Some time ago, there was a thread in sci.chem that mentioned that
altho someone else was given credit for the discovery of stainless steel, it
was in fact Faraday who made the first stainless--a mere 3% Cr, but still...
Any knowledge of this one way or the other?
formerly Droll Troll
Yes and no. Faraday apparently made both iron-chromium and
iron-chromium-nickel alloys. And no, 3% Cr steel isn't stainless.
The sci.chem thread was by the notorious Archimedes Plutonium. It's
another example of the monkeys and typewriters syndrome. If you type
enough crap, then you eventually get a few things right. You can find
it on Google by doing an advanced search in Groups on the words
Faraday and Stainless.
One of the replies in the previous thread refers to Levine's "A BRIEF
HISTORY of STAINLESS BLADE STEEL", at the web address of:
That history correctly states that an iron-chromium alloy resists
corrosion, if there is enough chromium present (about 12%) but
corrodes more than a plain carbon steel at lower chromium contents.
If there is enough chromium, then the surface forms a very thin
passive film. If there is not, then the surface is active and chromium
hurts rather than helps resistance to aqueous corrosion.
However, Faraday also made an iron-chromium-nickel alloy that
apparently anticipated the (austenitic?) stainless steels. The
September 26, 1931 issue of Science News mentioned a Faraday centenary
which Sir Robert Hadfield discussed some of Faraday's work on
We don't believe what we write, and neither should you. Information
furnished to you is for topical (external) use only. This information
may not be worth any more than either a groundhog turd, or what you
paid for it (nothing). The author may not even have been either sane
or sober when he wrote it down. Don't worry, be happy.
Faraday is, apparently, da man. Alloying was no doubt no
trivial task back then.
Most interesting observation on low Cr %. Any idea why this
might be, chemically? Clearly not something one would anticipate.
formerly Droll Troll