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image of Journal of East Asian Archaeology

This article reviews the technical aspects of the production of very large iron castings in pre-modern China. Among the matters taken up are: the piece-moulding technique and the amelioration of the flash-lines which are unavoidable when this technique is used with white cast iron; the use of sulphur in producing better detail in the castings, and the effect of sulphur on the sound-quality of cast-iron bells; the use of wrought-iron reinforcement and stage-casting in the enormous Cangzhou Lion; the special problems involved in casting iron artillery; and the riddle of the lack of corrosion on many of the pre-modern monumental iron castings. The corrosion-resistance of the ancient iron castings may be related to their very low silicon content.


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