The Production of Marine Iron Objects in Europe Following the First Industrial Revolution: The Akko Tower Shipwreck Test Case

Noam Iddan, Dana Ashkenazi, Deborah Cvikel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four ferrous objects, a winch, a heart-shaped shackle, a deadeye strap with a futtock plate, and a stud-link chain controller, that were retrieved from the Akko Tower shipwreck were studied by different methods, including conventional metallography, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive spectroscopy, optical emission spectroscopy, microhardness measurements, and the novel field multi-focal metallography (FMM), in order to determine their composition, microstructure, and manufacturing methods. The results of FMM agree well with conventional destructive metallography. The winch drum was made of grey cast iron and its shaft was wrought iron; the heart-shaped shackle and the deadeye strap with a futtock plate were wrought iron; and the stud-link chain controller was grey cast iron similar in composition and microstructure to the winch. All the wrought iron items revealed a similar composition and microstructure. Based on the composition, microstructure, and manufacturing processes of the four items, it is suggested that they were manufactured in the mid-nineteenth century. The high quality of these items indicates that they were produced using controlled processes, probably in the same workshop.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9845
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The underwater excavations and research of the Akko Tower shipwreck were supported (in part) by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 447/12), the Honor Frost Foundation, and the Rector and Research Authority of the University of Haifa, to whom the authors are grateful. The authors are grateful to H. Kravits, Microtech LTD (Israel), for his technical assistance with the HIROX microscope and J.B. Tresman for English editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • field multi-focal metallography (FMM)
  • grey cast iron
  • metallurgy
  • microstructure
  • shipwreck
  • wrought iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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