The main difference between wrought iron and steel is that wrought iron is a type of iron that has been processed to make it stronger and more complex, while steel is a type of iron that has been processed to make it even stronger.
It is essential to know a little bit about the history of each material to understand the difference between wrought iron and steel.
What Is Wrought Iron?
Wrought iron is an iron alloy that contains a few percent of carbon. It’s a soft metal that can be easily shaped and formed.
What Is Steel?
Steel is an iron alloy that contains more carbon than wrought iron. It’s a strong, hard metal that can be difficult to work on.
Difference Between Wrought Iron And Steel
History: Wrought iron was used in traditional blacksmithing for thousands of years before the industrial revolution. It was also used to make tools, weapons, and armor. Steel has only been used for a few hundred years.
Composition: Wrought iron contains very little carbon, usually less than 0.08%. It has other elements, such as silicon, manganese, and sulfur.
Steel contains more carbon than wrought iron, usually between 0.2% and 2%. It also includes other elements such as manganese, chromium, and nickel.
Ductility: Wrought iron is more ductile than steel. It can be shaped into thin sheets or wires without breaking.
Production: Wrought iron is produced by heating iron ore in a furnace. The impurities are removed, and the iron is cooled and formed into bars.
Steel is produced by adding carbon to iron in a furnace. The carbon reacts with the oxygen in the iron ore, producing carbon dioxide. The impurities are removed, and the steel is cooled and formed into bars.
Speed Of Production: Wrought iron is produced more slowly than steel.
Ease Of Production: Wrought iron is more difficult to produce than steel.
Pinning Process: Wrought iron is often pinned together using rivets, nails, or bolts. Steel is often bolted or welded together.
Corrosion Resistance: Wrought iron is more resistant to corrosion than steel. Steel will rust when exposed to moisture and oxygen over time.
Maintenance: Wrought iron will need to be painted or protected from the elements to prevent rust. Steel does not require this level of care.
Tensile Strength: Wrought iron has a lower tensile strength than steel.
Strength And Durability: Wrought iron is not as strong as steel but is more laborious and ductile. It can be bent and shaped into intricate designs. Steel is strong and durable but is less malleable than wrought iron.
Appearance: Wrought iron has a more rustic, old-fashioned appearance, but steel has a modern look.
Cost: The price of wrought iron depends on the market, but it is generally more expensive than steel.
Uses: Wrought iron is used for decorative purposes, such as fences and gates. Steel is used in various applications, including construction, transportation, and manufacturing.
Types Of Wrought Iron
There are two types of wrought iron
- Charcoal iron
- Puddled iron
Charcoal Iron is made by heating iron ore in a wood-fired furnace. The impurities are removed, and the iron is formed into bars.
Puddled Iron is made by heating iron ore in a furnace and then adding oxygen to the iron. This creates a more pure form of iron.
Types Of Steel
There are four types of steel
- Carbon steel
- Alloy steel
- Stainless steel
- Tool steel
Carbon Steel is made by adding carbon to iron in a furnace. The carbon reacts with the oxygen in the iron ore, producing carbon dioxide. The impurities are removed, and the steel is cooled and formed into bars.
Alloy Steel is made by assembling other elements, such as manganese, chromium, or nickel, to steel. This creates a more potent form of steel.
Stainless Steel is made by adding chromium to steel. This makes the steel more resistant to corrosion and rusting.
Tool Steel is a combination of tungsten, molybdenum, or vanadium to steel. Steel is more challenging and resistant to wear and tear.
Which Of Iron And Steel Is Purer?
Wrought iron is low-carbon steel, meaning it has a lower carbon content than other types of steel. This makes wrought iron purer than different types of steel. However, wrought iron can still contain impurities such as sulfur and phosphorus.
Both wrought iron and steel have their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing between wrought iron and steel, it is important to consider the project you are working on and the properties that are most important to you.