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9028Re: [NTO] Kitchen English - or metallurgy

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  • Axel Berger
    Jan 29, 2011
      loro wrote:
      > Are black iron and mild steel the same thing, some
      > kind of carbon steel?

      I'd say yes. I too am not familiar with the English terms here, I did my
      matarials science in German, but from what I could find, black iron
      ought to be another term for wrought iron, which should be much more
      corrosion resistant than cheap mild steel.
      Alas, since the advent of blast furnaces you'll only find true wrought
      iron in archaeological digs. The terms are not logical for historical
      reasons. Before furnaces reached the melting temperature, their raw
      product from ore was nearly pure iron with slag inclusions to be
      hammered out and you had to do a lot of heating in the coal fire to get
      some carbon in.
      Nowadays "iron" refers to the eutectic (lowest melting point) liquid raw
      product from the furnace, an alloy of more than three percent carbon in
      iron, from which cast iron products used to be made. Brittle, not very
      strong, but rust resistant and good wear characteristics.
      From that you make steel by expelling the carbon. Mild steel is lowest
      in carbon. Easy to work, can't be hardened and rusts most easily.
      (Nearly) pure iron would nowadays be called mild steel too.
      Good pots and pans tend to be made of highly alloyed rust resistant
      steel, typically with a copper bottom soldered on outside (which will
      fall of, if you forget the empty pot on the fire). The ones in your link
      are cheap and lightweight, but I can see no disadvantage in using better
      quality from Sweden.

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