WG Develops a Hot Top

JB went to work on the opportunity. The Waynesburg plant had a well-equipped machine shop and some skilled machinists experienced in extrusion die making. After months of trial and error, they had enough success to make some trial pieces. These trials at The Timken Company, using hollow tile materials, failed as the hot tops broke apart and flaked off with filled with the 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit molten steel. The ceramic material in the hot tops had to be modified to withstand the heat shock of the molten steel. JB and his people came up with a suitable raw material mix and the next trials at Timken were successful.

The Whitacre-Greer hot top then faced a new problem. Al Turner had been issued several hot top patents and was the major supplier of hot tops. He used many leased factories to produce the product. Turner wrote to The Timken Company threatening legal action against Timken for using our hot tops, which Turner maintained infringed his patent or patents. Whitacre-Greer turned this matter over to DD and his Case classmate Fred Bosworth. After examination of the Turner patents, Bosworth wrote to Turner stating that the WG hot top did not infringe his patents and that if Turner did not immediately cease threaten gin our customer, Timken, WG would sue Turner for damages. We heard no more from Turner and WG was in the hot top business.

By the end of the period, as with many new processes, the successful extrusion, heat shock resistance and size control of the new WG hot tops were not consistent enough for the company to be more than marginally profitable.

Mine:Raw Material for Hot tops