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In 1914 a young man called Louis Tibbenham took on part of a factory in Stowmarket which had gone bankrupt, and set up his own company, the Suffolk Iron Foundry, to make castings such as flywheels and ploughshares.

Though casting and iron-founding was a major part of the business, Louis Tibbenham had always been interested in welding, and during he Great War he had met a young engineer in London who was experimenting with welding cast-iron using an oxy-acetylene flame. Suffolk Iron Foundries was asked to supply a few cast-iron rods containing extra silicon. They performed so well that they became a production item in due course, under the brand name, 'Super-Silicon Rod'.

At around this time Mr Tibbenham learned of the techniques of low temperature bronze welding for cast-iron, so he developed a rod which, subsequently, was found to be suitable for welding virtually any metal except aluminium. Taking the initials SIF from Suffolk Iron Foundry, and adding 'bronze', he gave a name to the technique and formed a division to handle the products. The name Sifbronze has remained a fact in welding ever since, and has come to describe a technique which is universally accepted.