Blog


Steel…Forever Forward

By Rob Ellis

In the age of the microchip, it's sometimes hard to give thought to the world of steel and engineering. The common perception is that the Golden Age has passed, the Victorian era being the time when progress and innovation was at its height. Instead of thinking this way, it's better to remember that everybody has their part to play in the modern world; steel is as important today as it’s ever been. Cosmopolitan jet-setters, parking a Porsche at the airport before flying to Brazil rely on one single product more than ever to allow their lifestyle: Oil. During recent years,... [read more]

A History Of High Speed Steel

By Duncan Ellis

High Speed Steel specifications have been developed over many years primarily for use in high speed cutting applications, but also for the production of tools and dies. The characteristics vary with each grade, but common properties include high resistance to wear and excellent toughness. High speed steel grades also have a high resistance to softening at elevated temperatures up to 500°C, this makes them perfect for use at high speeds, hence the name. With heat treatment these steels can achieve a high Rockwell hardness, for example, M2 high speed steel is commonly hardened to 64HRc, whereas M42 can be hardened... [read more]

A History of Iron Making

By Duncan Ellis

Although our business concentrates on steel, we realise that metalworking is an organic, evolving process. This process has spanned across generations, each one teaching the next to keep constantly innovating and helping mankind forward. Without the hard work and knowledge of our ancestors, we wouldn't be able to do the job we do and we only thought it fitting to doff the cap to a material that makes it all possible; iron. Iron, as an element has been around for nearly 200 generations, meaning that as a material, it was known by your great-great-great-great… you get the idea. It’s so... [read more]

100 Years of Stainless Steel, Thanks Harry

By Rob Ellis

There are some inventions that changed the world. We think of the motor car, the wind-up radio and the disposable razor; which all had massive effects on the world, changing the essence of their fields. Some inventions are so fundamental it's difficult to see how we got on before them. We tend to think of these as discoveries. This year is the centenary of a discovery by Harry Brearley, a Yorkshireman born in February 1871. His early life was humble, he and seven siblings shared a two bedroom back to back in Sheffield with their parents. Work life was difficult,... [read more]

A Crucible of Steel History

By Duncan Ellis

In the corner of the West Yorkshire Steel reception next to a rather pretty aspidistra is an old crucible. It's a small clay pot which was made for melting cast steel and iron. I took it from a derelict old iron foundry just outside Oughtibridge near Sheffield in the late 1970s. There were hundreds of them strewn outside the back of the deserted factory. Most were broken, although some were still intact but too heavy to handle due the accumulation of years of slag and molten bits of iron attached inside and out. The rest are probably buried under the... [read more]