Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: May 2012



Modern civilization would not be possible without iron and steel. Steel is an essential component of all machinery used for manufacture of all our goods. The words iron and steel have come to suggest strength as evident in the following terms: iron willed, iron fisted, iron clad, iron curtain, and pumping iron. A steely glance is a stern look. A heart of steel implies a very hard demeanor. The Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (which means “steel” in Russian) chose that name to invoke fear in his subordinates.

This book is intended both as a resource for engineers and as an introduction to the layman to our most important metal system. The first few chapters cover the history and refining of iron and steel; the rest of the book covers physical properties and physical metallurgy.

I have drawn heavily on material from Physical Metallurgy of Steels by W. C. Leslie and Steel Metallurgy for the Nonmetallurgist by J. D. Verhoeven. However, this book includes material not covered in either of those.

Professors Robert Pehlke, Ronald Gibala, John Keough, and Paul Trojan were very helpful. Kathy Hayrynen supplied a number of micrographs.

The reader is assumed to have had a course in materials science and to be familiar with phase diagrams, Fick‘s laws of diffusion, and the concept of free energy.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO