Published: Jan 2001
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The development of 9-12% chromium steels is reported to have originated in 1912 with the manufacture of a 12%Cr:2-5% Mo steel for steam turbine blades by Krupp and Mannesmann in Germany [1,2]. However, in 1912-13 Brearley in the U.K., while attempting to develop high-temperature steels for gun barrels, accidentally discovered that martensitic steels containing 13% Cr and 0.2% C did not rust ; the stainless characteristics of high-chromium steels were also recognized by Haynes in the USA and by Strauss and Maurer in Germany at about the same time. The high-chromium, high-carbon martensitic steels were hard and had a sharp cutting edge and were subsequently developed commercially for applications such as cutlery knives and tableware in competition with austenitic stainless steels as well as for razors, scalpel blades, and heat-resisting tools and bearings .