Tadeusz Sendzimir was the eldest son of Kazimierz Sędzimir and Wanda Jaskółowska. Fascinated by machinery as a child, he built his own camera at the age of 13.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 forced Sendzimir to flee to Vladivostok, then to Shanghai, where Sendzimir built the first factory in China which produced screws, nails and wire.
In 1929, Tadeusz left for America. He designed galvanizing lines in Butler, Pennsylvania (1936), and Middletown, Ohio (1939) with ARMCO. Tadeusz eventually moved to Waterbury, Connecticut and founded the company we now know as T. Sendzimir, Inc.
Tadeusz Sendzimir typified the traditional American success story: a hard-working immigrant imbued with initiative and daring to achieve his dream in a nation labeled "the land of opportunity." Though he chose to become an American, he did maintain his identity as a Polish-American. His lifetime contacts and relationship with Poland, his birthplace, earned him many honors from that country.
Sendzimir's innovations included the introduction of the continuous process for galvanizing steel and the rolling of stainless steel. The rolling of stainless steel was eventually implemented on the first 20-High Cluster Mill which was used for light-weight machinery such as radar designed for mounting on World War II aircraft. Without the Z-mill, there would not have been airborn radar. Later the skin for the Apollo spacecraft was manufactured on one of his steel mills.
In1953, he introduced the first productive 20-High Cluster Mill to Great Britain and to Japan , other European countries and Canada in the late 1950s and 1960s. In 1974 he founded Sencor, an engineering company, and invented the spiral looper used in the United States and Japan.
In 1948, Tadeusz's son Michael started working with his father, and was President of T. Sendzimir, Inc. for over four decades. During Dr. Sendzimir's career, he was considered the foremost authority in the world on multi-roll rolling mills for flat products, including the conception, development, adaptation and commercialization of the Sendzimir cold strip mill used almost exclusively for stainless steel and for special applications in rolling silicon steel; low, medium and high carbon steels; brass, copper, aluminum, titanium, stellite and other difficult alloys.
As early as the 1960's, Michael proposed to use tandem 20-High mills in reversing mode (in Japan) and also worked with Nisshin Steel to specify, engineer, and install the first ZR type 6-stand Tandem mill in the Shunan works which regularly produced 18,000 tons of cold rolled stainless per month. He conceived the principle of the Z-High® Mill and its application in continuous lines as either a new or a retrofit mill. He was involved in development and commercialization of the Sendzimir planetary hot strip mills and liasoned with the Krupp organization on the Platzer planetary mills, as well as on Daido development of the semi-planetary concept.
He worked with his father on development of variants of the planetary mill and their installation in tandem with the continuous casting of slabs and also production of stainless, titanium and high carbon "clad steel". He was involved with the "pendulum" mill and development of the one-half rocker mill. He completed the only double rocker mill for rolling copper and non-ferrous alloys.
In addition to new ideas and concepts, he obtained several patents on "Sendzimir" cold mills. He also invented and patented the Turret Mill. The Sendzimir Skin Pass mill with small work rolls (4"/100mm diameter) adopted for ultra-fast change was mainly done during his visits to France and in collaboration with the relationship he cultivated with REDEX. Sendzimir designed and manufactured a mill to roll airfoils down to 0.007" for the blades in the final three stages of the compressor for airplane jet engines. He worked on the concept of the small work roll "Vibratory" mill for extra-high reduction.
By the early 1980s up to 90 percent of the world's stainless steel passed through the Sendzimir process. Overall, T. Sendzimir, Inc. has helped to alter the complete technological processes in steel rolling over the last six decades.
Today, T. Sendzimir, Inc. maintains its commitment to continuing the legacy of innovation started by Tadeusz under the leadership of his Grandson Tad.
With locations in 3 countries, the company continues to market products, services, and know-how to many industries all over the world.
Tomorrow may bring other ideas and T. Sendzimir, Inc will keep abreast of the technology and develop for you the equipment to achieve further breakthroughs.
*Excerpts taken from: Steel Will: The Life of Tad Sendzimir, is the first biography written by his daughter Vanda Sendzimir.