At the end of the 19th century, steel production was raising steadly but the origin of its remarkable properties was not clearly understood. Sorby, an English geologist, opened new possibilities by recording in 1863 the first photograph of the internal structure of steel.
Floris Osmond, a French engineer, pursued in the 1880’s the work of Sorby in the laboratories of Le Creusot steelworks. He improved the techniques for the identification of the structure of the steel, e.g. austenite, martensite, etc. and developed theories on how the microstructure is formed. Osmond’s investigations were worldwide known and led to intense discussions among the scientific community.
This talk will retrace his investigations and pioneering contributions on phase transformations in steels, as well as the controversy surrounding them during the very active period at the turn of the 20th century.