Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Steelonium  
  A remarkable kind of steel that did not rust or corrode.  

This is a very early reference in fiction to what is now called stainless steel.

"You will notice that there are no cracks or fissures. Steelonium won't rust and is ten times as strong as steel. We now make our streets by putting down large slabs of the metal, six inches thick."
From Ralph 124c 41 +, by Hugo Gernsback.
Published by Modern Electrics in 1911
Additional resources -

The invention of stainless steel is most often attributed to Harry Bearly, an English inventor, in 1916. Bearly was asked to try to find a steel for gun barrels that would be less subject to corrosion. He found that adding chromium to low carbon steel enhanced its corrosion resistance. Stainless steel flatware has been used since 1920; it wasn't widely used in homes until a decade later. Stainless steel sinks were popular in the 1930's. See also the interesting comment by reader Daedelus.

Stainless steel literally "stains less" because the chromium in the steel combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form a thin, invisible layer of chrome-containing oxide, called the passive film. (The same thing happens with aluminum railings, etc.; aluminum oxide, the passive film on the surface of the metal, is completely clear and very strong.) The sizes of chromium atoms and their oxides are similar, so they pack neatly together on the surface of the metal, forming a stable layer only a few atoms thick. The corrosion resistance of stainless steel is dependent on oxygen to "repair" the passive layer on the surface; that's why if you leave stainless steel flatware in water for a few days, you can still get some corrosion (rust) on the surface of the flatware. There is a nice article on this subject at Why is stainless steel stainless.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ralph 124c 41 +
  More Ideas and Technology by Hugo Gernsback
  Tech news articles related to Ralph 124c 41 +
  Tech news articles related to works by Hugo Gernsback

Articles related to Material
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.