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Transforming the Twentieth Century: Volume 2: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences$
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Vaclav Smil

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195168755.001.0001

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Old Techniques and New Solutions

(p.87) 3 Materials:
Transforming the Twentieth Century: Volume 2: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences

Vaclav Smil (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Steel — made from iron in basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces, and turned into semifinished products by continuous casting — remained the dominant material of the 20th century. Completely new large-scale industries were developed to supply industrial gases (oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen) and to synthesize a multitude of plastics. The most far reaching technical advances of the century’s second half were based on silicon, the key building block of solid state electronics.

Keywords:   steel, basic oxygen furnaces, electric arc furnaces, continuous casting, industrial gases, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, plastics, silicon

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