IRON SMELT Experiment Overview

2011 Iron Smelt Experiments

v2 - 2021

Go HERE for a bare text version (all experiments) ...
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CONSUMPTION / SEQUENCE rates (at m/kg) are from first ore to last ore additions

Date: March 18-25, 2011
Experiment: 46
Location: Smeltfest 11, Lexington VA
Team: Lee Sauder, Jake Keen, Shelton Brower, Steve Mankowski, Jesus Herandez
Furnace: African 'Bell'
clay cobb
tap arch (bottom extraction)
Size: roughly half sphere ID 68 cm, chimney stack ID 22 cm to 50 cm
Source: based on traditions from Burkino Fasa
Tuyere: multiple clay tuyeres, ID at tip 2.5 cm
Placement: total 16, set in groups of 4 at the quandrents, tips about 10 cm proud
set at 45 degrees down
Bellows: none - passive air
Charcoal: 425 lbs (193 kg) Lee made
Consumption: varies, about 12 minutes/charge
5.5 m/kg
Ore:
Lexington Limonite @ 66 % Fe
200 lbs (91 kg)
Sequence: mainly 1 ore / 5 charcoal, period at 3rd quarter increased 3, then 4 lbs
6.5 min/ kg
Duration
: main sequence (charges) 10 hours, total 20 1/2 hours
Result: a number of small fist sized masses
Yield: NR
Notes: differences in operation method?

africa
Date: April 22 & 23, 2011
Experiment: 47
Location: Haffenreffer Museum, Brown University, Bristol RI
Team: Kevin Smith, Krysta Ryzewski, Students
Furnace: Norse Short Shaft on plinth
clay and straw cobb
tap arch (bottom extraction)
Size: 25 ID x 64 H cm
Source: based standard system
Tuyere: 2.5 cm ID ceramic tube
Placement: about 16 cm
4.5 cm proud
(changed part way through to 5 cm steel pipe)
set at 22 degrees down
Bellows: standard electric blower
delivery estimated at 800 LPM
(later increased to E1400 LPM)
Charcoal: 38 kg, oak
Consumption: varies considerably
9.4 m/kg
Ore: Mainly Lexington Limonite, plus DD2, hematite
total 29 kg
Sequence: slow increase from 1 to 2 kg / charge
8.1 m/kg
Duration: about 6 hours (including preheat)
Result: 2.2 kg bloom
Yield: 8% (poor quality Limonite!)
Notes: 'Experimental Archaeology - Iron Smelting'
extract

Date: June 11, 2011
Experiment: D24
Location: Wareham ON
Team: Neil Peterson, Richard Schwietzer, Sam Falazone
(Troubleshooting only) - Darrell Markewitz
Furnace: Econo Norse enclosed fire brick
tap arch (dismantled extraction)
Size: 23 - 27 cm ID x 65 H
Source: standard demonstration system
Tuyere: standard ceramic tube 2.5 cm
Placement: 20 cm above base
5 cm proud
set at 22 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: 800 - 900 LpM
Charcoal: 48 kg, maple
Consumption: 1.8 kg charcoal every 10 minutes for first half, varies over second half
5.6 m/kg
Ore:
Lexington Limonite (poor)
24 kg
Sequence: ore charges recorded by 'scoops'
7.7 m/kg
Duration: about 6 hours (including preheat)
Result: 2.7 kg bloom
Yield: 11 %
Notes: Practice for CanIRON 8 demonstration

june11

Date: July 28, 2011
Experiment: D25
Location: CanIRON 8, Fergus ON
Team: Neil Peterson, Richard Schwietzer, Dave Cox
(Troubleshooting only) - Darrell Markewitz
Furnace: Econo Norse enclosed fire brick
tap arch (dismantled extraction)
Size: 25 cm ID x 65 H
Source: standard demonstration system
Tuyere: standard ceramic tube 2.5 cm
Placement: 20 cm above base
2 cm proud
set at 22 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: (E)800 - 900 LpM
Charcoal: 47 kg, maple
Consumption: 1.8 kg charcoal every 12 minutes
6.4 m/kg
Ore:
DD1A @ 44 % Fe
24 kg
Sequence: ore charges recorded by 'scoops'
9.8 m/kg
Duration: about 6 hours (including preheat)
Result: (E) 5 kg bloom
Yield: 19 %
Notes: CanIRON 8 demonstration

june11

Date: October 9, 2011
Experiment: 48 D26
Location: Wareham ON
Team: Neil Peterson, Marcus Burnham
Furnace: Short Shaft over Slag Pit
(excavated cold)
Size: 25 cm ID x 56 H
Source: Danish early Iron Age (seen at Heltborg)
Tuyere: standard ceramic tube 2.5 cm
Placement: 13 cm above base
5 cm proud
set at 22 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: 800 - 900 LpM
Charcoal: 48 kg, maple
Consumption: 1.8 kg charcoal every 10 minutes
5.1 m/kg
Ore:
Lexington Limonite (poor)
48 kg
Sequence: ore charges recorded by 'scoops'
5.1 m/kg
Duration: about 6 hours (including preheat)
Result: NO bloom recovered
Notes: slag pit with straw/ash cap (poor ore!)

slag pit

Date: November 5, 2011
Experiment: 49
Location: Wareham ON
Team: Neil Peterson, Ian Fleming, Lloyd Johnson
Furnace: Short Shaft over Slag Pittop extraction
Size: 25 cm ID x 56 H
Source: Danish early Iron Age (seen at Heltborg)
Tuyere: standard ceramic tube 2.5 cm
Placement: 110 cm above base
5 cm proud
set at 22 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: 800 - 900 LpM
Charcoal: 48 kg, maple
Consumption: 1.8 kg charcoal every 11 minutes for first half, speeds to 8 over second half
5.7 m/kg
Ore:
industrial Taconite @ (E) 65 % Fe
24 kg
Sequence: ore charges recorded by 'scoops'
7.4 m/kg
Duration: about 4 hours (including preheat)
Result: 6.4 kg bloom
Yield: 33 %
Notes: slag pit with clay donut cap

spalg pit
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TEAM PARTICIPANTS


Dark Ages Re-creation Company
Core (demo) Team:
Neil Peterson, Dave Cox, Richard Schwietzer, Marcus Burnham
Assisting:
Smeltfest Team, Brown Students, OABA members

IRON SMELT LINKS

Lee Sauder
Mike McCarthy
DARC - Iron Experiments



Unless indicated, All text and photographs 2005 - 2011 Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge