30 November 2017

Ferrous Metals in Historic Structures

Organised by:

SCI's Construction Materials Group

 

London, UK

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Synopsis

Meteoric iron was discovered and utilised well before 3000 BC but the Iron Age proper began around 1200 BC to 600 BC when sufficiently hot furnaces were developed for large-scale smelting of iron ore. Early on this produced a solid lump of almost pure iron with some entrapped slag and charcoal known as a bloom. This was worked (wrought) into a useable shape by heating to red heat and hammering. If too much charcoal is used, iron carbon alloys can be formed, which have lower melting points and can be cast into simple shapes. This cast iron is more brittle and, in the early Iron Age, seems to have been exploited only by the Chinese. Steel seems to have been first produced in western Persia by combining wrought iron with charcoal; they appear to have been making good steel by 1000 BC. Improved versions were developed over the next millennium and a half but the methodology was specialised and so steel did not become a major commodity until the 1850s. In the late 1850s, Henry Bessemer invented a new steelmaking process, involving blowing air through molten pig iron, to produce mild steel. This made steel much more economical, thereby leading to wrought iron no longer being produced in large quantities.

The morning session of this seminar introduces the chemical and microstructural properties of iron and steel and shows how these result in the physical properties that have made them such important structural materials over the years. There are durability issues, however, and the consequent investigation and testing will also be discussed. The afternoon session will be dedicated to a case study of Ditherington Flax Mill covering this important monument’s history, development, renovation, and future.


Programme
  • Historical Context of Iron and Steel Production and Usage
  • Properties of Structural Iron & Steel
  • Use of Iron and Steel in Construction
  • Structural Iron and Steel Durability, Investigation and Testing
  • Case Study: Ditherington Flax Mill
    • History - first iron frame structure; construction of flax mill complex; conversion to maltings; closure
    • Condition assessments after decades of neglect
    • Resurrection - the future

Venue and Contact

SCI

SCI
14/15 Belgrave Square
London 
SW1X 8PS

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org


Fees

Early bird fees before Friday 20 October2017

GB£20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT Member 
GB£15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT Student Member
GB£15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT Subsidised Member
GB£30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Non-Member

Standard fees after Friday 20 October 2017

GB£30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT Member 
GB£20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT Student Member
GB£20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT Subsidised Member
GB£45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Non-Member

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