The History And Process Of Balustrade In Perth
Just like balustrade in Perth, the use of iron gates within households is so common all over Australia. But how did they get so popular? How did wrought iron gates in Perth fare through history, and continue to maintain its popularity in designs such as iron gates? Iron has a long history in the western world and in Perth, dating back centuries. Iron has been used to create structures, gates and many other items which have seen the world go by.
Iron use in the ancient western world
The use of balustrade in Perth goes back centuries in the western world. The term wrought iron comes from a past word meaning “to work”, as to wrought iron it literally means “worked iron”. Compared to normal iron, it was subject to a higher rate of duty, and was considered stronger than cast iron, which is brittle and cannot be worked in hot or cold temperatures. The carbon content of wrought on is generally lower than cast iron, making it stronger but easier to shape and weld. It generally contained less than 0.1% carbon and 1% – 2% slag. Because of its many uses, strength and its ability to be incorporated into any building, iron was considered worth its weight in gold in the ancient age and was praised by the populace. Throughout the middle ages, wrought iron was used to be door and window covers (for protection) as well as several decorative purposes. This is commonly seen in the wrought iron gates in Perth and fences, which are still popular to this day. Wrought iron was also established in use in India, Asia and the Mediterranean, due to its higher availability than copper and tin, as well as its ability to be easily shaped into weapons and armour for war.
How was it made?
Wrought iron gates were made in bloomeries, large factories used to extract wrought iron from ore and shape/weld it into the shapes required. A bloomery acts as a large furnace, holding a large pit with a chimney and rock walls for heat resistance. The bloomery was filled with iron ore and charcoal, which was then set alight and air pushed over this flame with the use of pipes. This created the heat to melt away impurities from the iron ore, leaving the iron with fewer impurities. This would come in the form of a melted sludge, which was then put through a squeezer, removing the excess slag, forming the sludge into a roughed cylinder. This roughed cylinder would then also be rolled further to remove even more impurities. This method was used largely throughout history as the primary technique in extracting iron from iron ore. The extracted iron was shaped with hammers and forged into tools and structures.
Decrease in popularity
Wrought iron steadily decreased in popularity after the discovery of mild steel, a form of steel that shares the same low carbon content as wrought iron, but was easier to acquire and mass produce. Slowly but surely, the mass commercial appeal of wrought iron faded away, and was only used for decorative and/or historical purposes. In the modern-day, wrought iron is popularly used for decorative and aesthetic purposes, and hand-made and forged wrought iron structures and designs are highly sought after. Iron designs are found in nearly every home, in Perth and beyond.
Overall, wrought iron designs and decorations are still in high use in the 20th century, in the form of Iron railings, doors, balconies, grilles and other exterior fittings. The designs of wrought iron gates are timeless, and will be in high demand in Perth for centuries to come.