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William Herbert Hatfield

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1943.

Dr William Herbert Hatfield (1882-1943), FRS, was a metallurgist who developed 18/8 stainless steel

1882 April 10th. Hatfield was born in Sheffield

He studied metallurgy at University College, Sheffield, being awarded the Mappin Medal in 1902.

1907 Married Edith Seagrave

1911 Living at 26 Meersbrook Road, Sheffield: William Herbert Hatfield (age 28 born Sheffield), Worksmanager and metallurgical Expert. Ironfounding and Engineering. Messrs. J. Crowley and Co, Sheffield. Director and Employer. Wih his wife Edith Marian Hatfield (age 27 born Notts.). One servant. [1]

1913 His research resulted in the award of the degree of Doctor of Metallurgy

Hatfield was appointed Director of the Brown-Firth Research Laboratories in Sheffield in 1916 (succeeding Harry Brearley and continuing Brearley's work on stainless steel), and later joined the Board of Thomas Firth and John Brown

Hatfield is credited with the invention in 1924 of 18/8 stainless steel (18% chromium, 8% nickel); he also invented 18/8 stainless with titanium added, now known as 321

He authored a variety of technical papers on metallurgy, with particular reference to rust, acid and heat-resistant steels and cast iron

There is an Annual memorial lecture held in December each year at Sheffield University, called the "Hatfield Memorial Lecture" funded by a Trust set up in 1944. The lecture subject is related to metallurgy

1943 October 16th. Died


1942/43 Obituary [2]

William Herbert Hatfield was born in 0882 and educated at Sheffield Technical School and Sheffield University, where he was awarded a Doctorate in Metallurgy.

He began his industrial career in the laboratory of Sir Henry Bessemer and Co., Ltd., and received his metallurgical training under Prof. Arnold.

Later he became Metallurgist at J. Crowley and Co., Wincobank, and after two years was made Director and Manager of the firm.

In 1916 he joined the Brown-Firth Research Laboratories and advised the two firms, which were merged in 1930. In these laboratories he did important research work on the development of rustless acid-resisting and heat-resisting steels. He was elected a Director of Thomas Firth and John Brown, Ltd., in 1934 and also served on the board of Firth-Vickers Stainless Steels, Ltd. He presented many important papers before Technical Institutions, and was awarded the Crompton Medal of the I.A.E. in 1929.

He died on 17th October, 1943, at the age of 61.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1916.


1944 Obituary [3]

WILLIAM HERBERT HATFIELD, D.Met., F.R.S., became a Member of the Institution in July 1922, having joined as an Associate Member in October 1908, and was a Member of the Yorkshire Branch Committee of the Institution from 1922 to 1927 inclusive. He contributed over one hundred and fifty scientific papers to British and foreign societies and institutions. His paper entitled "The Mechanical Properties of Steel, with some consideration of the question of Brittleness" read at a meeting of the Institution in May 1919, gained for him the T. Bernard Hall prize.

Dr. Hatfield was born in Sheffield on 10th April 1882, and received his education in scientific subjects at University College and the Department of Applied Science of the Sheffield University. Here he won the Mappin Medal for Metallurgy in 1902, and as a result of his researches, was awarded two Carnegie Scholarships by the Iron and Steel Institute, the first in 1905 and the second in 1906.

From this time until his death on 17th October 1943 he was actively associated with the iron and steel industry, his first post being that of metallurgist and manager of Messrs. John Crowley and Company, Meadow Hall Works, Sheffield. Here he did invaluable researches into the production of high-class cast irons and malleable cast irons, and about this time published his book "Cast Iron in the light of recent research".

He became Doctor of Metallurgy in 1913, and in 1915 Director of Research at the Brown-Firth Research Laboratories, where he entered upon a remarkable period of activity lasting over twenty-seven years. During this time he was appointed to the Boards of Directors of Messrs. Thomas Firth and John Brown, Ltd., and Messrs. Firth-Vickers Stainless Steels, Ltd. Although he was constantly dealing with research and production problems for the Firth-Brown organization, he found time to do an enormous amount of other work of national importance. In 1917, at the request of the Foundry Committee of the Iron and Steel Institute, he prepared for the consideration of the Ministry of Munitions a report on the position of the malleable castings industry in this country. He was instrumental in forming the Joint Research Committees of the Iron and Steel Institute and the British Iron and Steel Federation. The first of these, the Committee on the Heterogeneity of Steel Ingots was formed in 1924; he became and remained its Chairman until his death.

When, during the present war, it became necessary to conserve various metals and alloys, Dr. Hatfield was the natural choice for chairmanship of the Technical Advisory Committee set up in 1940, with powers to deal with the necessary economies and adjustments in the use of ferro-alloys.

He also served on the Executive Committee of the National Physical Laboratory, and was a member of the Iron and Steel Industrial Research Council, and of the Metallurgy Research Board of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Apart from the claims of home and relations, Dr. Hatfield's work was the chief interest in his life. He had visited on business most of the iron- and steel-producing countries in Europe and bad made several extended visits to America. On one of these, in 1928, he presented the Campbell Memorial Lecture before the American Society for Steel Treating, in Philadelphia. His last visit to the United States in the spring of 1943 was as a member of the British Mission to study and report upon the coordination of the metallurgical resources of the United Nations.

Among other distinctions, Dr. Hatfield was awarded the Bessemer Gold Medal of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1933, and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1935. He was a member of many other scientific and engineering bodies, and was the founder and first President of the Sheffield Metallurgical Association.

Primarily a distinguished metallurgist, he had a profound knowledge of engineering in many of its branches. He made notable contributions to the production of steel for armaments for all the Services, for vessels such as the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth, for the manifold requirements of the railways, electricity generating stations, and the aeroplane industry. Hydrogenation of coal for the production of motor spirit, the heightening of the Assouan Dam, the reinforcement of the dome of St. Paul's, the Loch Tummel hydro-electric scheme, all bear the mark of his hand.

He was a great leader of young men, a delightful lecturer, a good companion, a generous citizen, a keen student of international affairs, and a practiced after-dinner speaker, only rarely making use of notes. Those who were closely associated with him will always remember his dynamic energy, great enthusiasm and driving power, his quick appraising glance, his lightning summing up of a situation, and his rapier-like thrusts in debate.

Applied science and industry have lost a great figure who did his best towards the attainment of a better-ordered world.


1943 Obituary [4]

On October 17, 1943, the death occurred at his home in Sheffield of one of the most outstanding British metallurgists - Dr. W. H. Hatfield, Director of the Brown-Firth Research Laboratories. William Herbert Hatfield was born in 1882 and educated at the Sheffield Central School.

In 1898 he entered Sheffield University College (later the Applied Science Department of the University), where he studied for four years under the late Professor J. 0. Arnold. He gained the Associateship in Metallurgy and the Mappin Medal in 1902, the degree of B.Met. in 1906, and the D.Met. in 1913. He was awarded Carnegie Scholarships by the Iron and Steel Institute in 1905 and 1906, and with them undertook investigations into cast iron and malleable cast iron, the results of which were duly published.

His first two papers, both in collaboration with the late Professor A. McWilliam, had already appeared in 1902 and 1904; they dealt with the acid open-hearth process.

Dr. Hatfield's industrial career began in the laboratory of Sir Henry Bessemer and Company, Ltd., where he remained for two years. He then entered the Meadow Hall Ironworks, Sheffield, of Messrs. Crowley and Company, Ltd., and was subsequently appointed metallurgist and manager. From 1908 to 1915, he was works manager and technical director to the firm. Then he joined the staff of the Brown-Firth Research Laboratories, whose function was to serve Thos. Firth and Company, Ltd., and John Brown and Company, Ltd., at that time separate concerns.

In 1920 Dr. Hatfield was appointed director of the laboratories and he undertook the researches into acid- and rust-resisting steels, which led, in 1923, to the development of the well-known 18/8 nickel—chromium stainless steels ("Staybrite"). Subsequent research widened the sphere of application of these alloys, and, of course, a great deal of other research went on in the laboratories. Dr. Hatfield will long be remembered for the part he played in founding the research committees of the Iron and Steel Institute : the Committee on the Heterogeneity of Steel Ingots (1924), the Corrosion Committee (1928), the Alloy Steels Research Committee (1934), were under his chairmanship from the beginning. The long and valuable series of reports issued by these committees will serve as a monument to Dr. Hatfield's energy and inspiring leadership.

During the present war Dr. Hatfield acted as Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Special and Alloy Steels Committee, Ministry of Supply, and it was in this capacity that he visited America shortly before his death. He had been elected a director of Messrs. Thos. Firth and John Brown, Ltd., in 1934, and was also a member of the board of Messrs. Firth-Vickers Stainless Steels, Ltd.

Dr. Hatfield was the author of many important scientific papers, he addressed scientific and technical societies on frequent occasions, and he participated, in characteristic manner, in innumerable discussions. Naturally he was the recipient of many honours : among them the Bessemer Medal of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1933, Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1935, the Crompton Medal of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1929, and the T. Bernard Hall Prize of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He served on the Council of the Iron and Steel Institute for a number of years, and at the time of his death was a Vice-President. He had also been a Vice-President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He was a Fellow of the Chemical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Aero- nautical Society, a member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, and a member of the Institute of Metals (which he joined in 1916).

Dr. Hatfield helped to found the Sheffield Metallurgical Association, and was in his second year of office as President of the Sheffield Society of Engineers and Metallurgists. He served as a member of the Iron and Steel Industrial Research Council and was for a number of years a member of the Executive Committee of the National Physical Laboratory and of the Metallurgy Research Board of the D.S.I.R. In 1928 he visited the United States as Campbell Memorial Lecturer to the American Society for Steel Treating at Philadelphia. He was the author of two books : "Cast Iron in the Light of Recent Research," and "The Application of Science in the Steel Industry."


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1911 Census
  2. 1942/43 Institution of Automobile Engineers: Obituaries
  3. 1944 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  4. 1943 Institute of Metals: Obituaries