Forging technology: the divider of historical times, the creator of golden chariots and iron horses


1.1 Forging technology has a long history

Forging has a long history and has pushed human civilization into the "Iron Age". The tool-making capacity of man drives the progress of history, while tools and production techniques drive the development of human history.

Three Stages of Human history: In 1836, Christian Huensen Thomsen proposed the "three Stages" of human history, which are divided into the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age according to the materials people made their tools from. Although pottery was widely used, it did not "usher" an era by itself as a vessel, but pottery technology promoted the development of metallurgy, casting, forging and other manufacturing processes.

The application of stone tools, bronze ware and pottery laid the foundation for the application of forging technology and iron ware.

The excavation of raw materials during the use of stone tools facilitated the discovery of metals. According to archaeological findings, about 2.5 million years ago, the first human beings appeared in East Africa, one of the major characteristics is the beginning of the manufacture and use of stone tools, human also entered the Paleolithic Age. As early as about 10,000 BC, humans began to make and use grinding stone tools, and entered the Neolithic Age.

In the quarrying of stones, man found pure metal. Gold, silver and copper were first discovered and used by humans because of their relatively inert chemical properties. Around 9000 BC, human beings began to forge pure silver and pure copper. In the early stage, the forging products were mainly small ornaments. In the later stage, with the increase of pure metal, they also began to forge some tools, mainly pure copper. But stone tools were still the dominant tools of production at that time, and very few pure metal tools were forged. At any rate, the activity of forging natural metals has enriched man's knowledge of metals.

The emergence of pottery kilns provided a high temperature and reductive atmosphere, which facilitated the development of metallurgy. The development of pottery industry paved the way for forging. As early as the Paleolithic Age, apart from grinding stone tools as tools, human beings also developed another skill -- pottery making. The kiln produced by pottery manufacturing could reach the high temperature of more than 900 degrees Celsius as early as 6000 BC, and provided CO reducing atmosphere. In the early days of human beings, wood was the main fuel. In the environment of insufficient oxygen, the gaseous CO produced by high temperature combustion of wood could reduce the red iron oxide (Fe2O3) in clay to the black iron tetroxide (Fe3O4). The discovery of metallurgy was a long process. It took five or six thousand years for mankind to extract the first pure copper from stone tools.

Drilling technology has broadened the channels for collecting metals. In order to drink water, the ancients developed well sinking technology. As a stone, ore is generally stored in stone mountain and underground rock, and well sinking technology gives human underground mining ability; The development of metallurgical technology also greatly increased the enthusiasm of mankind to find ore up and down the mountain.