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British Industrial History

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Crown Point Foundry

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of Leeds

formerly John Westwood

Proprietors until 1878: Varley and Yeadon.

Several gentlemen connected with ironworks in Leeds and other places assembled at Mr. W. Johnson's Crown Point Foundry, Leeds, on Thursdays to witness experiments with a new aluminium flux called Stephanite, from the name of its inventor, the late Mr. Stephen, of Birmingham. A limited company has been formed for the purpose of working the British and Continental patent. The promoters point out that the addition of metallic aluminium to iron and steel in a molten state greatly improves their quality, but the high cost of the metal, the impossibility of using it in a blast furnace, owing to 'its easy volatilisation, and the great difficulty of obtaining a perfectly uniform alloy with the iron or steel in crucibles, had so far limited its use, and stood in the way of generalising its employment in the iron industries. These difficulties, the promoters say, promise to be overcome by the patent flux, composed of alumina and emery, which they are now introducing. It contains about 70 per cent. of alumina. In its natural state this flux is not volatilisable, like the refined commercial aluminium, but in a blast cupola, or reverberating furnace, it gives off its metallic gases or vapours, which unite with the fusible iron, for which they have great affinity, and which acts as a condensing agent, whilst all impurities go to the liquid slag and are drawn off in the usual manner. Metal manufactured by means of this flux, it is claimed, will work equally well under the hammer with the most malleable wrought iron, and will harden up to the hardest steel. It is also stated that the metal will work over and over again, becoming hard or soft at the will of the operator; and tests have proved that in its soft state it will stand a tensile strain of 38.8 tons on the square inch, and when hardened 48.3 tons per square inch. Another point upon which stress is laid is that the use of the flux causes the iron to flow in a much more liquid state, and to remain in that condition a considerable time longer than by the ordinary process. thus preventing blowholes and faulty castings. By means of this invention, the promoters affirm, iron-founders will be able to make their own steel castings, independent of steel works, by simply smelting scrap steel in their own crucibles. The experiments were conducted by Mr. Augustus Fegge, C.E., London, who represents the patent owners. The cupola was charged in the ordinary way with common pig-iron and coke, and then the flux, which is in the form of briquettes, was added. In due course the molten metal was run off, and several castings were made. Some of these were immediately chilled, and examined by the experts present, who considered the experiments had been successful. It may be added that about 80lb. of the flux should be used for every ton of metal. - Leeds Mercury[1]

1894 Factory taken over by Musgrave Brothers

1931 Foundry advertised for sale, by order of the trustees of the late H. T. Musgrave trading as Musgrave Bros. Offering the whole of the Hydraulic and General Engineers' plant and machinery. Sale included 'Immadium' bars and finished and part-finished 'Caterer' gas and 'Crownall' coke single and double deck ovens[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, 6 June 1891
  2. Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 14 February 1931