Advanced Materials & Processes

40 years ago.

June 1961: Although molybdenum had been used in the Mushet air-hardening steel (and in some of the high speed steels in use in the early 1900s, as well), it was not used in the high speed steels of the 1920s. Its high cost was the principal deterrent, molybdenum being more expensive than tungsten. By 1930, however, the cost of molybdenum was about the same as that of tungsten, and the discovery of huge deposits of molybdenum ore in Colorado led to the expectation that the element would become much less expensive. Furthermore, some of our military leaders had become interested in the substitution of molybdenum for tungsten in high speed steels because there had been a tungsten shortage during World War I. …

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