The Discovery of Stainless Steel

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Pinetreebbs
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The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Pinetreebbs » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:16 am

The history of Stainless Steel from The History Guy, a YouTube channel that covers various historical topics.
he discovery of stainless steel is usually attributed to English metallurgist Harry Brearly in 1913. But the history of the alloy that transformed industries goes back at least a century before. The History Guy remembers the forgotten history of stainless steel.

The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHlhVJP9s2k
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emanuel
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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby emanuel » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:01 am

Very nice video, a lot of good information put together from an historical standpoint. Thanks for sharing!

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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby sok » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:59 am

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby JonLeBlanc » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:28 pm

"Nonsense, people aren't unemployed, there's no such place as Sheffield..." Lol
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Cambertree
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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Cambertree » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:19 pm

A mural of Harry Brearley I took in Sheffield in 2017:
Image
Sadly, I hear it has since been painted over.

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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby FullScaler » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:56 pm

Cool post. I am really geeking out on steels recently and love all the info i can get, including history like this.
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Larrin
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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Larrin » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:27 pm

Here is a history of stainless which includes a bit more focus on knives and extends the history of stainless knife steels into the 20s and 30s: https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/07/16/ ... or-knives/

And the history with custom knives: https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/09/10/ ... in-knives/
http://www.KnifeSteelNerds.com - Steel Metallurgy topics related to knives

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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby marty_bill_ » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm

Interesting. But what about the Ulfberht sword? Famous Viking sword created hundreds of years before modern stainless steel came about. Like maybe some 800 or so years before modern stainless. But it was crucible steel. There's a special about it on the History channel I think? I'll see about finding a link. Here it is
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qqAMl8qQFl0

Deadboxhero
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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Deadboxhero » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:43 pm

marty_bill_ wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm
Interesting. But what about the Ulfberht sword? Famous Viking sword created hundreds of years before modern stainless steel came about. Like maybe some 800 or so years before modern stainless. But it was crucible steel. There's a special about it on the History channel I think? I'll see about finding a link. Here it is
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qqAMl8qQFl0
I got a chance to hold one from a private collector, I should have gotten a picture but I was caught up in the moment.
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Cambertree
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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Cambertree » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:40 am

marty_bill_ wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm
Interesting. But what about the Ulfberht sword? Famous Viking sword created hundreds of years before modern stainless steel came about. Like maybe some 800 or so years before modern stainless. But it was crucible steel. There's a special about it on the History channel I think? I'll see about finding a link. Here it is
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qqAMl8qQFl0
There’s archaeological evidence of crucible type steel production in Central Asia going back to the 8th century, and in India and Sri Lanka going back to 300 BCE. Some Indian iron ore was thought to have been naturally alloyed with trace amounts of vanadium.

It’s been conjectured that billets of this crucible steel travelled along the Silk Roads and Viking trade routes into Western Europe.

The steel wasn’t stainless though, nor were the mechanisms involved in its production as clearly understood as they were when Huntsman started making cast crucible steel with coke in the 18th century.

Here’s a pic I took of some discarded crucibles outside the steel puddling rooms in the old Tyzack Scythe Works in Sheffield - now the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

Image
Deadboxhero wrote: I got a chance to hold one from a private collector, I should have gotten a picture but I was caught up in the moment.
Wow, that must have been an amazing experience Shawn.

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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Wartstein » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:31 am

marty_bill_ wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm
Interesting. But what about the Ulfberht sword? Famous Viking sword created hundreds of years before modern stainless steel came about. Like maybe some 800 or so years before modern stainless. But it was crucible steel. There's a special about it on the History channel I think? I'll see about finding a link. Here it is
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qqAMl8qQFl0
Cambertree wrote:
marty_bill_ wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm
There’s archaeological evidence of crucible type steel production in Central Asia going back to the 8th century,......
Deadboxhero wrote: I got a chance to hold one from a private collector, I should have gotten a picture but I was caught up in the moment.
Wow, that must have been an amazing experience Shawn.
Deadboxhero wrote:
marty_bill_ wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm
I got a chance to hold one from a private collector, I should have gotten a picture but I was caught up in the moment.
I am bit into ancient and early medieval history, one "funny" (or rather sad...) thing about the Ulfbert swords is, that like it is in our days concerning quality knives, there where a LOT of fake ones in the 9th to 11th century. Some historians say, even more than genuine ones. The fake Ulfberth swords even had wrong lettering on the blade quite frequently (just like on cheap fakes today), and normally only about 1/3 of the carbon content of the real ones. They were often times hardened by quenching, in a way that made them though sharp also very brittle. The consequences for the owner who bought such a brittle counterfeit obviously could be much more severe than if one buys a fake knife nowadays.. (I wouldn´t want to break my sword in a battle... but then, I wouldn´t want to be in an ancient battle anyway... ;) )

It must have been a lot easier to sell counterfeits then than it is today... most people couldn´t even read, so on some Ulfnerth fakes the lettering is so wrong that it just looks like actual letters, but are in fact just random symbols...
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Cambertree
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Re: The Discovery of Stainless Steel

Postby Cambertree » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:48 am

The Ulfberht swords are definitely a fascinating subject.

Here's a paper with some very interesting metallurgical analyses, both of likely Ulfberht swords and probable fakes.

http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/index.p ... le/218/222


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