Related topics

Constance Tipper Dies at 101; Devised ‘Tipper Test’ for Steel

December 25, 1995 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Constance Tipper, a metallurgist whose test for determining the brittleness of steel kept Britain’s Liberty ships afloat in World War II, has died. She was 101.

Tipper died Dec. 14 at her home in the northwest England town of Penrith, the Independent newspaper reported.

Born Constance Figg Elam in 1894, Tipper obtained her doctorate from Cambridge University. She was a researcher there in World War II when Britain began looking for an explanation of why some of its Liberty merchant vessels _ produced to replace American ships hit by the Nazis _ cracked like glass at sea.

Merchant mariners started to refuse to work the ships.

British military authorities blamed engineering design or welding, but Tipper said the problem was with the steel. She developed what is now known as the ``Tipper Test″ to determine the brittleness of the metal.

Tipper was virtually the only woman working in the field at the time.

``Her vigor in prosecuting her work in an extremely male preserve will always be remembered and admired,″ her supervisor at Cambridge, Lord Baker, once wrote.

She married geologist George Tipper in 1928. He died in 1947. The Independent listed no survivors.