Previously, professional blacksmiths only used iron for simple jobs. With the rise of metallurgy, waterlogging made it possible to obtain an iron of excellent quality.
Everything you need to know about flooded iron?
The specificities of flooded iron
Puddling comes from the English verb “puddle”, which means to prepare beer. Ironmaking is a process to purify cast iron that involves decarburization. It is a method that consists of reducing the rate of carbon in the metal. Flooded iron differs from the others due to its mechanical properties.
It is the only high performance steel material that adapts to a tall structure. It effectively resists corrosion and is more rigid. Since it has undergone a puddle treatment, the carbon content of a flooded iron is very low.
Puddle of iron: how does it work?
Flooded iron has very little carbon. It was Henry Cort who invented the puddle of iron method in 1784. It consists of refining the cast iron that is used to remove impurities.
To get the iron flooded, the first thing to do is decarburize the iron by stirring. Therefore, the puddle must stir the cast iron in a state of fusion with a long hook called cheesy. Collect gray and siliceous cast iron in the blast charcoal furnace.
During the puddling process, it should be noted that the carbon is not completely removed. There are still some particles in the iron. This will turn into slag shaped steel.
To get rid of it, the puddle must continue to hammer and roll. Compared to cast steel, puddled iron contains little dissolved carbon.
The puddle on a griddle is made with a puddle oven, also called a reverberator. It consists of a hearth provided with an opening to pass the cheesy, a chimney with a lid, a hearth and a separation between the hearth and the hearth.
The first uses of flooded iron
With the industrial revolution, the use of flooded iron gained momentum. Metalworking professionals have resorted to using the latter for more colossal constructions.
It was the Coalbrookdale Bridge, which was the first bridge built with flooded iron in 1779. It was also with flooded iron that the engineer Gustave Eiffel built the Paris Symphony Tower.
Does puddled iron corrode?
Corrosion is a natural phenomenon that can affect all metals. It is the two chemical elements, namely carbons, oxides and sulfides, that form corrosion. To ensure the durability of the Eiffel Tower, the engineer Gustave Eiffel opted for a specific anti-corrosion paint to maintain its useful life. During their treatment, the puddles applied a coat of linseed oil paint.
In 2001, a coat of lead-free paint was applied to the Tower to protect it from corrosive agents.