Credit: China Academy of Sciences
Born: 1913-11-20. Died: 1983-03-20. Birth Place: Shaoyang, Hunan.
Educated Hunan; Sheffield.
Official Chinese Academy of Sciences Biography
(1913.11.20 ~ 1983.3.20)
Physical metallurgist. Born in Shaoyang, Hunan Province. Graduated from Hunan University in 1936. Received Ph.D. from Sheffield University, UK in 1940 and D. Met. in 1951. Research professor and first director, Institute of Metals Research, and vice president, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
During his early years in UK, Li discovered the secrete and the principle of hydrogen brittleness in steels when he conducted a research project of seeking out the cause of an accidental crack in aircraft engine shaft. He proved that the internal hair-crack in steel was due to the existence of hydrogen in the material. From the view point of diffusion, solubility and structure of steel, he expounded the relationship of time-temperature-size and hydrogen content in steel products, which produced great impact on the iron and steel technology in the world and made him the acknowledged pioneer in this field. Under his leadership, scientists in the Institute of Metals Research studied uranium metallurgy, high temperature cast alloys, refractory metals and alloys, measurements of physical properties of materials under high temperature, and rare-earth application in steel and so on. Several important achievements were made, such as the increase of yield and the quality improvement of steel production, the construction of Wuhan and Baotou iron and steel plants and the establishment of the alloy steel system of Chinese grade. He made great contributions to the research and development of key materials used in the first atomic bomb, first recovery satellite, first supersonic aircraft and first atomic submarine in China.
He became Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955.