Examination of the Properties of Historical Wrought Iron in Architectural Structures
Wrought iron elements were produced of material with various quality from the ancient times to the early 20th century however played increasingly enhanced roles in the structural stability of buildings up to the modern times when reinforced concrete slabs and ring beams appeared. Wall ties and anchors were responsible for establishing a structural connection between slabs (beams) and walls or in case of vaults, such ties balanced the vertical component of the loads. There were some analyses in the literature on the strength of wrought iron structural elements, mainly bridge elements, manufactured in ironworks. However, there are a few studies only on the mechanical properties of the material of structures, which were manufactured manually in workshops that was typical in case of smaller construction elements. In this study, two types of hardness tests and tensile strength examinations were carried out on wrought iron structural elements taken from Hungarian buildings originating from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries to study the mechanical properties. Additionally, X-ray tests were performed to explore some features of manufacturing for the better understanding of the measured values. As a result, some information was gained about the structural analyses of the manually forged wrought iron elements.