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About h4tt3n

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  1. Hello all, Here's an update on the iron slab. These photos were taken one month ago: And these photos were taken today: As you can see, there is practically no change. Still no rust. There's also still non-corroded metal on the surface, although the areas with shiny metal seems to shrink very slowly. Salt has been added regularly to keep water salinity high in the container. Cheers, Mike
  2. Hi Enthalpy, Yes, that is perfectly true. As far as I know, this is in fact one of the method used by archaeometallurgists. The thing is, prehistoric and medieval iron - having never been molten - often contains many layers of different iron alloys. Knives and axes were deliberately forged in soft iron, and then a piece of hard steel or phosphorus iron were welded into the edge. Also, old tools and weapons were recycled again and again, so that f.inst. inside an axe you may find the remains of an older sword or other artefact of importance. The point is, you can't just do one surface analy
  3. Hi Studiot, Indeed this method is very similar to the (many different) ones used in Britain and northern Europe throughout the iron age. Formally, the iron lump made in this process is called a bloom, whereas ingot refers to something than has been molten. Liquid cast iron or pig iron is a result of the "modern" direct iron production method and was unknown in European prehistoric times. Bloomery iron has not been liquid at any time and is very, very different from cast iron. Bloomery iron is usually very heterogene, consisting of ferrite crystals of very different size with
  4. I think it's about time I explain the process in a bit more detail. In the attached pictures you can see the process from raw ore to finished object. First, the bog iron ore is dug out of the ground. It has a very rusty color, ranging from greyish black over brown to yellowish red. The ore is roasted on a fire to make it porose, and is then crushed to a fine powder. The crushed ore is put into a smelter with charcoal, usually in a 1 / 1 ratio. Air is blown into the bottom of the smelter to increase temperature. Usually, the smelter is about 700-800 degrees celsius in the top (glowing a dull r
  5. Hi Enthalpy, With the iron-age process it is indeed possible to produce very low-carbon iron - almost pure ferrite. So that's a possibility, yes. I don't know about precipitation of carbon in iron - will have to investigate on that one. I know of the properties of steel with silicon, but generally these alloys aren't forged for the very reason you mention. I have seen several analyses of both pre-historic iron and modern iron made with prehistoric methods, and I've never seen any trace of silica in them. The metal often contains silicates in the form of slag, but that's an entire
  6. Hello again, Now it's been more than an month since I started this post. In the mean time the iron slab has been lying in a bucket of salt water in the garden, fully exposed to wind and weather. As you can see in the images, there is still no sign of rust. Most of the surface is covered in a thin, black film that can be rubbed off with a cloth. As before, a considerable part of the iron is still shining like fresh polished silver, with no sign of rust, oxidation or corrosion of any kind. I still haven't found any satisfying explanation to the phenomenon. Cheers & merry christma
  7. Hello everyone, Will try to answer some of the questions that have come up... @Moontanman Yes, it is quite probable that this iron contains phosporus. There is often quite a lot of Phosphates in the ore, 1-10% is not uncommon. So, the anti-rust mechanism we see here may be the same as in the Delhi Pillar. What makes this interesting is that I know how to produce the material. @Endy0816 Raw iron bloom contains some silicates that come from the ore, but I don't think they play a large role here. The slag is very brittle and porose, and it doesn't cover the iron particles. If
  8. Hello John, Well okay, considering that my "laboratory" consists of a grass field with clay furnaces, and ill defined bog ore - and no measuring equipment whatsoever - my understanding of the term "pure" may differ a bit from that of a scientist, I'll grant you as much. Having said that, I think you might be surprised how pure the iron made in this process actually is according to analyses. As a blacksmith I have come to prefer the home made iron over at least some of the cheaper irons available on the market. It is more ductile, easier to forge weld, and can withstand beeing worked at bot
  9. Hello, I would like to show you this interesting phenomenton I came across by pure chance. The attached photos show a slab of pure iron that I have made from bog iron ore in a clay furnace, exactly like iron was made several thousand years ago in the european iron age. The slab is approx. 21 cm (8.3 in) wide and 6 cm (2.4 in) high and has been cut out of a larger bloom weighing about 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs) with an angle grinder. I have had it lying outside the entire summer in an iron age heritage center as part of a display on prehistoric ironsmelting. Now, after some time I noticed that t
  10. @Swansont. Yes I noticed this when repeating the soot-in-water mirror experiment last night. The effect was much better when looking along a line near-parallel to the soot-covered surface than when looking along a perpendicular line. I don't think the soot method will work, but I need to do a few more experiments to be sure. Also, you have a very good point in mentioning that reflective materials are so because of their conductivity, which explains why a non-metallic mirror is difficult to make. Also, wouldn't it be possible to make a perfect mirror with a huge prism? Imagine it is sha
  11. Well, it's complicated. First of all, I am an old-fashioned blacksmith, and I even smelt my own iron viking age style, in a clay furnace. Metal - and especially iron and steel - is my life. I litteraly think in metal. I supposed this has backfired and made me very interested in how to make everyday tools without using metal. Also, a few years back I read a very fascinating sci-fi short story about a society that had no access to metal and thus had to come up with all sorts of alternatives, like bone, cheramics, glass, and so on. I don't know if it makes any sense or if you think I'm weird. I h
  12. John, I want to make a metal-free mirror because metals are not available to me ;-) Stringjunkie & Moontanman - sorry, that won't work for me, but nice tries!
  13. Thanks, both of you. These mirrors do seem to be used for very specialized tasks and require expensive equipment to make. Do you know if it is possible to make a typical bathroom mirror of more every-day materials (except metals)? For instance, I remember a "trick" where you can make any object shine like polished metal by first covering it with soot by holdig it into the flame of a candle and then lower it into a glass of water. Surely it must be possible to make a mirrior using similar techniques.
  14. Hello folks, Does anyone here know a method to make a mirror entirely without the use of metals? Cheers, Mike
  15. Nolan, try google "metallic glass" or "amorphous metal". That's probably the closest we get to UFO-metal or adamantium or whatever you want to call this stuff. In short, metallic glasses can be just about any metal or combination of metals and non-metals that have been cooled down so fast that it didn't have time to crystallize. The "glass" part simply means that it is amorphous, ie. without crystal structure (it doesn't mean you can see through it). Metals without crystal structure are *extremely* tough, but tecnically speaking they are not necessarily hard. This means you can deform them a l
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