BÖHLER Bleche celebrates 100 years of stainless tool steel, which was discovered by Max Mauermann in Mürzzuschlag.
According to reports, the discovery of stainless steel was accidental. Max Mauermann was working in a lab investigating the hardness of high speed steels and experimenting with alloys. As part of this work, a 50 kg steel block was produced. It was placed outside behind the door to one of the metal works. What was unusual was that the steel block didn’t rust. Mauermann had a kitchen knife made from this material and gave it to his wife to test. Other tests, including salt water tests, followed and the steel passed them all. This was the hour of birth of the world’s first corrosion and acid resistant steel. Max Mauermann solved both the problem of the proper CrNi alloy content and of the heat treatment necessary for workability. This knife was exhibited in October 1913 at the ADRIA exhibition in Vienna.
Today around 550 BÖHLER Bleche employees produce 24,000 tons of stainless steel a year, earning around EUR 160 million in annual revenues. More than 95% of total production is exported to 52 countries. Some of the most important customers include the metal circular saw industry, toolmakers, machine builders, plastic mold makers, the chemical, pharmaceutical and offshore industries, the energy industry and manufacturers of decorative and technical laminates.