Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
The gradual but certain displacement of wrought iron for manufacturing purposes by steel of various kinds has compelled manufacturers to more closely study the methods of hardening, tempering, and annealing. This is due to the greater demands of the consumer for strength and durability, and uniformity in texture and composition of the material as a finished product, whether it be steel rails, structural shapes, shafting, our wheels or gun parts. The old methods of steel treatment are slow and very uncertain in results and frequently valuable amounts of material, purchased according to the most rigid specifications as to the composition in the raw state, were consigned to the scrap heap, owing to the ignorance of the workmen, the lack of uniformity in the material itself, or difficulty in working it into proper shape after being subjected to the crude methods of treatment. It was believed formerly that if the chemical composition of a metal were know it could be stated whether the metal were of good or bad quality. But it has since been proven that this belief is absurd. “You might”, as one eminent metallurgist has said, “just as well say that if a physician knows the amount of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, etc., in a certain man’s body, the state of his general health is known.” But we frequently find cases of failure in a material which is as near ideal as possible to make it, and, were it not for the science of Metallography, the cause of failure would be very difficult indeed to determine.
Greene, Augustine Edward, "The Microscope as an Aid in the Heat Treatment of Steel" (1906). Undergraduate Honors Theses and Capstone Projects. 5.