SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copper smelting. Coloured illustration of the copper production process in ancient Japan. One of the workers (at centre left) is working at the furnace while the other (lower right) is cooling the freshly smelted metallic copper in water. The process used the same principle as modern copper production. Copper ore contains a small amount of metal among a great amount of impurities. When the ore is heated above copper's melting point (1083 degrees Celsius) the copper will melt and sink below the solid impurities. It is at this point that the copper metal can be removed from the furnace. Image from the book Japanese Crafts, Materials and their Applications by B. Hickman.
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