Excerpt from The Modern Boiler Tube: A Story of Its Evolution and Development, Some Expert Opinions on Its Efficiency, Illustrated by Standard Mill Tests
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link a boiler no stronger than its ﬂuesemployed in the manufacture covered in other publications issued by this Company (modern Welded Pipe and Shelby Steel Tubes and Their This book was primarily designed to discuss the develop ment and characteristics of modern boiler tubes, rather than as a treatise on their manufacture.
The earliest records we have of the manufacture of wrought iron tubes dates back to the patent of Henry Osborn, of Birmingham, 1812, and refers to the manufacture of gun barrels by bending wrought iron plates over a circular and tapered mandrel and welding the heated metal thereon under a tilt hammer. The cessation of the European wars left a large amount of this material on the market which was used as gas pipe in 1815 during the early days of gas lighting.
The extension of gas lighting called for cheaper pipe in longer lengths, resulting in the first approach to modern butt welding, using a tilt hammer with semi-circular grooves in the die, welding the heated and bent plate without a mandrel. (james Russell patent, In the following year the hammer was dispensed with by Cornelius Whitehouse, who welded wrought iron strips by pressing the edges of the skelp together by drawing through dies the basis of the butt-weld process as we have it to-day.
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