North East - Chloe Fisher

Chloe graduated with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield in 2013. Following this she started working for the Cutlery and Allied Trade Research Association (CATRA) in Sheffield as a materials technologist, testing kitchenware in accordance with British and international testing standards. Chloe carried out testing on stainless steel kitchen knives, cutlery and pans, investigating the material composition, corrosion resistance and other physical properties of the materials used in the manufacturing of these products. Chloe was fortunate enough to be sponsored by CATRA to do a masters degree at the University of Leeds in materials science and engineering and in 2016, she completed the MSc with distinction. The third semester of the MSc involved conducting a research project, and hers was on the topic of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics with Professor Andrew Bell. She returned to work for CATRA for another year, before beginning a PhD at the University of Leeds with Professor Bell in October 2017, sponsored by the EPSRC and Thales UK. Her PhD project is novel lead-free piezoelectric ceramics for sonar transducers.

Outside work, Chloe enjoys spending time with family and friends and keeping fit; since moving to Leeds, she has joined a martial arts gym and begun Kickboxing classes.

A 'how-to' guide for manufacturing a stainless steel kitchen knife that is a cut above the rest

Kitchen knives are a product familiar to everyone in the home. We know what we want from a kitchen knife; sharpness, edge durability without corrosion, and we would hope that the more we pay for kitchen knives, the more these standards should be guaranteed. In this presentation I will use my industry experience at a company that carries out testing and consultancy for cutlery manufacturers and buyers to discuss how a combination of material composition, microstructural control, and production and manufacturing techniques can affect the quality and lifetime of a kitchen knife blade. This will involve a critical assessment of martensitic stainless steel and the benefits and pitfalls to its application in kitchen knives. This will be followed by an illustration of the ideal manufacturing process for a kitchen knife and some of the errors that are frequently made in these processes, focussing mainly on two common errors - slow cooling from the hardening temperature and the heat affected zone at the weld.

To conclude, I will discuss some of the testing that is carried out in accordance with British and international standards to spot these manufacturing errors and to ensure the quality of kitchen knives before they make it to the supermarket shelf.

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