bullet1 Metallic Materials

bullet2 Wrought Iron

Wrought iron was the only form of iron available to man until displaced by steel in the late nineteenth century. Wrought iron is " pig Iron " which has been further refined in a " puddling furnace " from which it is removed in a pasty condition and hammered and squeezed while hot to remove most of the slag and impurities.  Some slag remains in the metal in the form of threads and this gives the metal a fibres character.  The slag content can be further reduced by repeated  hammering and squeezing operations.  These operations result in a stronger wrought iron but production costs rise steeply.  

Wrought iron is available in several grades and contains practically no carbon, usually somewhere around 0.4% and is the purest form of iron available on a commercial scale, usually being 99.5% pure iron.  Wrought iron is very malleable, ductile, and tough, and can easily be manipulated when hot or cold.  these properties make it a very useful material where a lot of hammering, bending, twisting and forging has to be carried out, such as ornamental work, chain links, hooks, and couplings.  The corrosion resistance of wrought iron is superior to that of steel and it turns an attractive matt black when corroded. This is made use of in decorative applications such as gates, fencing, and lamp brackets.

A further advantage of wrought iron is that it is very easily welded, even by hammering, when hot and so it is a popular material with blacksmiths, but, because of the high labor costs involved in its production, it is a very expensive material and so has been replaced in many of its earlier applications by Low carbon steel (LCS or Mild steel)