New Materials and New Syntheses

Vaclav Smil

in Creating the Twentieth Century

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168747
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835522 | DOI:
 New Materials and New Syntheses

Show Summary Details


Steel became a ubiquitous and inexpensive material thanks to the introduction of basic Siemens-Martin open-hearth furnaces and high-performance specialty alloys. Invention of the Hall-Héroult process of aluminum production introduced a new lightweight metal whose massive use subsequently revolutionized transportation and many areas of manufacturing. Powerful new explosives, starting with Nobel’s dynamite, and Haber-Bosch synthesis of ammonia from its elements (without which it would be impossible to feed the 20th-century population) were the key revolutionary advances in chemical syntheses.

Keywords: steel; open-hearth furnaces; alloys; aluminum production; new explosives; dynamite; synthesis of ammonia

Chapter.  17807 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.