Crucible Industries (Syracuse)

The Crucible Materials Corporation is heavily involved in manufacturing as well as development and research related to the materials sciences, especially the production of metal. The company is based out of Syracuse, New York, but has many different locations along the eastern seaboard. Crucible creates advanced materials that are used by high powered clients such as those in the airline industry. The company has become a leader steel producer due to their proprietary crucible particle metallurgy.  Despite all of the company’s success, it declared bankruptcy in 2009, though it continues to provide the same services to its clients while dealing with debt. A possible military contract may keep the business viable in the future.

The company in its current incarnation is relatively new, first coming into being when it was bought by Colt Industries. Before the buyout, the business ran under the name Crucible Steel Company of America, which had been in existence since 1876. In 1906, the company created the very first electric arc furnace, used for recycling scrap metal.  By 1929 the company expanded from steel production into research and development. Crucible Research is today the R&D hub for the company. The first powder metal tool steel was produced by the company in 1971. This technology was used to incorporate super alloy production starting in 1976.  The company propelled itself to the cutting edge of the industry with work on a titanium atomizer starting in 1984, which led the business to be considered the most advanced powder manufacturer on the globe.

As with many other metal and steel manufacturers before the 1970s, Crucible Industries took advantage of the natural attributes of asbestos during this period. This can be explained because risks of the material were not publicly known.  Asbestos had become widely used by the metal works industry, as well as many others, because it is fire resistant and an excellent insulator against heat and electricity. This made it suitable for protecting machinery and employees working in the metal processing industry, or so it was thought. The fibers, while not dangerous to the touch, were easily inhaled into the lungs. There they would make their way to the lining of the chest cavity, where the body was incapable of expelling them. Ultimately this leads to a cancerous condition known as mesothelioma, which offers an extremely limited life expectancy once symptoms become apparent.