As reported on the University of Leicester web site, a team from the University’s Archaeological Services (ULAS) has located a unique collection of metal artifacts at Glenfield Park, Leicestershire, including 11 complete, or near complete, Iron Age cauldrons, fine ring-headed dress pins, an involuted brooch and a cast copper alloy ‘horn-cap,’ which may have been part of a ceremonial staff. The team says the collection is unprecedented in terms of the overall mix of findings, with the cauldrons highlighting the role of the settlement as a potential host site for feasting. Project results to date are published in the current issue of British Archaeology magazine.
The Iron Age followed the Bronze Age and marks a time when iron became the most common toolmaking material. According to an article on Live Science, iron is believed to have been discovered by accident in western Africa and southwestern Asia sometime around 1500 B.C. Iron reached Europe 500 years later, where more efficient iron farming tools, such as sickles and plough tips, replaced bronze and stone tools. Little changed from the early Iron Age until the early 20th-century and the Industrial Revolution. Although iron became critically important to the new factories and their machinery, wrought iron lacked strength, which eventually lead to the creation of steel, an alloy made mostly of iron and some carbon or other metals. Steel was mass-produced for the first time in the late 1800s.
Today, with its strength and flexibility, steel is an essential material for our modern lives. Steel is the ideal material for industrial and consumer applications, from the buildings we live in, to the cars we drive, to the containers that hold and transport our food. It can be recycled over and over again, reducing landfill waste and saving energy.
With the ever-growing concern for efficiency and sustainability, steel producers strive to provide quality strip in a manner that maximizes mill yield and minimizes scrap material while meeting stringent customer specifications for thickness, width, hardness, and strength. An excellent way to accomplish this is by processing the material through a cold rolling mill. Cold rolling is a process in which a sheet of metal is pressed through a pair of rolls to reduce thickness, increase strength and improve surface finish.
Modern cold rolling mills are able to achieve high speed production of sheet steel that meets a variety of requirements for thickness and uniformity with the help of an x-ray thickness gauge. Thickness gauges detect and correct deviations in thickness in real-time to achieve high quality steel strip.
Read Optimization of a Cold Rolling Mill with a High Speed X-ray Thickness Gauge to better understand the role of the thickness gauge in a mill, learn about the standards to which all gauging systems should be held, and to see how a modern high speed X-ray thickness gauge can be used as a tool to optimize a cold rolling mill.