Being in a family with several generations of professional practitioners in metals processing and the teaching thereof, I suppose my writing of this book was inevitable. Even so, I must clearly acknowledge two strong influences outside of the family sphere. The first was the late Walter A. (Al) Backofen, professor of metallurgy and materials science at MIT a half-century or so ago. While I received the benefit of some of his lectures, his major impact was by way of his book Deformation Processing, AddisonWesley, 1972.
This book was the first that I am aware of to teach deformation processing with major emphasis on D, the shape of the deformation zone. To be sure, D or its equivalent was utilized in some of the more enlightened mid-twentieth century wire drawing research (most notably that of J. G. Wistreich) and citations of the importance of deformation zone geometry can be found in the literature of the 1920’s. However, Backofen powerfully employed it as a teaching tool, bringing together a considerable array of mechanical analyses, process designs and mechanical metallurgical phenomenology.
As a young metallurgist, I assumed that just about everybody used D, only to find out that its work-a-day industrial applications had been minimal. In this context, I applied it (arguably even over applied it) every chance that I had, and in the wire industry I believe it has been of significant value. In any case, it is central to much of this book, and I have Professor Backofen to thank. The other influence that I would like to cite was Dr. Alan T. Male, my manager during the years that I spent at Westinghouse Research Laboratories. Alan was, of course, renown for his development of the ring compression test that quantifies friction in forging (a brilliant application of deformation zone geometry, incidentally).
Moreover, he had been a faculty member at The University of Birmingham and had an instinctive and synergistic approach to applying rigorous research technique and perspective to industrial processing systems. He, early on, directed my involvement in a wide variety of sophisticated wire processing studies, as well as in the supervision of industrial society seminars and short courses. When I left Westinghouse to join the faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1974, I had been given a thorough education in wire processing, to go with my broader backgrounds in metallurgy and metals processing.
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