Science: Steel to the Breech

Steel may soon replace brass in U.S. shell casings; and if it does, the substitution will cut by nearly 50% 1942's estimated copper shortage of 770,000 tons.

While conducting their own experiments, Army ordnance officers are intently watching operations at American Fork & Hoe Co. (of Cleveland, Ohio), where steel shells are actually being made for the Canadian Army.

It has been found that some of steel's former disadvantages can be overcome by plating it thinly with copper. This protects the steel from 1) rust, 2) damage by powder fumes, which corrode unplated steel casings so badly that they can be used...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!