IRON SMELT Experiment Overview

2008 Iron Smelt Experiments

V1 / 2008

Go HERE for a bare text version (all experiments) ...
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Date: March 13, 2008
Experiment: 29
Location: Smeltfest 08, Lexington VA
Team: Skip Williams, Jake Keen
Furnace: Medium Shaft
clay cobb
tap arch (bottom extraction)
bellows plate with blow hole
Size: 30 cm x 105 H
Source: based on Williams' observations at Eindhoven
Tuyere: tapered copper to 2.7 cm ID
3 cm dia. blow hole
Placement: natural set base
about 6 cm set back to tuyere tip
Bellows: electric blower
Air: not measured
Charcoal: 45 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 8 minutes
Ore: Virginia Rock
23 kg (roasted)
Sequence: ore added about every 12 minutes
charges range from .5 to 2.3 kg each
Duration: about 4 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 5.5 kg bloom - soft iron with some carbon
Notes: - bloom has pronounced crescent shape

Date: March 16, 2008
Experiment: 30
Location: Smeltfest 08, Lexington VA
Team: Jake Keen
Furnace: Medium Shaft
clay cobb
tap arch (bottom extraction)
bellows plate with blow hole
Size: 30 cm x 105 H
Source: based on Williams' observations at Eindhoven
Tuyere: tapered copper to 2.7 cm ID
3 cm dia. blow hole
Placement: natural set base
about 6 cm set back to tuyere tip
Bellows: electric blower
Air: not measured
Charcoal: 60 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: 2 kg charcoal every 13 minutes (varies)
Ore: DARC Dirt 1
30.2 kg
Sequence: ore charges range from .1 to 2.5 kg each
Duration: about 5 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 1.7 kg bloom - high carbon
Notes: - bloom has pronounced crescent shape

Date: March 17, 2008
Experiment: 31
Location: Smeltfest 08, Lexington VA
Team: Jake Keen, Skip Williams
Furnace: Medium Shaft
clay cobb
tap arch (bottom extraction)
bellows plate with blow hole
Size: 30 cm x 105 H
Source: based on Williams' observations at Eindhoven
Tuyere: tapered copper to 2.7 cm ID
4 cm dia. blow hole
Placement: natural set base
about 13.5 cm set back to tuyere tip
set at 22 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: not measured
Charcoal: 68 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: 2 kg charcoal every 12 minutes (varies)
Ore: Virginia Rock
59.5 kg
Sequence: ore charges range from 1 to 3 kg each
Duration: about 5 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 7.2 kg bloom - soft iron
Notes: - position of the blow hole moved up over smelt results in tall, narrow bloom

Date: April 13, 2008
Experiment: 32 / D14
Location: Wareham, ON
Team: Neil Peterson, Ken Cook
Furnace: Econo Norse
smaller size in metal barrel frame
set on plinth (bottom extraction)
Size: 20 x 70 H
Source: based on DARC design
Tuyere: 25 mm ID ceramic tube
Placement: 15 cm from base
about 5 cm in from wall
angle at 20 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: start at about 450 – finish at 365 l / min
Charcoal: 34 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 14 - 17 minutes
Ore: DARC Dirt 1
18 kg
Sequence: ore added as 2 kg charges for most of smelt
considerable re-cycle of tap slag
Duration: about 4 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 2 kg bloom – workable iron
Notes: - full scale test of DARK Dirt 1 in standard smelter

Date: April 30, 2008
Experiment: 33
Location: Heltborg, Denmark
Team: Arne Espelund
Furnace: Norse Medium Shaft
clay cobb
bellows plate
tap arch (bottom extraction)
Size: 25 x 88 H (used)
Source: test of two stage process suggested by Espelund
Tuyere: 25 mm ID steel pipe (tapered)
Placement: 10 cm base
set just flush with bellows plate
angle at 20 down
Bellows: 'Danish standard' vacuum blower
Charcoal: 13 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 11 minutes
Ore: Guldager Bog
15 kg
Sequence: ore added as 1 kg charges
Duration: about 2 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 11.5 kg high iron content slag
Notes: - test of theoretical method proposed by Espelund,
stage one is producing volume of iron rich slag...

Date: May 2, 2008
Experiment: 34
Location: Heltborg, Denmark
Team: Arne Espelund
Furnace: Norse Medium Shaft
clay cobb
bellows plate
tap arch (bottom extraction)
Size: 25 x 88 H (used)
Source: test of two stage process suggested by Espelund
Tuyere: 25 mm ID steel pipe (tapered)
Placement: 10 cm base
set just flush with bellows plate
angle at 20 down
Bellows: 'Danish standard' vacuum blower
Charcoal: 12 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 11 minutes
Ore: Gromps from stage one
7.75 kg total
Sequence: ore added as 1 kg charges
Duration: about 2 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: no iron is produced
Notes: - test of theoretical method proposed by Espelund, stage two is re-smelting gromps to bloom
- method cosidered overly complex
- may not have been enough 'ore' material used

Date: May 4, 2008
Experiment: 35
Location: Heltborg, Denmark
Team:
Furnace: Norse Medium Shaft
clay cobb
bellows plate
tap arch (bottom extraction)
Size: 25 x 113 H
Source: based on past experience
Tuyere: 25 mm ID steel pipe (tapered)
Placement: 10 cm base
set just flush with bellows plate
angle at 23 down
Bellows: 'Danish standard' vacuum blower
Charcoal: 20 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 9 minutes
Ore: Heltborg / Swedish / Guldager bog ores
15.2 kg total
Sequence: ore added as .8 to 1.6 kg charges
Duration: about 3 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 1.8 kg, fragments in slag block
Notes: - demonstration smelt of standard method
Date: June 14, 2008
Experiment: 32 / D14
Location: Wareham, ON
Team: Ken Cook, Neil Peterson
Furnace: Banked Short Shaft
Size: 20 x 70 H
Source: Viking Age - standard build
Tuyere: 25 mm ID ceramic tube
Placement: 11 cm from base
about 3.5 cm in from wall
angle at 22.5 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: start at about 640 – finish at 735 l / min
Charcoal: 30 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 10 minutes
Ore: DARC Dirt 1
20 kg
Sequence: ore added as 2 kg charges
Duration: about 3:20 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 1.9 kg bloom as partially consolodated - workable iron
Notes: - full scale test of DARK Dirt 1 in standard smelter
Date: September 27, 2008
Experiment: 37
Location: Troy OH
Team: Ken Cook
Furnace: Short Shaft
set on plinth (top extraction)
Size: 25 x 65 + 20 H
Source: Viking Age - standard build
Tuyere: 25 mm ID ceramic tube
Placement: 20 cm from base
about 5 cm in from wall
angle at 22.5 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: start at about 450 – finish at 365 l / min
Charcoal: 67 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 10 minutes
Ore: Williamsburg Rock
35 kg
Sequence: ore added as 1.1 - 2.2 charges
Duration: about 6 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 9.5 kg bloom – workable iron
Notes: - demonstration smelt (Quad State 08)

Date: October 12, 2008
Experiment: 38 / D16
Location: Wareham, ON
Team: Neil Peterson, Ken Cook
Furnace: Banked Short Shaft
bellows plate with blow hole
top extraction
Size: 22 x 65 + 20 H
Source: based on Hals, Iceland
Tuyere: blow hole, later inserted - 25 mm ID ceramic tube
Placement: blow hole diameter 8 cm
tuyere pipe set to 15 down, about 6 cm back
as insert, angle at 10 down
Bellows: electric blower
Air: start at about 740 – finish at 1000 (?) l / min
Charcoal: 46 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 13 minutes
Ore: Virginia Rock (poor) mixed with Taconite (275/400)
23 kg
Sequence: ore added as 1.1 kg charges for most of smelt
Duration: about 6 1/2 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 4.9 kg bloom – workable iron
Notes: - 'work dynamic test' for proposed Hals layout
- test of bellows plate / blow hole system

Date: November , 2008
Experiment: 39 D/17
Location: Wareham, ON
Team: Ken Cook, Neil Peterson
Furnace: Banked Short Shaft
bellows plate with blow hole
tuyere hung from above
top extraction
Size: 24 - 26 x 65 + 20 H
Source: based on Hals, Iceland
Tuyere: blow hole, tapered tuyere
Placement: blow hole diameter 5 cm
tuyere pipe set to 25 down, about 2.5 cm back
Bellows: electric blower
Air: start at about 740 (?) l / min
Charcoal: 48 kg broken hardwood
Consumption: about 2 kg charcoal every 12 minutes
Ore: Virginia Rock (poor) mixed with Taconite (1/2)
24 kg
Sequence: ore added as .8 increased to 1.6 kg charges
Duration: about 5 hours (not including preheat)
Result: 3.25 kg bloom – workable iron
Notes: - 'work dynamic test' for proposed Hals layout
- test of bellows plate / blow hole system
- use of tapered tuyere improves air penetration
- hanging air system alows access, control of smelt


TEAM PARTICIPANTS


Dark Ages Re-creation Company
Core (demo) Team:
Ken Cook + Neil Peterson
Assisting:
Kevin Jarbeau, Dave Cox, Gus Gissing, Sam Falezone
Mehgan Roberts, Anne Graham, Karen Peterson, Vandy Simpson
Special Guest:
Dr Ron Ross

IRON SMELT LINKS

Lee Sauder
Mike McCarthy
DARC - Iron Experiments



Unless indicated, All text and photographs © 2005 - 2006 Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge