Composition and Microstructures of Imperial Brass Chinese Coins

Abstract:

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Twenty brass Chinese cash coins with complex compositions were studied for a better understanding of the metallurgical cash production in China, during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Elemental composition was obtained through energy-dispersive micro X-ray fluorescence spectrometry of small cleaned areas on the coins rims. Results showed that these brass alloys (Cu-Zn) frequently contain up to 3% Sn, have highly variable Pb content (from n.d. up to 14%) and Fe, Sb, and As as minor elements. Microstructures were assessed by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, and preliminary micro X-ray diffraction analysis. All the coins present typical as-cast microstructures although very fine-grained, which are supported by binary (Cu-Zn) and ternary (Cu-Zn-Sn) equilibrium phase diagrams, that explain microstructural differences due to the presence of Sn in these brasses.

Info:

Periodical:

Materials Science Forum (Volumes 636-637)

Edited by:

Luís Guerra ROSA and Fernanda MARGARIDO

Pages:

531-537

DOI:

10.4028/www.scientific.net/MSF.636-637.531

Citation:

M.J. Furtado et al., "Composition and Microstructures of Imperial Brass Chinese Coins ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 636-637, pp. 531-537, 2010

Online since:

January 2010

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$35.00

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