A look at how the United States was built on steel

Posted 14th September, 2021

The start of steel in the USA At one time it was America that claimed the steel crown, during a production peak around 1950 but what’s really interesting is that it was the British that started the entire industry. While America was still a British colony, making iron required vast amounts of charcoal – more than British forests could supply. Because in those days, war between European nations was almost a weekend hobby, Britain chose to look to the heavily wooded lands of America rather than risk importing from nations closer to home. These early furnaces were small, exporting around... [read more]

Celebrating a British (Rail!) Design Icon

Posted 21st July, 2021

The long-lasting stopgap What people may be surprised to hear is that one of the UK’s most famous names in transport is still going after 45 years of service – the InterCity 125. While officially known as ‘High Speed Train’, InterCity 125 was introduced in 1976, after being designed and made in around 20 months – which is an rapid turnaround, even by today’s standards! The intent was to create a diesel locomotive to bridge the gap between the former trains and a new, modern, electric rail network with at the time unheard of speeds and shorter times between major... [read more]

Steel is the key to the underwater world

Posted 7th July, 2021

Do steel and water mix? Although Harry Brearley’s ‘rustless steel’ - in fact a martensitic stainless – did lots to help create corrosion resistant steels, it’s considered much better practice to keep ferrous metals away from moisture.   There are times, however, where steel must enter the water. Many of our modern oil and gas industries, as well as marine engineering projects are only possible thanks to certain steels’ balance between hardness and resistance to chemical attack. These kinds of massive engineering works of searching and drilling in harsh environments rely entirely on the carefully balanced chemical composition of certain... [read more]

Steel and energy efficiency – can everybody benefit?

Posted 5th February, 2021

For people familiar with the West Yorkshire Steel blog, you’ll have heard us reference steel as the backbone of modern living. Almost everything that you can see relies on steel somewhere, whether it’s modern skyscrapers, cutting edge appliances or even the internet, which uses lots of steel in its infrastructure. Despite being at the heart of how we live today, sometimes steel is still imagined in terms of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries, which doesn’t fit today’s image at all. Modern thinking for steel Put simply, the reason why steel is so widely used is because... [read more]

Sometimes destroying a steel is the only way!

Posted 14th August, 2020

When steel forms the backbone of your technology, engineering and construction industries, then you really need to be able to trust your material. The invention (or discovery, whichever you prefer!) of alloy steel grades was a real watershed moment for society. It allowed us to make steels with more strength and heat treatment capabilities. The trust that you have in your steel comes from knowing exactly where its limits are, and in order to find that out, sometimes we basically have to destroy the steel by pushing right up to and then beyond its capabilities. Only then can we say... [read more]