Chapter 1: The Accidental Birth of a No-Name Alloy
This chapter describes some of the technological milestones of the early 20th century, including the invention of tungsten carbide tool steel, the use of age-hardening aluminum in the Wright Flyer, the development of a new heat treating process for aluminum alloys, and Ford’s pioneering use of weight-saving vanadium alloys in Model T cars. It explains how interest in chromium alloys spread throughout the world, spurring the development of commercial stainless steels. The chapter concludes with a bullet point timeline of early 20th century achievements and a brief assessment of more recent innovations.
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