The Fight Against Rust for a Historic Steamship

By Duncan Ellis | 18th September, 2018

Generally speaking, we at West Yorkshire Steel are not fans of rust; while it can, in some cases, be quite attractive in Corten Steel or the ‘antique’ look that’s popular among VolksWagen van owners, rust itself is usually a sign of a metal in distress. Keeping iron based metals in humid or damp conditions and not limiting the damage is usually nothing more than a recipe for allowing a chemical reaction that will eventually eat away the metal to nothing. It was on a recent trip to the SS Great Britain, currently housed in Bristol, that this idea was brought... [read more]

Sometimes It’s the Unexpected Consequences That Matter Most

By Rob Ellis | 4th September, 2018

We’ve spoken a number of times on this blog about people who have made huge contributions to the world of steel and one name that seems to pop up rather frequently is that of Harry Brearley. Known as the inventor or discoverer of stainless steel, he uncovered one of the biggest leaps in the history of steel, despite it not being thought of as particularly useful at the time. Brearley’s ‘rustless’ steel as he called it, was actually an 18/8 martensitic steel and it was only when advanced in medical technology and hygiene showed that sterilisation of medical implements reduced... [read more]

When Your Name Becomes an Entire Brand!

By Duncan Ellis | 21st August, 2018

It’s a very peculiar feature of our language that we often take a single brand name or trademark and apply it to every similar product. Coke is accepted to mean almost any cola, a fabric hook-and-loop fastener is usually identified as Velcro and very few people would correct the use of Tannoy when referring to a Public Address System. The goal for many brands, however, is to become so engrained that your name becomes a verb. Recently, the biggest example is ‘to Google’ a query, but in honesty, Americans have been Xeroxing for decades and Brits have done a touch... [read more]

The Right Treatment, the Right Process, the Right Steel for the Job

By Rob Ellis | 31st July, 2018

When you’re discussing various grades of steel, the temptation is to think of the large, old time foundries with huge smelting pots full of yellow and white hot metal being poured into castings. In truth, however, the use of heat on metals has a far greater effect than simply making it malleable and it greatly depends on what you want to use your metal for that dictates any heat treatments. It’s important to remember that steel isn’t so much one material as a name for a varied number of different iron-based metals. The number of different types is quite remarkable... [read more]

When Is the Future Getting Here?

By Duncan Ellis | 17th July, 2018

As celebrated science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke stated, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. We’ve seen an incredible amount of technological advancement that has led to huge changes, whether it’s the Gutenberg press, the invention of stainless steel, the internal combustion engine or humble old Wi-Fi. Each of these advancements would have been regarded as a marvel to previous generations; the ability to create multiple identical copies of books almost instantly, being able to put petrol into a tank and travel at great speeds or send messages and information from one device to another without wires or any... [read more]