When we talk about the metalcasting industry’s past, we’re talking millennia. It’s no wonder little-known aspects of this rich history are brought to our attention out of the blue from time to time.
And so it was when this nugget from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) came across my desk. Apparently, the metalcasting industry led the way in making materials safe for use on critical systems like the railways.
According to NIST’s Measures for Progress: A History of the National Bureau of Standards, “in 1905…the American Foundrymen’s Association turned over to the Bureau its work of preparing and distributing samples of standardized irons to its member industries.” This became the basis for the first-ever standard reference materials, “well-characterized, homogenous materials with specific physical and chemical properties.”
Such standards are still used today to ensure metalcasters and their customers agree on the products they exchange. For the most part, that means faulty parts like fractured cast iron wheels are history.
-Shea Gibbs, MCDP Managing Editor
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