Help with identifying Neuse River object

CloudKicker0

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Found this in the Neuse River. There was no discernible rust on the outside. It is magnetic and very heavy. Took it to a local scrap yard for some help with metal ID. Hoping for the best. Thank you for taking a look and help with your comments.
 

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Red-Coat

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Hi Cloudkicker. I got your mail drawing my attention to this post.

Unfortunately, this is not a meteorite. There are a number of reasons why it could not be, but the most glaringly obvious is the absence of nickel from the composition. All iron meteorites have the iron admixed with a significant percentage of nickel in the form of the Fe-Ni alloys kamacite, taenite or plessite.

Typically, the overall metallic composition of iron meteorites is in the region of 6-20% nickel, with most of the rest as iron. There may be cobalt in amounts up to about 2%, copper in amounts up to about 0.02%, plus traces of manganese and tin. Anything else will usually be in parts per million, or present as non-native compounds.

I think you have found some kind of industrial man-made product and probably slag from smelting. Native iron in significant amounts is an extremely rare occurrence in natural terrestrial rocks and almost exclusively found in the upper northern hemisphere: Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Greenland etc.
 
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CloudKicker0

CloudKicker0

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Hi Cloudkicker. I got your mail drawing my attention to this post.

Unfortunately, this is not a meteorite. There are a number of reasons why it could not be, but the most glaringly obvious is the absence of nickel from the composition. All iron meteorites have the iron admixed with a significant percentage of nickel in the form of the Fe-Ni alloys kamacite, taenite or plessite.

Typically, the overall metallic composition of iron meteorites is in the region of 6-20% nickel, with most of the rest as iron. There may be cobalt in amounts up to about 2%, copper in amounts up to about 0.02%, plus traces of manganese and tin. Anything else will usually be in parts per million, or present as non-native compounds.

I think you have found some kind of industrial man-made product and probably slag from smelting. Native iron in significant amounts is an extremely rare occurrence in natural terrestrial rocks and almost exclusively found in the upper northern hemisphere: Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Greenland etc.
 
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CloudKicker0

CloudKicker0

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Thanks for your reply Red-Coat.

Hopefully you or someone else can help with a few questions.

I’m not familiar with iron smelting. I think it has to do with melting. How does smelting explain the black shiny randomized crust on one side of the object, and the “intestine” form on the other side of the object?

Also being iron and pulled from the river this object had no rust on it. How so? I just took a toothbrush and water to it to remove a very small amount of loose debris.

Thanks again!
 
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CloudKicker0

CloudKicker0

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Thanks for your reply Red-Coat.

Hopefully you or someone else can help with a few questions.

I’m not familiar with iron smelting. I think it has to do with melting. How does smelting explain the black shiny randomized crust on one side of the object, and the “intestine” form on the other side of the object?

Also being iron and pulled from the river this object had no rust on it. How so? I just took a toothbrush and water to it to remove a very small amount of loose debris.

Thanks again!
I should have replaced the word above “crust” with “smooth texture “
 

Red-Coat

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I can’t comment on exactly why your material is like it is, but here are some basic principles to help you get your mind round what slag is.

It’s the generic term for the unwanted impurities from various furnace processes. It arises both during the initial smelting of metallic ores such as producing pig-irons from iron ores and the subsequent processes to convert pig-irons to steels (of various compositions).

Usually, carbon is used as a reducing agent to convert metallic oxides to native metal, together with limestone to aid the removal of silicates from the host rock. During conversion to steel, usually quicklime and magnesium carbonate are also added together with other agents which collectively serve to remove other impurities, protect the lining of the furnace, and condition the slag into a usable material (generally as aggregate for construction purposes) rather than just being a waste product. The impurities float to the top of the liquid metal and are then poured off to remove them… like this:

Slag Removal.gif


In the case of iron ores, typically around 290kg of slag is generated for every 1,000kg of pig iron produced; and up to 540kg of slag per 1,000kg of steel. The composition varies widely. It’s usually a mixture of metal oxides, metal sulphides and silicon dioxide but, since it’s poured off from the top of the molten material in the furnace, portions of it can be high in elemental metals all the way up to the same composition as the retained portion in the furnace.

The poured off slag may be air-cooled or water-cooled but water-quenching produces irregular lumps which can exhibit ropey or laminar flow lines from having been poured into the water in a molten state.

Regarding the lack of rusting, the presence of other metals (even in low quantities) can have a dramatic effect on the degree to which iron rusts. That’s how we make stainless steels for example. Stainless steel usually has at least 11% chromium as the ‘rust inhibitor’ but, these days, some stainless steels are produced using much lower levels of titanium with the added advantage of increased strength. The amount used is typically 0.25 – 0.6% which is not inconsistent with your reading of 0.27% titanium.

When titanium is added to steel, it can form small granules of titanium carbide which are stable and do not readily dissolve. They’re often present in the slag together with other particulate materials that have floated to the top.

PS: Welcome to Tnet.
 
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CloudKicker0

CloudKicker0

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I can’t comment on exactly why your material is like it is, but here are some basic principles to help you get your mind round what slag is.

It’s the generic term for the unwanted impurities from various furnace processes. It arises both during the initial smelting of metallic ores such as producing pig-irons from iron ores and the subsequent processes to convert pig-irons to steels (of various compositions).

Usually, carbon is used as a reducing agent to convert metallic oxides to native metal, together with limestone to aid the removal of silicates from the host rock. During conversion to steel, usually quicklime and magnesium carbonate are also added together with other agents which collectively serve to remove other impurities, protect the lining of the furnace, and condition the slag into a usable material (generally as aggregate for construction purposes) rather than just being a waste product. The impurities float to the top of the liquid metal and are then poured off to remove them… like this:

View attachment 2037121

In the case of iron ores, typically around 290kg of slag is generated for every 1,000kg of pig iron produced; and up to 540kg of slag per 1,000kg of steel. The composition varies widely. It’s usually a mixture of metal oxides, metal sulphides and silicon dioxide but, since it’s poured off from the top of the molten material in the furnace, portions of it can be high in elemental metals all the way up to the same composition as the retained portion in the furnace.

The poured off slag may be air-cooled or water-cooled but water-quenching produces irregular lumps which can exhibit ropey or laminar flow lines from having been poured into the water in a molten state.

Regarding the lack of rusting, the presence of other metals (even in low quantities) can have a dramatic effect on the degree to which iron rusts. That’s how we make stainless steels for example. Stainless steel usually has at least 11% chromium as the ‘rust inhibitor’ but, these days, some stainless steels are produced using much lower levels of titanium with the added advantage of increased strength. The amount used is typically 0.25 – 0.6% which is not inconsistent with your reading of 0.27% titanium.

When titanium is added to steel, it can form small granules of titanium carbide which are stable and do not readily dissolve. They’re often present in the slag together with other particulate materials that have floated to the top.

PS: Welcome to Tnet.
Thanks!
 
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CloudKicker0

CloudKicker0

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After sending pictures of the stone to a university, I asked if I could bring it in for a professor to examine it. I informed them that I was very flexible with my schedule (anytime). They declined my in-person request, however they told me that I could “drop off” the rock, and the Professor Emeritus would take a look at it when he had the chance.

The reply felt both promising and tricky.

I really want to be present when the stone is examined. Is there any way that a university could keep or permanently hold onto my object after I dropped it off? Is there any guarantee that I will get it back? If the rock is indeed compelling I want to stick with it.

Need some advice. My gut tells me just to find another university or professional service for further detailed analysis.
 

tamrock

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I can’t comment on exactly why your material is like it is, but here are some basic principles to help you get your mind round what slag is.

It’s the generic term for the unwanted impurities from various furnace processes. It arises both during the initial smelting of metallic ores such as producing pig-irons from iron ores and the subsequent processes to convert pig-irons to steels (of various compositions).

Usually, carbon is used as a reducing agent to convert metallic oxides to native metal, together with limestone to aid the removal of silicates from the host rock. During conversion to steel, usually quicklime and magnesium carbonate are also added together with other agents which collectively serve to remove other impurities, protect the lining of the furnace, and condition the slag into a usable material (generally as aggregate for construction purposes) rather than just being a waste product. The impurities float to the top of the liquid metal and are then poured off to remove them… like this:

View attachment 2037121

In the case of iron ores, typically around 290kg of slag is generated for every 1,000kg of pig iron produced; and up to 540kg of slag per 1,000kg of steel. The composition varies widely. It’s usually a mixture of metal oxides, metal sulphides and silicon dioxide but, since it’s poured off from the top of the molten material in the furnace, portions of it can be high in elemental metals all the way up to the same composition as the retained portion in the furnace.

The poured off slag may be air-cooled or water-cooled but water-quenching produces irregular lumps which can exhibit ropey or laminar flow lines from having been poured into the water in a molten state.

Regarding the lack of rusting, the presence of other metals (even in low quantities) can have a dramatic effect on the degree to which iron rusts. That’s how we make stainless steels for example. Stainless steel usually has at least 11% chromium as the ‘rust inhibitor’ but, these days, some stainless steels are produced using much lower levels of titanium with the added advantage of increased strength. The amount used is typically 0.25 – 0.6% which is not inconsistent with your reading of 0.27% titanium.

When titanium is added to steel, it can form small granules of titanium carbide which are stable and do not readily dissolve. They’re often present in the slag together with other particulate materials that have floated to the top.

PS: Welcome to Tnet.
Way to go RC. I sure wouldn't put that much effort in identifying a piece of slag. I have become aware that large slag heaps have been spread throughout the land as it was often a source of railroad ballast and possibly why many find it in places far from any smelting or steel mills operations. There's an old abandoned rail line out back of me with a slag ballast grade. I could fill up a bucket with chunks of slag in little time out there at an old coal mine site that was serviced by a rail and closed in the 1930s.
 

Red-Coat

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The item is yours. If you’re going to “drop it off” anywhere for examination, make sure it’s accompanied by a note that explicitly details what can and cannot be done to it… eg small sub-samples can be removed; it can’t be melted down or destroyed; you want it back after examination… or whatever.

The problem is this. There are plenty of laboratories who can provide detailed analysis with respect to chemical composition (usually for a fee), but very few who are qualified to interpret what the data means with respect to origin. Some specialist labs will be able to say whether or not it’s a meteorite (it isn’t, if the proximate analysis from the scanner is correct) but won’t necessarily be able to tell you what it is if not a meteorite.

There’s little point in asking a Professor Emeritus at a University to examine an item unless he/she has experience in the field to which the item relates: Meteoritics; Geology; Metallurgy or whatever. Most such professors have zero experience in meteoritics for example.

The chances of identification drop further if it’s a man-made item from an industrial process because there are then so many possibilities. Again, if the proximate analysis from the scanner is correct, it’s really unlikely to be a natural piece of geology with 97% iron, for reasons I have already given.

My impression is that you are clinging on to a hope that you have something ‘special’ with respect to interest or value… but I’m sorry to say that I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.
 
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CloudKicker0

CloudKicker0

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Way to go RC. I sure wouldn't put that much effort in identifying a piece of slag. I have become aware that large slag heaps have been spread throughout the land as it was often a source of railroad ballast and possibly why many find it in places far from any smelting or steel mills operations. There's an old abandoned rail line out back of me with a slag ballast grade. I could fill up a bucket with chunks of slag in little time out there at an old coal mine site that was serviced by a rail and closed in the 1930s.
Great post
Found this in the Neuse River. There was no discernible rust on the outside. It is magnetic and very heavy. Took it to a local scrap yard for some help with metal ID. Hoping for the best. Thank you for taking a look and help with your comments.
Thanks for the great posts tamrock and Red-Coat.

There are old railways very near to where I found the “stone”.

Cool piece of local history but not a geological oddity. I now can finally put my puzzle to rest.

👍👍
 

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