Sunday, May 27, 2012

Icelandic 5 - Results

This is a short overview of the iron smelt at Wareham on Saturday May 26.
For details on the experimental objectives, see Hals / Icelandic 5 - Furnace Construction

Ore : 31.8 kg DD 1 Analog (48% Fe content)
Charcoal : 49 kg (graded fuel)
Time : 5 1/2 hour main sequence (plus 1 hour pre-heat)

At the beginning of the smelt sequence, showing the air system layout.

Our test furnace is dug into a bank rather than raised above the surface as at Hals. The V shaped slot is here lined with concrete blocks to retain the earth bank. The size of the slot was dermined by the space required to hold our Viking Age style iron smelting bellows.
Later in the smelt, tapping off excess slag

Needing to tap slag illustrates one potential problem with our suggested Hal's based layout. With the bellows in the slot, how do you get access to the front of the furnace for tapping? At the very least, the bellows would have to be connected to the tuyere via a short length of hose. This made of leather?
The hot bloom during initial consolidation with hand hammers, which also serves to knock off any remaining slag 'mother'.

Bloom : 13.8 kg
Yield : 42 %

Secondary compression, then cutting, under the hydraulic press.
The typical planno-convex shape of the bloom was roughly compressed to a flat disk using two compression cycles under the hydraulic press (heating between steps via the propane forge). This disk was then cut in two, the step seen above.

The roughly compressed pieces.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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