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801
IRON AND STEEL

rectilinear, the forms and character of the ornamentation of the thern European weapons resembling in some respects Roman a s, while in others they are peculiar and evidently representative of northern art. The dead were buried in an extended position, while in the preceding Bronze Age cremation had been the rule.

See Lord Avebury, Prehistoric Times (1865; 1900); Sir ]. Evans, Ancient Stone Implements (1897); Horae Ferales, or Studiesin the Archaeology cj Northern Nations, by Kcmble (1863); Gaston C. C. Maspero, Guide du Musée de Boulaq, 296; Scotland in Pagan Times -The Iron Age, by Joseph Anderson (1883).


IRON AND STEEL.[1] 1. Iron, the most cheapest of the heavy metals, the strongest of known substances, is perhaps also the of all save the air we breathe and the water kind of meat we could substitute another; wool could be replaced by cotton, silk or fur; were our common silicate glass gone, we could probably perfect and cheapen some other of the transparent solids; but even if the earth could be made to yield any substitute for the forty or fifty million tons of iron which we use each year for rails, wire, machinery, and structural purposes of many kinds, we could not replace either the steel of our cutting tools or the iron of our magnets, the basis of all commercial electricity. This usefulness iron owes in part, indeed, to its abundance, through which it has led us in the last few thousands of years to adapt our ways to its; but still in chief part first to the single qualities in which it abundant and the

and most magnetic

most indispensable

we drink. For one

very weak; conducting heat and electricity easily, and again offering great resistance to their passage; here welding readily, there incapable of welding; here very in fusible, there melting with relative ease. The coincidence that so indispensable a thing should also be so abundant, that an iron-needing man should be set on an iron-cored globe, certainly suggests design. The indispensableness of such abundant things as air, water and light is readily explained by saying that their very abundance has evolved a creature dependent on them. But the indispensable qualities of iron did not shape man's evolution, because its great usefulness did not arise until historic times or even as in case of magnetism, until modern times. These variations in the properties of iron are brought about in part by corresponding variations in mechanical and thermal treatment, by which it is influenced profoundly, and in part by variations in the proportions of certain foreign elements which it contains; for, unlike most of the other metals, it is never used in the pure state. Indeed pure iron is a rare curiosity. Foremost among these elements is carbon, which iron inevitably absorbs from the fuel used in extracting it from its ores. So strong is the effect of carbon that the use to which the metal is put, and indeed its division into its two great classes, the malleable one, comprising steel and wrought iron, with less than 2°2O%, of carbon, and the unmalleable one, cast iron, with more than this quantity, are based on carbon-content. (See Table I.)

TABLE I.-Gene/al Classijicalion of I ron and Steel according (I) to Carbon- Content and (2) to Presence or Absence of Inclosed Slag. Containing an Intermediate — Containing

very little Carbon (say ~ Containing much Carbon (say Quantity of Carbon (say, between less thano3o%). ' 030 and 2 2 %) fromz 2to5%). J Slag-bearing or C Wnouonr IRoN. WELD STEEL. C “Wcld-metal " Series. Puddled and bloomary, or Charcoal- Puddled and blister steel hearth iron belong here. belong here.

Low-CARBON or l"lILD STEEL, HALF-HARD and HIGH-CARBON CAsr IRON. sometimes called “ ingot-iron.” STEELS, sometinaes called “ingot-stee .”

It may be either Bessemer, open- They may be either Bessemer, Normal cast iron, “ washed " metal, Sla ICQ; or r. In t hearth, or crucible steel. open-hearth, or crucible steel. and most “ malleable cast iron " § 1('t;l .. Seriego malleable cast iron also often belong here. elongs here.

ALLOY STEELS. ALLOY CAST IRoNs.*

Nickel, manganese, tungsten, and Spiegeleisen, ferro-manganese, and chrome steels belong here. silico-spiegel belong here.

  • The term " Alloy Cast Irons " is not actually in frequent use, n

the need of such a generic term rarely arises in the industry. excels. such as its strength, its magnetism, and the property which it alone has of being made at will extremely hard by sudden cooling and soft and extremely pliable by slow cooling; second, to the special combinations of useful properties in which it excels. such as its strength with its ready welding and shaping both hot and cold; and third, to the great variety of its properties. It is a very Proteus. It is extremely hard in our tiles and razors, and extremely soft in our horse-shoe nails, which in some countries the smith rejects unless he can bend them on his forehead; with iron we cut and shape iron. It is extremely magnetic and almost non-magnetic; as brittle as glass and almost as pliable and ductile as copper; extremely springy. and spring less and dead; wonderfully strong, and The word “ iron " was in O. Eng. iren, isern or isen, cf. Qer. Eisen. Dut. ysen, Swed.jarn, Dan.jern; the original Teut. base is isarn, and ttognates are found in Celtic, lr. iarun. (Lael. iarrunn, Breton, lzouarn, &c. The ulterior derivation is unknown; connexion has been suggested without much probability with is, ice, from its hard bright surface, or with Lat. aes, uerziv, brass. The rhange from men to 1ren (in 16th cent. yron) is due to rhotacistn, but whether direct from isen or through iser/1. irern is doubtful. “ Steel "~ represents the O. Eng. slél or stéle (the true form: only foun1l, howe'~'er, with spelling style. cf. styl-cog. steel-edged). cognate with (ler. Stahl, Dut. and xtaal, &c.; the word is not found outside Teutonic. Skeat (Etym. Diet., 1808) finds the ultimate origin in the Indodluropean base stak-, to be firm or still, and compares Lat. xtagnzmz, standing-water.

the cause of any question as to its fitness or meaning, but because

2. Nomenclature.—Until about 186O there were only three important classes of iron—wrought iron, steel and cast iron. The essential characteristic of wrought iron was its nearly complete freedom from carbon; that of steel was its moderate carbon-content (say between o-30 and 2~2 %), which, though great enough to confer the property 'of being rendered intensely hard and brittle by sudden cooling, yet was not so great but that the metal was malleable when cooled slowly; while that of cast iron was that it contained so much carbon as to be very brittle whether cooled quickly or slowly. This classification was based on carbon-content, or on the properties which it gave. Beyond this, wrought iron, and certain classes of steel which then were important, necessarily contained much slag or “ cinder, " because they were made by welding together pasty particles of metal in a bath of slag, without subsequent fusion. . But the best class of steel, crucible steel, was freed from slag by fusion in crucibles; hence its name, “cast steel.” Between 1860 and 1870 the invention of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes introduced a new class of iron to-day called “ mild ” or “ lowcarbou steel, ” which lacked the essential property of steel, the hardening power, yet differed from the existing forms of wrought iron in freedom from slag, and from cast iron in being very malleable. Logically it was wrought iron, the essence of which

was that it was (1) “iron” as distinguished from steel, and