Author Archives: Duncan Ellis


Steel – Your Valuables Are Safe with It?

By Duncan Ellis | 7th November, 2017

We have been accused before of being able to see a metallurgy story just about anywhere we look, but one showed itself last weekend! During the usual Saturday night movie, a heist was being planned – one that would need expertise and a lot of know how because the target was a safe. The problem was that the safe was made from the same steel as the Titanic and it would be impossible to break! This started a thought process, would steel used in early 20th Century shipbuilding really have been suitable for building a safe? Safes and secure storage are... [read more]

Continuous Cast Iron Bar

By Duncan Ellis | 10th October, 2017

Although we may refer to this as the digital age, iron and steel are still the backbone of everything that we build, make and do. Information and digital services may be relishing in cloud systems, collaborative working and the accelerated learning in science, but these applications still have real world roots and the infrastructure that holds the whole thing together is still heavily reliant on physical structures. A lot of technological advances are revolutionary not because they produce something radically different from what went before, but as they allow the desired product to be made faster, cheaper, more efficiently or... [read more]

A Stroke of Gin-ius?

By Duncan Ellis | 12th September, 2017

Of all the trends that have suddenly – and unexpectedly – swept across Britain in the last few years, the resurgence of gin as the sophisticated drink of choice has been one of the most surprising. Last year, the total amount spent on gin in pubs and off licences hit an eye-watering £1billion with the exports rising to around £500million. It seems that every large town has suddenly become home to a number of artisanal gin distilleries, experimenting with different types of gin, flavourings and botanicals. This set us thinking; what was happening behind the scenes to allow this sudden... [read more]

Steel’s Renaissance Man – Benjamin Huntsman

By Duncan Ellis | 15th August, 2017

One of the most intriguing figures in Sheffield’s history of steel is Benjamin Huntsman, who went on to be a tool steel manufacturer, but had quite an impressive array and career before he took up his final position! Benjamin Huntsman Tribute There’s some discussion about Benjamin’s birth, as although he was born in Lincolnshire, many believe that his parents were German and arrived shortly before his birth. Although they were farmers, the young Benjamin showed an aptitude for a wide range of careers, particularly in mechanics. The young Huntsman set up his first business in Doncaster as a clock maker.... [read more]

A Titanic Job for Steel!

By Duncan Ellis | 18th July, 2017

Let’s face it, steel can make for some extremely impressive structures! Every time you see a large and impressive monument, whether it’s a skyscraper, football stadium or a suspension bridge, the underlying frame will almost undoubtedly be steel. You could say that steel is the material of choice for a display of strength! In its day, the most impressive display of steel was the Titanic, a marvel of engineering in the early 20th Century. Measuring over 880ft long and 175ft high with engines capable of putting out 46,000 horsepower, it was such a colossal project that it quickly gained the title... [read more]