AccountSign In

©1997-2003 All Rights Reserved. Site Map. Corporate Profile. Contact Us. Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. Protect Our EnvironmentThis site is powered by Linux
[myIMI][News][Prices][Statistics][Trading][Tenders][Jobs][Shop][Utilities][Users][Portal]Home[About Us]Help

Search News Archives


Industry Insights :
 Non-Ferrous Metals  Iron & Steel  Ferro Alloys  Minerals & Mining  Precious Metals  Recycling  Commodities

Iron & Steel

 A Historical Perspective

[ Image : Iron Pillar at New Delhi, India ]
Iron Pillar (New Delhi, India)
During the Classical Age, India also perfected the Art of Iron Making. The famous Iron Pillar of the late 4th and early 5th centuries AD, which is seven metres high and weighs over six tonnes, now stands serene near Qutab Minar, Delhi, having amazingly withstood the ravages of time and clime, remaining rust-free for over 1,500 years. Essentially made of wrought iron (99.7 per cent iron) and forge-welded out of iron blocks of appropriate sizes, the Pillar has 0.144 per cent of Phosphorus that aids anti-corrosion and contains no Manganese and only negligible Sulphur, the composites that would cause corrosion. This technique was not short-lived either. In the 111th century, a much larger Iron pillar was Forge-Welded and now lies free of rust in two or three pieces at Dhar in Central India. In the 13th century, several iron Beams & Pillars were fabricated for use in constructing the temples at Puri and Konark in Orissa. The Iron Pillar of Delhi, however, remains unparallelled. Even in 1881, British economic geologist V.Ball recorded:

It is not many years since the production of such a pillar would have been an impossibility in the largest foundries of the world, and even now there are comparatively few places where a similar mass of metal could be turned out.

[ Image : Detail of Dagger Made from Wootz Steel ]
Dagger blade made of Wootz Steel. (Rajasthan, India)
An equally remarkable micro-technology, namely, the production of High quality Steel now known as Wootz Steel (an Iron-Carbon alloy with 1.3 to 1.6 per cent Carbon was also in use). This production technique was particularly prevalent in South India and emerged as an accomplished Metallurgical technique by about the 6th century, after which Indian Steel was sought after for the production of what was termed the Damascus sword in West Asia, around the 10th century AD. Metallurgists in the Universities of Stanford and Iowa State (USA) have investigated Wootz steel with a view to reproducing the ancient Indian process. The former have even patented a process for the production of Utah-High-Carbon steel (1.3 to 1.6 per cent carbon ) that could be used for certain automobile and aeroplane components.