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July 21st, 2005 - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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July 21st, 2005

Smelting Failure [Jul. 21st, 2005|06:23 pm]
Doug Ayen
First off, a big "thank you" to everyone who attended. And thank you for all the charcoal, we now have enough to troubleshoot what went wrong and do a couple of test smelts before we try do do a large scale burn again.

For those who couldn't make it or stick around, the smelting didn't turn out as I'd hoped.

People had a good time, we burnt a good amount of charcoal, but only got a few small drips of iron.

I suspect that the problem lies not so much in the changes to the design, but that we kept having blower failures throughout the day, which resulted in a slag cap forming over the tuyeres. I also probably was too conservative with the air pressure/flow -- I wanted to avoid burning through the refractory this time, a goal I succeeded in.

I'm going to rebuild the blower and tuyere assembly to be a bit more secure (we had several instances of the blower or tuyere falling off), and also incorporate a shut off valve on the pipe feeding the tuyeres both to control airflow and to prevent the flashbacks we were getting through the current setup. I will also rig up a flowmeter and see if I can get a thermocouple somewhere useful to measure the chamber temperature with.

The burn chamber survived with some slag still attached to the walls of the chamber that I'll have to break off before doing any trial runs, but otherwise is in good shape. The new methodology of sealing between the chambers worked beautifully -- no burn throughs, no damage to the shells, much better than last time.

We'll have to do this again later on -- probably on a cooler day in the fall.

Some of the photos of the event are at:

(This is the blackanvil yahoo group, you'll have to be a member to view, sorry.)

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