A friend of mine asked an archeometallurgy question, and I knew just where to turn..."If there is a large gear in a piece of machinery made in the 1860's that is failing from use, what would be the most common cause?This is hypothetical - it is a fictive element in a book I'm writing, but I would like to have the science right .. . The gear was originally made in England for one of the ironclad blockade running boats, and forge they will be making the gear is in Richmond where they did have a cupola furnace at the time - Is it enough to suggest that the cupola furnace will make stronger steel than the original forge in England because of the superior process? Or is there an additive I could mention that might have been missing in the original mix that made the metal weaker?"I am thinking different chemistries due to different ore sources, or inclusions/impurities fewer in cupola furnace process, but I don't know anything about steel making in that era.
The timing is good for an early experiment with the Bessemer process (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessemer_process) early licensees were plagued with problems and this could be one of them? Without getting too far in the weeds, cupola furnaces typically produce high carbon liquid iron which can be directly cast into a net shape or poured into an open mold to make pig iron. The pig iron can then be re-melted and cast but it must be refined into a lower carbon alloy to approach "steel". Wrought iron, which I believe Ms. Carrizo is referring to, is a historic material with a composition similar to steel, but which was processed in a (mostly) solid state. If I remember correctly the earliest industrial process (a "bloomery" came earlier) was a puddling furnace where an air blast would burn out excess carbon, raising the melt temperature, until a semi-solid "bloom" of iron and slag would form in the melt. This bloom was manipulated until of sufficient size and was then drawn out of the furnace and wrought (hammered) until the majority of the slag was forced out. The final product was an ingot of iron with a steel-like metal composition and fibrous silicate (slag) inclusions called "wrought iron", which was indeed an excellent material, I wish it was still available commercially.
Depending on the size it might be more accurate for the gear to be founded (cast in a foundry) than forged (hammed into shape in a forge). Sounds like a book I'd love to read, good luck!
Best Regards, GIW Industries, Inc. (A KSB Company) Manufacturing Engineering – Advanced Manufacturing Engineer – Metallurgy & Foundry Systems
Paul Taylor 5000 Wrightsboro Road Grovetown, Ga 30813 Tel.: +1 706-863-1011 ext 2559 Fax: +1 706-868-8025 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You might check the following. Both Bessemer and Open Hearth Steelmaking were available in the 1860's. These methods produced liquid steel that was suitable for casting into large parts. At that time, steel plants commonly cast many steel parts in sand molds that were made using beautiful wooden patterns – entire buildings were full of these wooden patterns for many parts.
1. K. Barraclough, Steelmaking 1850-1900 (Institute of Metals, London 1990), 137-203.
2. ^ Jump up to:a b Philippe Mioche, « Et l'acier créa l'Europe », Matériaux pour l'histoire de notre temps, vol. 47, 1997, p. 29-36
3. ^ Avery, Donald; Schmidt, Peter (1978). "Complex Iron Smelting and Prehistoric Culture in Tanzania". Science. 201 (4361): 1085–1089. ISSN 0036-8075. JSTOR 1746308.
4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d A Study of the Open Hearth: A Treatise on the Open Hearth Furnace and the Manufacture of Open Hearth Steel. Harbison-Walker Refractories Company. (2015), 102 pag, ISBN 1341212122, ISBN 978-1341212123
5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Basic Open Hearth Steelmaking, with Supplement on Oxygen in Steelmaking, third edition (The Seely W. Mudd Series) The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (1964). Gerhard, Derge. ASIN B00IJLRL40.
6. ^ "В России закрывается последняя крупная мартеновская печь".
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