Report on samples of steel from the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge.
Specimens of steel taken from the traditional “Su Kang” co-fusion steel factory at Pei- phei near Chungking in 1958 were studied.There are 3 ingots of approximately 25mm square cross-section.The UPPER ingot shows a grey fracture with a dark circle within the square section at both ends of the ingot. A sample was detached from the edge (labelled UE) andanother from the centre (labelled UC).The MIDDLE ingot shows a grey fracture with an irregular surface at one end. Asample was detached from the edge (labelled ME) and another from the centre of theirregular end (labelled MC).The LOWER ingot shows a grey fracture at both ends of the ingot. A sample wasdetached from the edge (labelled LE) and another from the centre (labelled LC).All 6 specimens were detached with a jeweller’s saw, and then embedded in epoxyresin for polishing down to 1 micron in the usual way for metallography. After etching to remove the topmost layer of atoms, the microstructures were revealed, andfound to be as follows:
UE – areas of pearlite, other carbides and ferrite in varying proportions. There arenumerous slag inclusions and cavities. The carbon content varies between around0.1% and 0.6%.The microhardness (Vickers, 100g) ranges from 228 to 272; average = 247 VPH.(scale bar = 50 microns)