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Sergey Venezky
STORIES ON METALS

IRON

GREAT WORKER

Is there a risk of iron starvation? - Love requires sacrifice. - Eat sawdust. - Set in gold. - Difficulties of the Pharaoh. - On a rainy day. - Grow if nails on trees? - Crystal dream natives. - The feast of king Solomon. - Water offers redemption. - "Heavenly stone". - With facts not argue. - The African giant. - Crater in the Arizona desert. - Bronze age deals powers. - Long before the Pithecanthropus? - "Magic" wand. - Why danced arrows? - Fruitless search. - Demidov sends the chase. - The miracle ship. - The Eifel and the skeptics. - The Temple Of The Sun. - Make a wish. - "Leather" steel. - Don't blame the hardware. Is it time to retire? - Lunar steel. - As if nothing had happened. - The Atomium in Brussels.

In 1910 took place in Stockholm international geological Congress. One of the major problems faced by scientists, was the issue of the fight with iron starvation. A special Commission, which was supposed to calculate the global reserves of iron, gave the Congress the balance of the earth's reserves of this metal. On conclusion of the large specialists, a complete depletion of iron ore had to come over 60 years, i.e. by 1970.

Fortunately, scientists are bad oracles, and facing the world today it is not necessary to restrict ourselves to the consumption of iron. Well, what would happen if their prophecy came true and iron ore was exhausted? What would have happened, if at all iron has disappeared and on our planet there was not a single gram of this element?

"...On the streets would stand the horror of destruction: no rails, no cars, no trains, no cars... would not be found, even the stones would turn into clay dust, and the plants began to wither and to die without life-giving metal.

The destruction of the hurricane would pass throughout the Land, and the destruction of mankind became inevitable.

However - people would die before this moment, for, having lost three grams of iron in their body and blood, he would have ceased to exist before the unfolded would be drawn events. To lose all the iron - five thousandths percent of its weight - it would be his death!"

Needless to say, a "happy" picture drew a remarkable Soviet mineralogist academician A.E. Fersman, wanting to show the huge role it plays in our lives iron. Not whether it's on Earth could not exist nothing is alive: in fact, this chemical element is in the blood of all the animals of our planet. Ferrous iron is found in hemoglobin, the substance that provides oxygen to the tissues of living organisms. It is iron blood owes its red color.

For the first time the iron in human blood, scientists have discovered in the last century. Tell that one passionate student chemist, learning about it, decided to give the darling of your heart ring made of iron of his own blood. Periodically releasing the blood, the young man received the connection, which then chemically, he singled out the iron. The poor man died from anemia, and not collecting iron, necessary for the production of rings: because the total amount of this element in human blood is only a few grams.

When you lack iron man begins to get tired, experiencing headaches, you receive a bad mood. Back in the old days were known recipes of various "hard" drugs. In 1783, "Economic journal wrote: "In some cases, and the iron is very good medicine, and received the benefit naimelchayshy thereof, sawdust, or just, or subsaharienne". In the same article are recommended and other drugs: "iron snow", "iron water", "steel wine" ("sour grape wine, as, for example, hock, infused with iron filings, you get iron or steel wine together a very good medicine").

Iron nails as medicine?of Course, in the second half of the twentieth century, patients did not have to swallow iron filings, but numerous compounds of iron are widely used in modern medicine. Rich in iron and some mineral water. The story tells how was the first in Russia source ferruginous waters. In 1714 working CenterStage smelter in Karelia Ivan Reboev, "suffering from heart pain and almost dragged his feet, saw one on glandular swamp near lake Ladoga source and began to drink its water. "Drank for three days in a row and were healed." This became known to Peter I, and soon after his orders were made public Announcements about Marcial waters, on the Olonets", named after Mars the God of war and iron. The king together with family not once came to these lands and drink the healing water.

In the periodic table of elements, it is difficult to find another metal, which would have been so inseparably connected with the history of civilization. In ancient times some people iron valued more than gold. Only nobles could adorn themselves products of iron, often in gold. In Ancient Rome, of iron produced even wedding rings. Homer tells us in the Iliad about how the hero of the Trojan war, Achilles was awarded the disk of iron bloom winner of the competition of the discus. In Egyptian tombs, along with other values, it was found necklace, in which the iron beads interspersed with gold.

Extant documents tell that one of the Egyptian pharaohs appealed to the king of the Hittites, which was famous in the middle of the second Millennium B.C. by the success of their genestelle, with a request to send him the iron in exchange for any amount of gold. According to Pharaoh, he had as much gold as sand in the desert. But with iron he obviously had serious problems. During the excavations at Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria, in the Palace of a mighty king Sargon II, who ruled in the late eighth century BC, archaeologists have discovered a real iron treasure: special room was kept about 200 tons of various steel products (helmets, peel, forge guns etc) and raw bloom of this metal, which Thrifty king must be stashed away for a rainy day.

With the development of metallurgy, this metal has become more and more necessary. However, until relatively recently, many backward people had no iron no idea.

The diaries of the famous English Explorer of the eighteenth century James cook contain a lot of funny stories, protagonists of whom were natives of the Pacific Islands. Once cook presented them as a gift to a handful of iron nails. Apparently, before the natives did not have to use these strange metal objects and so they are puzzled twirled them in his hands. Attempts to explain the islanders appointment nails to nothing lead.

Helped high priest, considered, must be a major specialist for any questions. Important as he spoke some wise thoughts, and his people immediately began to dig nails into the ground. Now came the surprised guests. Seeing their confusion, the natives signs explained white aliens that were planted in the land of iron sticks will soon grow trees like banana, will be hung bundles of nails. Gathering a rich harvest of metal "fruit", a tribe with their help, will be able to defeat all his enemies.

But many of the inhabitants of the Polynesian Islands had already by that time to appreciate iron: "...Nothing is more attracted to itself the visitors of our courts, as this metal; iron has always been the most desirable, the most precious commodity", - recalled later cook. One of his sailors managed for a rusty nail to get a whole pig. Another time a few old unwanted knives islanders gave the sailors so many fish that it has sufficed for many days for the whole crew.

One of the most honorable professions at all times was considered the profession of a blacksmith. An old legend, numbering about three thousand years, tells the story of the event.

When finished the building of the temple in Jerusalem, king Solomon held a feast to which he invited and artisans who took part in ambitious construction. The assembled guests was prepared to enjoy the food, when suddenly the king asked:

- Well, who is of the builders of the home? Who made the largest contribution to the creation of this wonderful temple?

Rose Mason:

Of course, the temple is our handiwork, and two opinions here can not be. We, masons, laid out his brick to brick. Look how solid walls, arches, vaults. Century stand it for the glory of king Solomon.

- No doubt, the Foundation of the temple of stone, " said the carpenter, " but judge for yourself, dear guests, it would be this temple, if I and my colleagues did not bother sweat. It would be nice to look at the bare walls, not OTDELA we mahogany Yes Lebanese cedar? And our parquet of the best breeds of boxwood as he pleases the eye? We, carpenters, can rightly consider themselves the true creators of this fabulous Palace.

- Look at the root, " interrupted digger, " I'd like to know how these bouncers (he nodded in the direction of the Mason and the carpenter) built the temple, if we had not dug a pit for the Foundation. Yes your walls along with finish would be dissipated from the first gust of wind, like a house of cards!

But king Solomon was not without reason called the wise. Called to himself a Mason, he asked:

Who did your tool?

Of course, blacksmith, " said a surprised Mason.

- Well, yours? - the king turned to the carpenter.

- Who else but the man, ' without hesitation, he said.

"Your shovel and pickaxe? asked Solomon at digger.

"You know, king, that they could only do Smith, " was the answer.

Then king Solomon stood up, walked over to the modest smoky man is and was a blacksmith. The king brought him to the middle of the hall.

- That's what the chief Builder of the temple, " cried the wisest of kings. With these words he placed the blacksmith next to him on brocade cushions and brought him a glass of good wine.

The most important profession in ancient times - the blacksmith

This is the legend. We can't vouch for the authenticity of the events described, but, be that as it may, in the legend reflect the great respect which has always enjoyed people, mining and processing of iron, and the great value that people in ancient times gave the metal.

Oriental legend in tune with the old Austrian tradition of the Erzgebirge mountain in Styria, where for many centuries produced is rich in iron ore. Once in the network to the fishermen fishing in the local lake, caught the water. For his release, he promised a substantial ransom: gold for one year, silver for ten years or iron - forever. Local residents without hesitation chose the iron.

The first iron trapped in ancient times in the hands of man, was, apparently, not earthly and cosmic origin: iron was part of the meteorites falling on our planet. Not by chance in some ancient languages iron referred to as the "heavenly stone". At the same time, even many scientists in the late eighteenth century did not allow the idea that the universe can "equip" the Land of iron. In 1751, near the German town of Wagram was hit by a meteor. Forty years later, one of the Viennese professors wrote about this event: "you Can imagine that in 1751 even the most educated people in Germany could believe in falling piece of iron from the sky, how weak were their knowledge in the natural Sciences... But in our time it is unforgivable to feel like a fairy tale".

The same view is taken and the famous French chemist Lavoisier, who in 1772 agree with the opinion of some of my colleagues that "the fall of stones from the sky is physically impossible. In 1790 the French Academy of Sciences even adopted a special decision: continue not to consider reports of falling rocks on the Earth, because scholars was obvious absurdity of the stories about heavenly aliens. But unaware of the terrible decision of the French academicians meteorites continued often to visit our planet and thereby embarrass the rest of the luminaries of science. Evidence is accumulated, more and more, and the facts as we know, are stubborn, and in 1803 the French Academy of Sciences (nothing happens!) was forced to recognize the "heavenly stone" - now they were allowed to fall to the Ground.

On the surface of the globe annually drop out thousands and thousands of tons of meteoric matter, containing up to 90% of iron. The largest iron meteorite was found in 1920 in the South-Western part of Africa. This meteorite "gob", weighing about 60 tons. In 1895, the famous American polar Explorer Robert Peary found in the ice of Greenland iron meteorite weighing 34 tons. Enormous difficulties finding was delivered in new York, where he kept still.

But history knows cases when the dimensions of the cosmic Wanderers, et on its way the Earth was much greater. At the end of the last century in the Arizona desert was discovered a huge crater with a diameter of 1200 meters and a depth of 175 metres. It formed a giant iron meteorite that crashed here in prehistoric times. Americans showed the meteorite of great interest, which is also fueled by rumors as if in fragments of the meteorite found diamonds and platinum. It was even set up a joint company by use of a meteorite in the industrial purposes. However, to profit on the heavenly gift was not easy: drill broke as soon as he reached the main mass of the meteorite, lying at a depth of 420 metres, and meteor businessmen, not found in the samples of the drilled rock is nothing particularly interesting, turned their work. According to scientists, Arizona meteorite weighed several tens of thousands of tons. Maybe someday metallurgists again interested in them.

Meteoric iron is relatively easily processed, and people began to produce from it the simplest instruments. But, alas, meteorites do not fall under the order, and the need for iron was constant, so people wanted to learn how to extract it from the ore. And now came the time when man was able to use not only the heavenly iron, and your earth. Replaced the bronze age came the age of iron.

This happened about three thousand years ago. However, historians are faced with occasional mention of the amazing facts that, if only they are reliable, suggests that our civilization may have been the predecessor, which has reached a high level of material culture and history of the iron. In the literature, for example, a message is encountered, though in the sixteenth century the Spaniards set foot on the land of South America, found in silver mines of Peru iron nail with a length of about 18 inches. Mysterious nailFind hardly would have aroused interest, if not for one fact: a large part of the nail was firmly embedded in the piece of rock, and this could only be done by nature itself, and, therefore, he had lain in the earth many tens of thousands of years. One time this mysterious nail if kept in the office of the Viceroy of Peru, Francisco de Toledo, which is usually showed his guests.

Known records and other similar findings. So, in Australia, in coal seams belonging to the tertiary period, was allegedly found an iron meteorite with traces of processing. But who could handle it in the tertiary period, which is removed from our time on tens of millions of years? Even such ancient fossils of human ancestors, as Pithecanthropus, lived much later - some 500 thousand years ago.

Where are they now, these nail and a meteorite? Because modern materials analysis would at least to some extent, to shed light on their nature and age, and thus to expose their secret. Unfortunately, no one knows. And were they really?

Iron is one of the most common elements: the earth's crust contains about 5 % of iron. However, only about fortieth part of the reserves of this metal is concentrated in the form of deposits that are suitable for development. The main ore minerals of iron - magnetite, hematite, brown hematite, siderite. Magnetite contains up to 72% of iron and, as its name clearly indicates, possesses magnetic properties. Hematite or haematite, contains up to 70 % of iron; the name of the mineral comes from the Greek word "heme" - blood. The word "iron" has occurred, as some scientists believe, from the Sanskrit word "Galia" - metal, ore. Others believe that the basis of the Russian name of the element lies Sanskrit root "gel", meaning "to Shine", "to burn".

Curious technique of finding iron ore in ancient times. For this purpose, we used the ' magic ' vine - light rod nut with a fork on the end. Rudoiskatel took the vine for horns, clenched his hands into fists and started down the road. This required strictly comply with search engine technology instruction, which guarantee a successful search only if the fingers of the ancient geologist all were turned to the sky. Apparently, all the failures then radically (and failures, unfortunately, was much more than luck) and was due to a violation of the "technology" of the search. If were all prerequisites have been met, in that moment, when the seeker came to the iron core, the vine was immediately lowered, indicating where the ore.

Search iron with vinesin those days, many people understood how such primitive methods. Famous XVI century German scientist Georg Agricola wrote: "a Real miner, in which we want to see a thorough and serious person, will not use a magic wand for a little bit well-versed in the nature of things and a reasonable person understands that this plug him in this case, no benefit will bring, but what it has at its disposal the natural characteristics of the ore, which he must be guided". However, many years later, the search for ore, for example, in the Urals, were often conducted with the help of vines.

In our days, the geologists are armed with more sophisticated devices, with which they felt the whole planet inside and out. It would seem that it has no geological "white spots". And yet nature can do and gives people new deposits of iron and other minerals.

In Brazil, for example, there is a mountain massif Carajás. More recently, this region, representing almost impassable thickets of tropical forests, attracted little attention. But once here flew a small plane, pressed against the earth, dense low clouds. Suddenly in the motor appeared interruptions and the pilot decided to land on one of the clearings in the forest green carpet. The plane went into decline, as suddenly arrows magnetic devices arranged dashing Perales. The pilot managed to safely land the machine. About the incident became known to the geologists, who soon reveals the secret of "events" on the dashboard. It was found that the depths of the Carajás - giant storeroom of iron, from which arrows Aviapribor and were confused.

But let's come back to several centuries ago. Moscow state began to experience a greater need for iron in the XVII century. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was fitted out an expedition for the expedition for the discovery of new deposits of iron ore. Radically had to know, "where some ore will be", to determine "how much belief is, and how lies, and love if she could be strong". But the search proved fruitless. In the first years of his reign Peter 1 issued a decree: "Search every cast and wrought iron multiplication... and try to get the Russian people the skills have been studied, so it's in the Muscovite state was firmly". And for those who would try to hide ore found was intended to "cruel anger, emergency corporal punishment and the death penalty".

Soon from the Urals, it was reported that the High mountains found rich deposits of magnetic stone": "...Among the mountains of the umbilical cord clean the magnet, and the range of dark forests and mountains of stone..." Sent to Moscow ore samples have been highly appreciated by specialists, and the king ordered to proceed immediately with the construction of metallurgical plants. The largest of the Ural - Nevyansk - Peter the great in 1702 gave Tula Smith and relatoseroticos Nikita Demidovich Antufiev (who later became the name Demidov), putting before him the task to ensure that Russia stopped the importation of iron from abroad. The plant was supposed to produce "cannons, mortars, fusee, swords, sabers, cutlasses, broadswords, spears, armor, Shishaki, wire".

Nikita Demidov, and later his son Akinfiy did much for the development of the domestic steel industry. Ural iron were highly valued on the international market. "Demidov iron "old Russian sable" (On signature mark Demidov plants was shown running Sobol)wrote in the middle of the last century, the British newspaper the morning post," ...plays an important role in the history of our national industry; for the first time it was imported to the UK for processing into steel at the beginning of XVIII century, when staedelschule manufacture our barely begun to develop. Demidov iron contributed a lot to the base of the celebrities Sheffield products".

In 1735 Vogul Stepan Jumpin found in the Ural mountains, soon received the name of Grace, a major piece of magnetic iron ore and showed his mountain equipment Yartsevo. He became interested in the discovery, visited the field and rushed out a report in Yekaterinburg. When this was learned Akinfiy Demidov, who by that time already uncrowned king of the Urals, he immediately sent an armed pursuit, because we didn't want to re-open the huge iron ore riches became the property of the state Treasury, not his property. Yarcevo still managed to get away from the chase. Mining office issued the pioneers of the field prize, but soon Jumpin under mysterious circumstances, was killed. So Demidov took revenge on those who had been on their way to the treasures of gray subsoil of the Urals.

The end of XVIII and beginning of XIX century was marked by a real invasion of iron technique: 1778 - built the first iron bridge, 1788 - commissioning of the first water, made of iron, 1818 year launched the first vessel of iron. Here's what he wrote half a century later, in 1868, London "Sea collection": "Grinkot repaired now the world's first iron ship "Volcano", built in 1818. 50 years ago during his descent from the slipway people gathered from miles around to see the miracle really is a ship built of iron, able to tread water". Four years later, in 1822, between London and Paris cruised the first iron steamer. A major consumer of iron steel road, later named the iron. First the road was put into operation in England in 1825.

In 1889 in Paris was completed the construction of a lofty tower, created from iron great French engineer Gustave Eiffel. Many contemporaries Eiffel believed that this fishnet 300-metre structure will be unstable, unreliable. Arguing skeptics, the author of the project claimed that his offspring will last not less than a quarter of a century. But it's been almost a century, and the Eiffel tower, the symbol of Paris, still attracts many tourists. However, in the beginning of this century some foreign Newspapers reported, though the tower is thoroughly rusted and may collapse. But the study of the iron structures, conducted by French scientists and engineers, showed that this message was the usual newspaper "duck": metal, covered with a thick layer of paint was not going to rust.

And yet the danger of rust, like the sword of Damocles, hanging over the metal structures and products. Rust or corrosion, the terrible enemy of iron. Suffice it to say that only for a time, until you read this page of the book, the rust will destroy the world a thousand tons of steel and iron industrial iron alloys. That is why the problem of protection of the main metal from corrosion people interested in antiquity. In the writings of Greek historian Herodotus (fifth century BC) found mention of tin coatings that protect the iron from rust. In India for half a Millennium, there is a society for the prevention of corrosion. In the XIII century it was involved in the construction of konarka, on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, the temple of the Sun. Construction for centuries subjected to salty winds and sea moisture, already in ruins, but his iron fittings have been preserved in good condition. Should be, in those days, Indian artists were able to protect the metal from corrosion.

The same is evident in the famous iron pillar is one of the many attractions in the Indian capital. Here's what he wrote in his book "Discovery of India Jawaharlal Nehru: "Ancient India has achieved obvious success in the processing of iron. Near Delhi stands the huge iron pillar, baffling scientists today who can't determine the method of its manufacture, predohranenie iron from oxidation and other atmospheric phenomena."

The column was erected in 415, in honor of king Chandragupta II. Originally it was installed on the East front of one of the temples, and in 1050 king Ananga Sex brought her to Delhi. According to popular belief, those who will lean up against the column of her back and keeps her hands will be cherished desire. Since ancient times, flocked to her crowds wanting to get a bit of happiness. But did anyone of them happy?.. Weighs column about 6.5 tons. Its height is more than 7 meters, a diameter of 42 inches at the base and 30 inches at the top. Made it from almost pure iron (99,72 %), than, probably, explains its longevity: any other, less pure iron, undoubtedly, would have been for the past century in a rusty dust.

How could the ancient metallurgists to produce this wonderful column before which all the time? Some writers do not exclude that it was created on another planet, and brought her to us, the crew of a space ship that took her with him either as a pendant or as a gift to the inhabitants of the Earth. In other versions, the column forged from a large iron meteorite. And yet, perhaps, the right scientists who explain this fact is the high art of the ancient Indian metallurgy. India has long been famous worldwide for its steel products, and it is no coincidence that the Persians there was a saying In India steel to carry", which, similar to the Russian proverb "to Go to Tula with his samovar".

Today, ordinary stainless steel is no surprise. But recently in the United States issued a patent on transparent sheets of stainless steel. They are produced by electrochemical: between individual crystals are formed of tiny pores that make steel transparent.

In our days, the master of fire Affairs mastered smelting of metal for various purposes. What steel will not meet in the product mix of modern metallurgical plant! Stainless and high-speed, bearing and spring, magnetic and non-magnetic, heat-resistant and cold-resistant " can all become listed.

On one of the Belgian metallurgical plants operates a mill for rolling steel strip with a coating on its surface in various patterns. In this way, the steel sheet can be give the appearance of wood, leather, fabric and other materials. Sheet with a patterned surface already liked the automotive industry, the creators of household appliances, architects.

The demand for iron is high. Suffice it to say that by the end of the nineteenth century out of every 100 kilograms of metal consumed in industry, agriculture, household, 95 accounted for iron.

The construction of cities and the construction of new Railways, the launching of ocean liners and building a gigantic blast furnaces, the creation of powerful Synchrophasotron and space launch vehicles - all this is impossible without iron.

But this metal was not only the Creator is associated with many bloody pages of history of mankind. Billions of shells and bombs hit it on people in the first and second world wars. Iron was destroyed that for centuries man has made of iron using iron.

Iron is a veteran among metalsAlmost two millennia ago, the Roman writer and scientist Pliny the Elder wrote: "the Iron robocopy deliver the foremost man and slowrelease gun. For SIM tool progresive we land, planting shrubs, cultivated fertile gardens and obreza wild vine with grapes, pressed them every year to unity. SIM tool build houses, break the stones and used the iron on all such needs. But the same iron produced battle, battles and looting and used it not only near, but Medem inspired into the distance, from above, from the powerful hands, in the form of feathered arrows. Paracasei, according to my opinion, the trick of the human mind. For that death soon came upon man made her winged gland and attached feathers. Also for the sake of let there be wine ascribed to a person, not nature." Do not let us blame the iron in the sins of man...

In recent decades, the iron has a lot of rivals: aluminum, titanium, vanadium, beryllium, zirconium and other metals lead a massive attack on the position of the iron. But iron, despite explicitly pension age (more than five thousand years), is not going to leave from the scene. Academician A.E. Fersman wrote: "the Future for other metals, as iron, will occupy a place of honor old, honored, but waste their time material. But until then, the future is still far away... Iron as the base metal, machinery, Railways, shipbuilding, bridges, transport".

According to many scientists, the gradual depletion of the earth's interior, sooner or later will lead to the need to start developing mineral and ore storage space. Academician SP. Korolev said, "Humanity is at times reminiscent of a subject, which, to be melted down furnace and heated, breaks down the walls of your own home instead of go into the forest and chop wood." Of course, obtained, for example, on the moon and delivered to our planet ton of iron ore, will be, frankly, cheap. But first ton of oil produced on new drilling well costs a lot of money, but thousand ton is much cheaper and a million and more. It will be the same over time, to reduce the space cost of iron ore. By the way, do I need to bring to Earth ore? Is it possible to extract the iron directly in space?

Developed many projects get lunar iron. One of them metal is assumed on the moon is not melting, and it is necessary to sublimate - to transfer from the solid to the gaseous state, and then to saturate the carbon and condensing on the cold surface of the endless conveyor. Settling on it, a pair of carburized iron will turn into steel whose properties deepest thanks to the vacuum prevailing at the surface of the moon, will be much higher than that of the earth began.

American experts have created a pilot plant for extraction of iron from lunar rocks. Using the sun's rays concentrated by parabolic mirrors, lunar soil will liquefy, and then the electrolysis, the energy for which will solar panels, will separate the metal from other components of the melt. According to scientists, this setup only with a Desk (provided, however, huge as a football field, solar panels) will be able daily to produce about a ton of iron.

When in 1970 the Soviet automatic station "Luna-16" brought to Earth samples of regolith - lunar soil surface. Academy of Sciences of the USSR requested the number of institutions carefully and thoroughly explore the precious nuggets of lunar material. Soon the regolith proved that the interest in him is justified: to the surprise of scientists, it contained tiny particles of pure iron, which failed to detect the slightest traces of oxidation. Yes, there was something to wonder: why on Earth the iron rusts. But the most surprising thing was that in terrestrial conditions, lunar iron were slow to oxidize. Days passed, weeks, months, and iron coming from cosmic distances, continued, like the noble metals, to preserve its pristine purity.

Several years passed, but the corrosion was not able to find the key to the mysterious gland. Nepristupnymi for oxygen was the iron particles of the samples obtained during this time on the surface of our satellite automatic station "Luna 20 and Luna 24", American manned spacecraft "Apollo". What is the secret of such a remarkable corrosion resistance?

To answer this question, we had to spend hundreds of meticulous experiments.

In terrestrial laboratories was created conditions similar to the moon, sophisticated equipment again and again tested the cosmic dust. To help scientists came a new method of analysis - x-ray electron spectroscopy, which give detailed information about the interactions between atoms in the thinnest surface layer of the substance, measured in hundredths and thousandths of a micron.

Mystery of the lunar iron was revealed: "to blame" for his tremendous corrosion resistance many times greater than the resistance created on Earth steels and alloys, was the solar wind - a stream of particles (electrons, protons), constantly emitted by the Sun into interplanetary space. At the bombardment of the moon, are not protected by the atmosphere, particles of the solar wind protons "snatch" from the surface of the moon substances oxygen and carry it to the Universe. And iron, freed from oxygen, finds against him such persistent "immunity"that continue not only on the moon is not subject to oxidation, but also in the earth's atmosphere confidently reflects the attack of corrosion. By the way, not only the iron, having experienced the beneficial effects of the solar wind becomes invulnerable against corrosion: the same abilities discovered by scientists from titanium, aluminum and silicon.

Solve the mystery of the lunar soil brought physicists and metallurgists on the idea to use open source phenomenon in "selfish" purposes: by way of ion bombardment of metal products to create on their surface not subject to oxidation "shell" of the ultrafine metal particles. In one of the laboratories was carried out an interesting experiment. On the stainless steel disc wrote the word "Moon" and criticized this inscription bombarded by the ion beam, and then put the disk in a pair of Aqua Regia. And what? A quarter of an hour the steel was covered with a layer of rust and only the Moon as if nothing had happened glowed with the same metallic sheen.

...In 1958 in Brussels over the territory of the world exhibition majestically towered extraordinary building the Atomium. Nine huge, with a diameter of 18 meters, metal balls as if hanging in the air: eight - vertex cube, ninth in the centre. It was a model of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The Atomium symbolized the greatness of iron - metal-worker, the main metal industry.

 

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