ATI Allvac in Monroe, North Carolina has been recognized as an ASM Historical Landmark for "pioneering achievement in vacuum induction melting of nickel-based superalloys."
ASM Trustee Jon D. Tirpak, P.E., Engineering Director for ATI of Mount Pleasant, S.C., made the presentation today on behalf of the members, Board and staff of ASM International, The Materials Information Society based in Materials Park, Ohio. Remarks from Mr. Tirpak's presentation follow.
First, I'd like to provide some background about the ASM Historical Landmark Award itself. The purpose of this award designation is to preserve our materials heritage and to make people all over the world more aware of the many pioneering milestones of materials technology.
The first ASM Historical Landmark Award was presented in 1972, marking the site of the first Heroult-type, electric steel-making furnace in the Western Hemisphere. In the 35 years since then, a total of 119 Historical Landmarks have been named, including the site we honor today.
This represents the third ASM Historical Landmark in the state of North Carolina, the previous two being the Reed Gold Mine (first major discover of gold in the U.S.) and the LaQue Center for Corrosion Technology.
In 1957, the Allvac Metals Company was incorporated. From its very beginnings, Allvac was a leader in vacuum induction melting technology. With an increasing demand for high purity materials for the growing air and space market, Allvac was in the right place, at the right time, with the right technology to take a leadership role.
The first heat was melted on September 19, 1957. Over the next few years, Allvac developed a means for producing one-and-a-half ton VIM electrodes, which (at the time) were the largest in the world. The ability to cast these large electrodes paved the way for Allvac to construct a larger VIM furnace, which was the largest in the world in its day. Jim Nisbet, the company’s founder and first president, was awarded several patents for vacuum melting equipment and processes.
Materials produced at this facility found applications in the fields of jet engine, petrochemical and space exploration. Since then, Allvac has been a leader in the metals industry. The technology of vacuum induction melting for producing nickel based superalloys remains to this day.