Difference Between Wrought Iron and Steel

Main Difference – Wrought Iron vs Steel

Wrought iron is a metal alloy composed of iron and a little amount of carbon along with some other elements. Steel is a metal alloy made from iron along with other elements. Steel is widely used all over the world due to its high strength and low cost when compared to other types of metals and metal alloys. Steel can be found in different forms and names according to the elements included, the method of production, application, etc. The main difference between wrought iron and steel is that wrought iron is produced by heating and working with tools whereas steel is produced through a firing process followed by addition and removal of different components to create the final alloy.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Wrought Iron
      – Definition, Composition, Properties
2. What is Steel
      – Definition, Types, Properties
3. What is the Difference Between Wrought Iron and Steel
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Alloy, Carbon, Ductile, Iron, Malleable, Steel, Wrought Iron

Difference Between Wrought Iron and Steel - Comparison Summary

What is Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is an iron alloy containing a very little amount of carbon (about 0.08%). Wrought iron is a form of iron that is obtained by smelting. Wrought iron is formed during charcoal firing. It can also be formed as a byproduct of cast iron production.

Wrought iron is tough and malleable. It is also ductile. It is corrosion resistant when compared to other forms of iron and is easy to weld. These properties are used in the production of different items. Wrought iron is composed of 1-2% of added slag. Slag is the byproduct of iron ore smelting. It contains silicon, sulfur, phosphorous, etc. Wrought is produced by heating followed by working with tools.

Difference Between Wrought Iron and Steel

Figure 1: Wrought Iron Gate

The softness and ductility of wrought iron are due to the presence of a less amount of carbon. Wrought iron has considerably a high tensile strength as well. It resists fatigue for a higher instant when compared to other forms of iron. It can deform when a high pressure is applied to it.

What is Steel

Steel is a metal alloy composed of iron, carbon and few other elements such as manganese, tungsten, phosphorous, and sulfur. The percentage of carbon present in steel may vary. According to the amount of carbon present, steel can be divided into few groups such as,

Various grading systems are also used to categorize steel into different groups according to their properties.

Types of Steel

Steel is hard, very strong and ductile. But it is not resistant to corrosion (Except stainless steel, which is made by mixing chromium with iron, which gives the property of corrosion resistance). Steel easily corrodes when exposed to a moist environment. Therefore, rusting occurs.

Main Difference - Wrought Iron vs Steel

Figure 2: Steel is used in Constructions

Properties of Steel

  • Strength
  • Toughness
  • Ductility
  • Weldability
  • Durability

Difference Between Wrought Iron and Steel

Definition

Wrought Iron: Wrought iron is an iron alloy containing a very little amount of carbon (about 0.08%).

Steel: Steel is a metal alloy composed of iron, carbon and few other elements such as manganese, tungsten, phosphorous and sulfur.

Production

Wrought Iron: Wrought iron is produced by heating and working with tools.

Steel: Steel is produced through a firing process followed by addition and removal of different components to create the final alloy.

Tensile Strength

Wrought Iron: Wrought has a good tensile strength.

Steel: Steel has a greater tensile strength than wrought iron.

Carbon Content

Wrought Iron: Wrought iron contains about 0.08% carbon.

Steel: Steel contains about 2-4% of carbon.

Conclusion

Wrought iron and steel are very useful in different industries depending on their chemical and physical properties. The main difference between wrought iron and steel is that wrought iron is produced by heating and working with tools whereas steel is produced through a firing process followed by addition and removal of different components to create the final alloy.

References:

1. “Wrought iron.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 8 Dec. 2013, .
2. “Wrought iron.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Nov. 2017, .
3. “Steel.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Nov. 2017, .

Image Courtesy:

1. “1623303” (Public Domain) via
2. “207367” (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Madhusha

Madhusha is a BSc (Hons) graduate in the field of Biological Sciences and is currently pursuing for her Masters in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. Her interest areas for writing and research include Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry.

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