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'Konasamudram' Process


Jan Ysselstein

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The pit is sill full of charcoal, rain is coming our way...I would like to exit the iron making process by using up all remnants of ore and charcoal. If the rain is robust. I may give steel making a shot. Making steel is a bit trickier than cast iron as steel making requires slag management. 
 

 

 

This run is not to be due to other priorities.

 

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  • 1 year later...

I found this article the other day, and this seemed to be the most appropriate thread in which to put it, as it is about Konasamudram. The short version is, in 2018 a guy found 60 ingots and a bunch of crucible fragments. 

 

 

A_journey_of_over_200_years_early_studie.pdf

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On 12/8/2021 at 6:11 PM, Alan Longmire said:

I found this article the other day, and this seemed to be the most appropriate thread in which to put it, as it is about Konasamudram. The short version is, in 2018 a guy found 60 ingots and a bunch of crucible fragments. 

 

 

A_journey_of_over_200_years_early_studie.pdf 1.85 MB · 6 downloads

So is KeAi related to Covid?

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos qui libertate donati nescimus quid constat

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  • 3 months later...

Unless I did not see the complete article above ...I would love to have seen some data on the microstructure and the composition of those ingots. This topic is very much alive for me. I am currently melting with a taller crucible the flatter lens crucibles are on the way. I will post some pictures as soon as this computer allows me to.

 

Below are some recent microstructures, using a narrower taller crucible

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  • 1 month later...

I had the opportunity to forge out some steel recently made…indirectly related to the topic here. 

 

 

 

 

18 minutes ago, Jan Ysselstein said:

I had the opportunity to forge out some steel recently made…indirectly related to the topic here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4E3A2B5A-1E92-4228-9BA2-3105E2D355D4.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

The two photos added are a look at a reduction of thickness by a factor of 10. If the bar had still been in one piece it would be 40” long. I am not too exited about the pattern as the dendritic look has been lost. ….I am happy to have avoided a "stretched out" look.

 

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I do not have too many options left to change the resulting pattern …the main variable I can still tweak is the cooling rate. That is where I will start….should be resuming melting in 2 weeks.

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Thank you Alan.   This steel was cast iron ( bloomery cast iron ) and wrought iron ( no alloys). The next sequence will be 100% bloomery material made with local magnetite ore. That will be "Sole Steel" made in the Paramecium Forge.

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/4/2022 at 11:02 AM, Jan Ysselstein said:

I am not too exited about the pattern as the dendritic look has been lost.

All I can say, is if I had made that, I would be ecstatic.

 

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

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  • 1 year later...

IMG_3503.jpegIt has been a while since melting anything but after a few failed ingots I gave it a shot again today.

 

" I am currently melting with a taller crucible the flatter lens crucibles are on the way."  That was March 11 , 2022 . The ingots produced today are the lens  shaped flat ones. They are 1" thick and about 4.25 inches wide. one irregularities on the bottoms but very forgable. One of the ingots is all homemade iron. I will take some pics.The weights are 1500 grams.

 

There are now 5 of these ingots ( 3 of them still at 1500 grams but a little smaller in diameter.)..only looking at the melting process right now..after forging these ZI will have a better sense of how to proceed. I hade a rough start melting ( new furnace, new blower, and different crucibles.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Two of the  now 4 new ingots were found to have micro cracks on the top surface …….they will be remelted. That is a lot of work and I will try to learn a few things along  the way.

 

Large chunks of low carbon iron were used, by cutting the ingots in half I can check for remnants. We will see if the long melt time is compensating for the large ingredient sizes.

 

perhaps the remelt will create a shift in ingot gas content (hopefully) to the lower side.  The glass was calm. And I will get a look at the interior of the ingot.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of the two ingots exhibiting micro cracks has been remelted  and looks  good ( although I do not like the location of the off center shrinkage cavity) …I will do the next one in the next few days. Here are a couple of pics. After that I will begin forging ( after building a forge). Hoping to get some good looking patterns like the ones in the post a little earlier in this thread.

 

This ingot is just under 4 inches  ( 94mm ) , the slightly larger one in this series is just about 4.5" ( 11.25" cm ) .Eventually I will be making some at about 5.5"  (13.75 cm ).

 

 

Note the shrinkage cavity here , it does not exist on the recent previous ingots …all seems to have been done the same …maybe the others have some surprises for me.

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IMG_4642.jpegI changed a few variables to make sure I avoided the micro cracks in the ingot surface.. To my surprise the ingot top was very smooth and again did have an off center shrinkage cavity. The trouble with these is you never know what is under the surface. Here are some pics ...the foaming glass must be a reaction with the oxygen in the crucible atmosphere.Having a problem with the pics will try another devise. Note there are no gas pockets under the top at the edge of the ingot.

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Well it is not quite a hoard of 60 however enough to start forging , 2 of them still need to be roasted at high temp.for 2 hours to diffuse the carbon.

 

 

A_journey_of_over_200_years_early_studie.pdf

IMG_4646.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took an old ingot and used charcoal as the heat source ….it did not go well as the ingot must have been high in carbon and I got the ingot too hot.  Now We will try to create a fixture for judging temperatures a little closer. I did learn how to use charcoal more efficiently…that is en couraging. Here is a pic of the ingot in the fire.I will have to go back and see if I have data confirming the high carbon assumption. The next one will have a rod welded to it for ease in handling.

 

IMG_4693.jpeg

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Continued to forge the severely cracked ingot , heated by charcoal. I did not attach a rod and will not be attaching a rod in future forging until about 10 cycles of forging ( cautiously ). There are some solid volumes remaining in the ingot, I will push to a point where I can etch to have a look. I am feeling confident about forging the 4 above ingots in this manner. Ingots # 1 and #3 will go first…..#2 and #4 are more special (100% homemade iron and larger ingot,#2 ) and (very peculiar looking ingot,hidden shrinkage cavity #4

). I will demonstrate how to find such a cavity before I start forging that ingot.

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Post removed as I realize what/why I saw what I saw.

 

Clarification

 

After roasting for 2 hrs at 1150 C I took a look at my microstructures. I am experimenting with various coatings on the ingots to reduce the scale formation ( I do not have faith in a decarburized layer holding it all together while beginning the forging ).So, I should have expected different microstructures  with different methods. The microstructures were looked at after only removing the bare minimum of the surface of the ingot ( maybe a 1/32") . I was looking at the decarb layer of the surface. I never see ferrite like that and I have to look into why the last of the cementite would be located in the ferrite areas.

 

Today I started forging ingot #1 ..all based on the visual temperature while heating over charcoal. Red is too cold just orange is close but not yet, orange present for a while and being heated is good...yellow is high risk behavior light yellow is scary. I stayed in orange the whole time. So far the ingot feels good no power tools yet. Maybe another 6-8 forging cycles and to the hammer  ( very lightly ). I will post a picture when all is cold to the touch.

 

Surface microstructure of ingot # 1 After 2 hrs. roast at 1150 C   

Photo on 12-17-23 at 3.12 PM.jpg

heat-treat-colors-copy.jpg

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A thank you to Jerrod Miller for looking at my rough pictures. Jerrod suggested the bright spots may be pits reflecting light they seem to be aligned with some of the scratch marks from grinding/sanding.

 

Spent a bit more time hand forging in charcoal heat...Did find myself getting into a reddish color once in a while. Next step is to take a peek at the current structure and decide if a long hold is going to be required when the machine forging starts. The only volume I am now concerned with is the area near the top/center of the ingot....that volume received the least amount of deformation. I will add some pics from a different machine.


below are the results of forging the outer ring back and forth to make it more ductile so it can withstand the stretching when I forge the center down. The time spent was probably not needed but I want to see the pattern of these 4 ingots and compare them.

1 ) bottom of the ingot now on top

2) top of the original ingot

3) side view of ingot

 

IMG_3181.jpeg

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Looking at the current microstructure I see carbides at the grain  boundaries and on the grinding trails remaining after etching with ferric sulphate. I do not want to start forging with the relatively large cards already in place...... I will try to dissolve them before starting the heavy forging. 45 minutes at a light orange heat...start forging from there and forge to 700 C..( or at least (1100 C )let the forged ingot cycle to 700 near black heat.

 

Photo on 12-22-23 at 1.06 PM.jpg

Photo on 12-22-23 at 1.13 PM.jpg

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And now there are 6 remaining. I cut the 3 remaining ingots in half and only #4 has what May  be a shrinkage cavity…I do not think it will be a problem in the end. Will be getting back to this again in about a week. Meanwhile I will continue with solid fuel and judging colors.  

 

Edit,  I will continue testing charcoal...coke would work well if I set up an indirect heating method ...which I do not want to get into right now.

IMG_3575.jpeg

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Built a gas forge today ……forged some of of the halves, a little crack here and there. Overall it is going well. #4 is being held out until I am sure it is going well. Thermocouple color looks quite yellow at 1045 C….I am confused, and went with the readout.

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