Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to conquer the 8,848 metre high Mount Everest on May 29th 1953. The pair were helped by containers of oxygen which were crafted in stainless steel.
The temperature on Mount Everest is typically between -20°C and -35°C and resistance to low temperatures is an important attribute of stainless steel. Certain austenitic stainless steels can withstand temperatures as low as -269°C.
Hillary and Norgay completed the climb 60 years ago this week with a little help from stainless steel breathing apparatus – demonstrating the diverse use of this material, even in its early development.