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Book II.
will be stiil more unsafe if it contains air-bubbles. The iron should be soft enough to be
slightly indented by a blow of a hammer on an edge of a casting. Castings are tested for
air-bubbles by ringing them with a hammer all over the surface. Iron becomes morfr
compact and sound by being cast under pressure; and hence cannon, pipes, columns, &c.,
are stronger when cast in a vertical than in a horizontal position, and stronger still when
provided with a head or additional length, whose weight serves to compress the mass of
iron in the mould below it. The air-bubbles ascend and collect in the head, which is
broken off when the casting is cool. Care should be taken not to cut or remove the skin
of a piece of cast iron at those points where the stress is intense. The most certain test
of the goodness of a piece of cast iron is by striking the edge with a hammer : if a slight
impression be made it denotes some degree of malleability, the iron is of a good quality,,
provided it be uniform
if fragments fly off, and no sensible indentation be made, the iron
will be h;ird and brittle. The difference between good and bad iron is shown mainly by
the breaking; good iron breaks like a piece of good fir timber; bad iron will break like
a carrot, it snaps in two.
2266. Malleable cast iron is made by embedding the castings to be made malleable in
the powder of red haematite. They are then raised to a bright red heat, which occupies
about twenty-four hours, maintained at that heat for a period varying from three to five
days, according to the size of the casting, and allowed to cool, which occupies about
twenty-four hours more. The oxygen of the haematite extracts part of the carbon from
the cast iron, which is thus converted into a sort of soft steel : and its tenacity, according
to experiments by Messrs. A. More and Son, becomes more than 48,000 lbs. per square
inch. (Rankine.) Steel is noticed in Book II. Chap. II.
226.5A-. For resisting fire, as in fireplaces, good strong cast iron is the best material.
The quality of breadth of design can be got by cast work better than by wrought work,
and each requires its own system of de-ign. The street railing, or screen to All Saints'
Church, Margaret Street, is considered a good specimen. It can be covered with fine
delicate ornamentation, as done by Mr. Philip Webb. The backs of old fireplaces are
generally fine specimens of cast work. There are also cast iron fire-dogs.
2266. Thefoundery of statues, which is among the most difficult of its branches, belongs
exclusively to the sculptor, and is usually carried on in bronze. The execution of the
bronze castings, made by the firm of Barbedienne of Paris, is attributed mainly, after the
skill of the modeller, to the fineness of the sand, which can only be obtained at Fontenay-
aux-Roses, in France. When new it is yellow in colour, but on account of its cost it is
mixed in well-ascertained proportions with the old sand, which has become black, the
mixture forming a good combination for the mould ; other sands are considered to have
two much silex in them, whereas the Fontenay sand 'has exactly the proportion necessary
for the fineness of the work.
22G6a. Ironmasters are, to some extent, averse to testing. A writer has been advised
to exhibit his knowledge of the subject by simply specifying
best merchantable iron,"
and if from inspection it was not found to be good it could be tested. Testing is about
the only means at the disposal of an engineer to obtain really what he wants. Work
tests mean, tapping plates with a hammer to ascertain if they are solid, in which case
each tap will produce a ringing sound ; also breaking the corner off a plate here and there,
of course before the plates are
and examining the punchings from the iron, for
the purpose of forming some idea of its quality. Those from Low Moor and some of the
Staffordshire brands will stand the punch without the slightest sign of cracking, whilst
hard, brittle iron will break up in all directions on the convex side of the punching,
tiood ordinary iron, such as ought to be used in girder work, will only show slight cracks,
all running with the fibre of the iron. (C. G. Smith, Wrought Iron Girder Work,
2266ft. Granting that it is advisable to carry out tests, and that these tests should be
realities and not mere forms, it is certainly advisable that some method of testing should
be substituted for the present plan of testing girders whole. At present, a certain per-
centage of the rolled joists or iither girders for a building are specified to be tested up
to loads equivalent to those given in
Shaw's Tables," which correspond to a maximum
stress of 6 tons per square inch in the material, and should return to their original forms
without permanent set ; and this deflection test is the only one carried out. But it is not
easy to measure a small permanent deflection, say
of an inch, with certainty on a
30-foot joist with such means as are commonly used in the yard, and so it cannot be very
rigidly enforced under ordinary circumstances. But it affords no clue to the properties
of the material used. It would be much more satisfactory, and probably not more
expensive or troublesome, if the tests specified were made more like those adopted by the
Registry societies. The temper test, for the architect's purpose, might be omitted. The
ultimate extension test is an indicationa rough indicationof the difficulty of the
niutal ;
we ought to know the maximum extension before the material begins to give way