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From the beginning of the Iron Age until at least the middle of the 13th century, the bloomery furnace was the only method of extracting iron. There were bloomery ovens in different sizes and shapes. All bloomery furnaces have in common that the reduced iron in them, unlike in a modern blast furnace, never became liquid. Rather, a reduction process takes place in which the iron oxide is converted from the iron ore into iron. The iron particles obtained in this way, however, remain in a "dough-like" state and combine in the lower part of the oven to form a kind of sponge iron, the so-called bloom. The other constituents of the iron ore, in particular the silicates, melt completely and form the slag.
I smelted this bloomery iron from North German bog iron ore. In principle, bog iron ore has a high phosphorus content, which is alloyed to the iron when it is smelted. Phosphorus makes iron extremely coarse-grained and cold-brittle. Therefore this iron is not suitable for making cutting edges.
Historically, the bloomery iron made from bog iron ore is nevertheless of great importance. In many parts of Europe, only bog iron ores with a high phosphorus content were available and high-quality steel had to be purchased from other regions at a high price. That is why forging techniques and tool constructions have developed that have made it possible to save valuable steel. Blades with a welded edge or 3-layer constructions have their origin in the saving of high-quality steel. Phosphorus bloomery iron was also used for the production of historical "Damascus steel". In combination with low-phosphorus bloomery iron or steel, the phosphor-containing iron draws very brightly. For the famous "wurmbunten" swords of the Merovingian era, for example, a multi-bar damascus steel was forged from a combination of low-phosphorus and phosphorus-containing bloomery irons. A cutting edge made of high-quality bloomery steel was welded all around.
The pieces offered here are compact with few inclusions and low slag content. The iron is not hardenable and has a high phosphorus content between 1.0 and 2.0%.
Since collecting and processing the bog iron ore is more complex, I am selling the iron at a price of 140.00 euros net per kg of raw bloom. The actual price depends on the weight of the respective pieces. If you click on the product variants, photos and weights of the respective available pieces will be displayed.
Warning: Bloomery iron and steel are not directly suitable for the production of tools and blades. Before that, it has to be cleaned and homogenized through a forging process, i.e. refining. This forging process requires some experience in processing bloomery iron and steel. Depending on the degree of refinement, a material loss of 40-70% can be expected.