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Microscopic Examination of Steel

Nature volume 101, page 125 (18 April 1918) | Download Citation



THIS little work was originally issued by the United States Ordnance Department for the use of inspectors of ordnance material, and has now been published as a guide to others engaged in the inspection of steel. A very brief account of the equilibrium diagram of the iron-carbon alloys is given, and the reader will find it necessary to supplement this by reference to fuller treatises, in order to understand the series of photomicrographs, mostly of excellent quality, which compose the greater part of the book. The entire account of the metallic constituents of both annealed and hardened steels is compressed into five pages, and although the statements are terse and accurate they can convey a definite meaning only to readers who are to some extent prepared by previous study of the subject. It would have been well to mention the fact that only carbon steels are dealt with, otherwise such statements as that “commercially martensitic steels are unimportant on account of their extreme brittleness, and they are found only rarely,” are liable to mislead. Alloy steels are met with by most inspectors in the course of their work, and a word of warning is necessary that structures which are unusual in pure carbon steels may be quite normal in some commercial products.

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