Wrought Iron

Detail of an axe blade by Dan Maragni (1980)

This body of this axe head was made by forging a bar of wrought iron to shape and the pattern revealed by subsequent acid etching. (The steel cutting edge seen to the right was welded in place). Wrought iron contains silica strands as a result of the manufacturing process. In the processes of fabricating the wrought iron into the semifinished forms supplied by the manufacturer, whether by hammering or rolling, a grain structure arises as the impurities move along with the metal. Etching or corrosion will disclose this grain. Analogous to what is seen in sections of wood, a plane cut or ground parallel to the grain structure will show a straight pattern, curved cuts across the grain will show a curved wood grain-like pattern and cuts perpendicular to the grain structure will show an end grain pattern. Analogous curved contour patterns may be seen from a distance in eroded rocky outcroppings.

Mountainous outcropping in the Moroccan Sahara

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19 April 1998 ~ v1.1 ~ Copyright © 1998 by Lee A. Jones
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