Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials


Who invented stainless steel?

Metallurgists in several countries developed stainless steel, a group of iron-based alloys combined with chromium in order to be resistant to rusting and corrosion. Chromium was used in small amounts in 1872 to strengthen the steel of the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River, but it wasn’t until the 1900s that a truly rust-resistant alloy was developed. Metallurgists in several countries developed stainless steel between 1903 and 1912. An American, Elwood Haynes (1857–1925), developed several alloy steels and in 1911 produced stainless steel. Harry Brearley (1871–1948) of Great Britain receives most of the credit for its development. In 1913, he discovered that adding chromium to low carbon steel improved its resistance to corrosion. Frederick Becket (1875–1942), a Canadian-American metallurgist, and German scientists Philip Monnartz and W. Borchers were among the early developers.


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