Award Hard Metals Ltd.

It could be said that the AHM was formed from Milard (Hard Metals)Ltd., as a result of a split brought about by both personal and political reasons, between Eric Miller and Roger Ward, in June of 1999.

Milard (Hard Metals) Ltd., was founded in 1978, by Eric Miller and Roger Ward to manufacture tungsten carbide tips for the engineers tool manufacturers in and around Sheffield. Eric Miller was the financier whilst Roger Ward provided some financial backing and the technical expertise.

In the mid 1980s the cutting tool industry was in decline and so the company turned its attention to the manufacture of wear parts for the brick industry.The first components were perforator cones for a company producing bricks with a, "Three hole" configuration.

These were quickly followed by various sizes of cones to meet the needs of individual brick manufacturers, ranging from about 15mm diameter to 75mm diameter.

Products for producing different finishes to the bricks were then developed including drag face blades (rigid and flexible), rusticator blades, and sander nozzles.

Towards the end of 1988  Roger Ward developed a tungsten carbide wear strip which was based on rubber blocks 168 mm long, faced on one side with tungsten carbide tips. Behind the tips, embedded in the rubber were steel bushes, through which the strips could be bolted onto components requiring protection. 2 mm gaps were left between the tiles so that the strips could be bent, and also cut with a soapy knife.

The strips worked but were not accepted in industry because of the necessity to drill and tap the parts to be protected. In short attaching the strips was time consuming. In 1989 Roger Ward replaced the rubber backing with steel and put slots behind the gaps between the tiles so that the strips could be bent and cut. At the same time steps were taken to patent the invention. The strips were a success, but the cost of patenting, being so expensive, caused a riffed between the partners, to the extent that in June 1999 they split up. Roger Ward formed Award Hard Metals, and continued to produce the strips, along with all the other products.

In August 2001 the directors of Milard (Hard Metals) Ltd., decided to stop their activities in the wear parts industry and sold their books to Award Hard Metals, and finally stopped trading in the Autumn of 2001.

The strips continue to be developed, and are marketed under the trade name WEAR-TECT-IT, as do all the other products of Milard (Hard Metals) Ltd. In addition, wire eroding is now being used extensively, along with the introduction ceramic wear parts.