What’s iron?

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Wrought iron is a purified form of iron used to make finished products, while cast iron is a basic form with high carbon content and impurities. Cast iron is rarely used for anything other than rework, while wrought iron has been replaced by carbon steel due to their similar properties.

Wrought iron is the metal used in a forging process to create iron products. Depending on the type of product and the methods used, the metal is likely cast iron or wrought iron. Cast iron is a very base form of the metal; it is loaded with imperfections and used primarily as a method of transporting iron to a manufacturing or purification site. Wrought iron is a purified form of iron that is used to make finished products. In modern metalworking, carbon steel is often used instead of wrought iron; the two metals share many properties and are nearly interchangeable.

Cast iron is a basic form of forging iron. This is one of the earliest forms of iron worked after it was removed from iron ore. The raw iron is mixed with coke and limestone to produce a white, chalky, irregular shape of iron.

Originally, iron was cast in a sand mold. This mold had central channels with small branches along their length. After the metal cooled in the mold, the smaller “pigs” could simply be peeled off the central channel, or “sow”. This method is rarely used today; in fact, most pig iron intended for use within the steel mill itself never cools from liquid form. In general, the only time pig iron can solidify is when it is packed for shipment or resale.

Cast iron is a very low-grade form of wrought iron; it has an extremely high carbon content and is often full of impurities. At this point, the iron is rarely used for anything other than rework. It is often made into gray cast iron, a blend of iron and steel that has various industrial applications. This wrought iron can also become wrought iron or carbon steel if it has relatively few impurities and enough carbon. If iron is unsuitable for either of these, it may become ordinary steel after several rounds of purification.

The other common form of forging iron is wrought iron. This iron is everything cast iron is not; it is clean, strong and ductile. Wrought iron used to be the main form of machinable iron, but its place has been replaced by carbon steel.
Wrought iron is different from cast iron due to its high carbon content and low impurities. These are the same properties common in carbon steel. Metals have a similar appearance to the naked eye and very similar metallic properties. As a result, the slightly more versatile metal has taken the place of wrought iron in almost every case. When an item is described as being made of wrought iron, it is most likely made of carbon steel instead.

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