith. At 19 – upon the death of his father in 1754 – Revere took over the family silver shop. A perfectionist throughout his life, he went on to become one of America’s greatest artists in silver.
There are a number of ways to join two metals together. Most of these involve some form of welding or brazing, with many variations in these techniques. One of the welding categories is solid-state welding, and one of the eight solid-state welding techniques – explosion welding (EXW) – meets a unique metal-joining need.
A tunneling project to extend a subway line created interest in the large Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) being used. Just how does this 23-foot-diameter machine with a length of 200 feet and a weight of 1.2 million pounds cut 35 feet of tunnel every day, and how does thermal processing play a role?
As we age, we sometimes outlive our joints. The aging of the largest segment of our population (the Boomers) will surely increase the number of joint failures. When joints fail, the solution is often to replace the problem area with an artificial joint. Before that can happen, however, a number of thermal processes must take place because most of these replacement joints are made from a cast metallic alloy.
The story of the Titanic is a tragic tale of life lost. We have long been intrigued with the reasons why this catastrophe occurred. Design certainly played a role, but other similarly designed ships had useful service lives. At least one “cause” can be attributed to the metal used to make the hull of the ship. The melting and forming of this material certainly contributed.
What could be more common than the household refrigerator? It is the most-used appliance in America with more than 99.5% of homes having one. How did this come about, and what does heat treatment have to do with cooling things?
You have no doubt heard it said that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. This is not comforting when you are crossing the manufacturing plant floor with a large, heavy object suspended from a crane using a chain. How do we know the links are strong enough? The key is heat treatment.
Gears have been a vital component since the invention of rotating machinery. Because of their force-multiplying characteristics, they were used by early engineers to lift building materials. Gears were also used to hoist ship anchors and for catapult pretensioning. Another application was wind and water-wheel machinery, as the rotational speed could be increased or decreased as required for the specific machine to be powered.
Ever wonder what the lawn mower, garden rake, pruning shears and garden tiller could have in common with the long-handle shovel, edging tool and the broadcast spreader? All of these tools are heat treated for durability.