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Nils Percy Patrick Sandberg

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Nils P. P. Sandberg (1881-1934) of Sandberg, consulting engineers

Third son of Christer Peter Sandberg (1876-1941)


1934 Obituary [1]

NILS PERCY PATRICK SANDBERG, C.B.E., died in London on November 7, 1934.

The third son of the late Mr. C. P. Sandberg, founder of the well-known firm of Messrs. Sandberg, consulting and inspecting engineers, he was born on January 1, 1881; he received his general education at Dulwich College, and continued his studies at University College, London.

In 1901 he became a pupil of Messrs. Willans and Robinson, Ltd., of Rugby, and served in the drawing office, in the erecting and pattern shops, in the foundry and in the testing department.

In 1903 he was appointed assistant to his father and was engaged in designing and consulting work in the London office and in testing and inspecting iron and steel for railway material at works both in Great Britain and abroad.

In 1906, Mr. Sandberg was taken into partnership by his father and brothers, who were consulting engineers to the Chinese Government Railways for permanent-way materials, locomotives and rolling-stock, and to the southern line of the Royal Siamese State Railways.

During the following years, Mr. Sandberg was mainly occupied in designing, testing and inspection work at the principal steel, locomotive and carriage works in this country, as well as at many on the Continent.

On the death of Mr. C. P. Sandberg in December, 1913, the firm was carried on by the three sons.

In 1915, on the formation of the Ministry of Munitions, Mr. N. P. P. Sandberg offered his services to the Inspection Department and was appointed temporary Assistant Inspector (Munitions Areas). In the following year he became Deputy Director of Inspection (Munitions Areas), and in 1917, Director of Inspection of Steel (Land Service); in this capacity he was responsible for the testing and inspection of the steel used for army ordnance and projectiles, and for his services he was made a C.B.E. in 1918.

After the conclusion of hostilities, he returned to his peace-time activities, and, together with his brothers, carried out much work in perfecting their now well-known "sorbitic" process for treating steel rails; this was followed by the Sandberg oven process, in which the cooling of the rail through the dangerous temperature range between about 500° and 300° C. is retarded and controlled, thus preventing the formation of internal stresses. A further development, in which Mr. Sandberg took an active part, was the recently introduced Sandberg "regulated" sorbitic rail process; in this the cooling is continued or intensified until the head of the rail has been converted into pure sorbite to a considerable depth (the structure produced by the older process consisted of a mixture of sorbite and pearlite).

Mr. Sandberg became an associate member of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1906, and was transferred to full membership in 1920.

He joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1914.


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