Monday, January 13, 2014

Impervious pillar

The Iron Pillar in Delhi, India (DETAIL ABOVE), is at least 1,500 years old and bears inscriptions dating back to about 400 A.D. The 24' (7 m) pillar was dedicated and rededicated to rulers and victors in battle. In addition to its historical significance, the Pillar of Delhi has a scientific claim to fame: its mpenetrability to corrosion is something modern technology cannot match. Professor A.P. Gupta, Head of the Department of Applied Sciences and Humanities at India's Institute of Technology and Management, has been studying the metallurgy industry in ancient India that was able to produce something that was 99.72% iron and – unlike that of today – contains absolutely no manganese or sulfur. The monument is also coated with a protective oxide film that researchers have been unable to recreate. The result is that even though the pillar has withstood 1,000 monsoons, it has never rusted.

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