ASM International is proud to mark the 75th anniversary of ASM Handbooks. In 1923, the American Society for Steel Treating (later the American Society for Metals, now ASM International) published a small loose-leaf collection of data sheets—the first edition of what became known as Metals Handbook. The series has developed over the years into a multivolume collection of reference books—each volume a thorough, comprehensive, and authoritative treatise on the subject to which it is devoted. The series—now titled ASM Handbook—continues to evolve and expand to serve the changing needs of metallurgy professionals throughout the world. One example of this evolution is the release this year of the ASM Handbook on CD-ROM.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the classic 1948 edition of Metals Handbook—the last “regular” edition to be contained in one volume. The 1948 edition was the inspiration for the first Metals Handbook Desk Edition, published almost 15 years ago. This Second Edition is intended to serve the same function as its two predecessors: to provide an accessible, convenient, and practical single-volume first reference to all of metals technology.
It was with some trepidation that ASM International entered into the project to revise and update the Desk Edition. The task seemed overwhelming. The ASM Handbook series had grown to 20 current volumes—almost twice as many as were in existence when the first Desk Edition was compiled. Would it be possible to create a work that included all of the vital information from the first edition, plus the most significant knowledge and data compiled in the years since its release, and still remain within the physical limits of a single volume?
We believe that the new Metals Handbook Desk Edition more than meets that objective. The credit for this monumental achievement belongs to Joseph R. Davis. Joe was Handbook Editor for many years at ASM, and his extraordinary knowledge of the handbooks along with his considerable editorial skills made him uniquely qualified to oversee this project. We are grateful to Joe for his hard work and for his commitment to creating the best Desk Edition possible. To assist in this effort, Joe assembled an outstanding Editorial Advisory Board, made up of many longtime handbook contributors and friends of ASM, and we extend our thanks to them as well. We also wish to recognize the ASM editorial and production staff members for their dedicated efforts on this Volume.
Of course, we are especially grateful to the thousands of metallurgy professionals who have contributed to ASM Handbooks over the past 75 years. Their willingness to share their knowledge and expertise—as authors, reviewers, volume organizers, and Handbook Committee members—has made this book possible. With their ongoing support, ASM Handbooks will continue to thrive for at least another 75 years.