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Cast iron, crucible steel and cookware


staryoshi06
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I've been thinking for a while that it'd be cool if the next technological tier would allow for cast iron, and then my idea expanded outwards into a bunch of different things that somewhat interconnect. I also did a bit of research on the topic to try and create a more complete suggestion (although not down to the minute detail). Here is all I thought of:

Blast Furnaces

In order to make most of these things, we need to start with a blast furnace. A blast furnace is made with a combination of refractory bricks and steel parts such as piping that can be smithed at the anvil. It needs a decent amount of steel to create all the parts. Once completed, the blast furnace is capable of accepting iron ores/meteorite pieces and converting them into a material called pig iron, using charcoal or coke as fuel. Meteoric iron will give you more pig iron compared to the equivalent amount of ore, at the cost of only gaining normal iron instead of meteoric. Unlike a bloomery, the blast furnace will smelt pieces in batches continuously, similar to a fire pit.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is created by combining pig iron pieces in a crucible with existing wrought iron or steel pieces, limestone and coke (or possibly other alternatives). Having a lower smelting temperature, cast iron can be cast like bronze and copper. It has at least four uses:

- Tools: Cast iron can be cast into tools, which are slightly more durable than wrought iron. However, it is too brittle to be forged, and attempting to forge a cast iron ingot will just break it into cast iron pieces (which can be re-smelted), meaning it can only be cast into anything that has an available mold.

- Mechanical pieces: At the very least, cast iron could be cast into the pieces used for the blast furnace, to make it easier to produce more of them. It could also potentially be used as building components, or for later mechanical updates.

-Cookware: Of course, can't have cast iron without some cast iron cookware! Described later.

-Similar to how steel is created by carburizing wrought iron, cast iron can be *decarburized*. This process still uses the cementation furnace but does not require that the coffin is filled with charcoal, and takes not as long.

Crucible Steel

Crucible steel would be a way to make steel slightly less arduous (don't worry, you'll still need to spend quite a bit of time during the cementation furnace era, since you need to make all the parts for the blast furnace :P). Crucible steel is made using fusion, which involves combining wrought iron pieces and cast iron pieces in a crucible together. This method is much faster than others but does require that both types of iron be produced in order to create it.

Fusion could also be potentially used to create stainless steel, which is a metal that is in the game currently but not fully implemented. This would involve adding chromite to the mix of wrought and cast iron, so that it can alloy with the steel. And perhaps using meteoritic iron pieces instead of wrought iron for crucible steel could have some interesting results as well :).

Damascus Steel

Damascus Steel is the highest quality steel, with high durability, effectiveness, and a very cool pattern as well. Of course, in real life the technique is not fully known, so this is an entirely fictional method based on some of the things I've read about it.

Damascus steel uses a similar method to the cementation furnace. A wootz steelmaking crucible is made similarly to the stone coffin, including a stone coffin lid to top it with. It is a single block in size and the bottom half contains an ingot mold and a spout with a cap. It is placed in a small cementation-furnace-like structure, and is fired from underneath using a single stack of charcoal.

In the crucible, one places 10 wrought iron pieces, 10 steel pieces, some charcoal/coke and plant fibres (dry grass or flax). Once the smelting process is complete. the cap from the spout can be removed to pour a wootz steel ingot (as long as it is still molten, otherwise you have to reheat it). This ingot can then be forged into a damascus steel item, with it's characteristic pattern and high durability + effectiveness.

Alternatively you can just make it use a regular crucible, but that isn't quite as interesting.

Cast Iron Cookware

I'm sure you've heard of it before in real life, so of course I'm going to suggest that cast iron can be used to make cookware. Here's a few ideas:

-Cast iron cooking pot: An upgrade to the clay cooking pot. It has six slots, so you can include a wider variety of nutrients in a meal, or just add six redmeat steaks and make "Red Meat Heart Attack Stew". Either way, more satiation can be packed into one meal, great for exploring.

-Cast iron pan: Used for cooking non-meals more efficiently. When heated by a fire, it can cook multiple cookable items at once (e.g. meat steaks). You can also directly crack eggs onto it for fried eggs, or you can beat the eggs in a bowl first and make an omelette, maybe add some vegetables or meat bits for extra satiation.

-Cast iron wok: Similar to a pan but more for making meals than just frying individual things. Chop up foods with a knife and stir fry them in the wok. Meals provide more satisfaction, meaning it takes longer for you to start losing satiation again after eating. But perhaps the meals don't provide as much satiation total to compensate.

-Grinder: Grind up meats and veg into mince. Doesn't have to contain meat; you can also create vegetable minces. Mince can be cooked by itself or turned into sausages and patties. Sausages conveniently stack while containing the nutrients of all its constituents, for a nice exploratory snack. Both can be fried on a pan.

 

And one last suggestion (that is a bit too small to bold :P):

Sandwiches: Cut bread and different ingredients, place them between the bread. A classic. You can place whole steaks or be a bit more refined and use a patty from the grinder. Basically a meal but with no need for a bowl :).

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