When meeting people for the first time, saying you’re a ‘metallurgist’ can hinder as much as it helps. For those in the general public with no interest in such things, there are two responses; the first is usually that of a blackened-faced foundry worker and the second is of a lab-coated scientist. For those in the field, it doesn’t really say what area of expertise you hold.
Metals are so varied and complex, you could compare them to wines, from the simplest fermented plonk to vintage champagne. One contender for the champagne ‘crown’ is the S1 tool steel, which has been rather appropriately supplied to the Household Cavalry at the Hyde Park Barracks.
WYS are stockholders and suppliers of S1 tool steel round bar. S1 is an alloy shock-resisting tool steel for both hot and cold work applications. Due to the tungsten content, it offers fatigue resistance, its chromium levels reduces abrasion and gives a depth of hardness other grades cannot sustain. It plays well with uneven loading and offers itself perfectly to tools such as chisels and punches where the strike action may not be delivered evenly and the materials being worked are hard and tough. It also proves useful at the other end of the scale in higher temperature work, where it’s necessary to hold high fatigue strength with medium hot hardness. The S1 tool grade can be water-cooled with little risk of cracking under the stress of sudden temperature change too.
As such, it’s very useful for the Farriers on call 24 hours a day at the Hyde Park Barracks. Whereas historically speaking, we may think of blacksmiths in early days being responsible for hammering horseshoes and fitting them to horses, the work diversified some years ago. Although the word ‘Farrier’ comes from the Latin ‘ferrum’ and the French for blacksmith was ‘Ferrier’, today’s Farriers are experts in lower limb care for horses and it’s illegal in the UK to call yourself a Farrier without proper qualification and registration.
For the Farriers of the Hyde Park Barracks it’s a mixture of professional pride, the Royal Household and the highest standards of welfare that led them to choose the S1 grade from West Yorkshire Steel. The shock and heat resisting characteristics of the grade have proved ideal for farrier work when making pritchels and punches for fabricating horseshoes. These tools have been well tested, as West Yorkshire Steel already supply to many colleges that teach the skills to apprentice farriers.
The S1 steel supplied is used by some of the greatest trades as part of the welfare and upkeep of some of the finest horses in the world, which, when working for the Royal Household is only to be expected. West Yorkshire Steel is proud to play our part in providing the highest standard of material to help maintain the highest standard of horses for the Royal Household.
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