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Steel vs. Wrought Iron, How is wrought iron different from steel?

Steel vs. Wrought Iron, How is wrought iron different from steel?

            The steel forms an intermediate stage between cast iron and wrought iron. The cast iron contains carbon from 2 to 4 percent. In wrought iron, The carbon content does not exceed 0.15%. In steel, the carbon content varies from anything below 0.25% to 1.50% maximum. This is because carbon if more than 1.5%, does not combine with iron and it is present as free graphite. Thus the dividing line of cast iron and steel in the presence of free graphite. If there is no free graphite in the composition of a material, it is said to be steel. On the other hand, the presence of free graphite indicates that the material is cast iron.

Steel Pipe

            The steel becomes harder and tougher as its carbon content goes on increasing and at the maximum level of 1.5%, all the carbon gets into chemical combination with iron and none of it exists in its free state. The cast-iron can take up only compressive stresses and its use is limited to the compression members only. The wrought iron is of a fibrous nature and is suitable to resist tensile stresses.
  • How to distinguish between steel and wrought iron:-
            Steel is suitable for all constructional purposes in general and hence it has practically replaced cast iron and wrought iron in the present-day practice of building construction. It is equally strong in compression as well as in tension. If a drop of nitric acid is placed on steel, it will produce a dark gray stain due to the presence of a higher percentage of carbon content. If the same procedure is carried out on wrought iron, the stain will not be appreciable. Thus the mild steel and wrought iron can be easily distinguished by the simple process
  • Use of steel:-
          Based on carbon content, the steel is designated as mild steel, medium carbon steel, or high carbon steel.

Note:- The carbon content of mild steel is about 0.10 to 0.25 %. When the carbon content is less than 0.10 %, it is known as dead steel or very low carbon steel. The carbon content of medium carbon steel is about 0.25% to 0.60%. The high carbon steel is also known as hardened steel and its carbon content varies from 0.60 to 1.10%.


Steel Bowls
  • Mild steel contains a carbon content of up to 0.10% is used for Motor body, sheet metal, tin plate, etc.
  • Medium carbon steel carbon content up to 0.25% is used for boilerplates, structural steel, etc.
  • Medium carbon steel carbon content up to 0.45% is used for rails, tires, etc.
  • Medium carbon steel carbon content up to 0.60% is used for Hammers, Large stamping and pressing dies, etc.
  • High carbon steel carbon content of up to 0.75% is used for a sledgehammer, springs, stamping dies, etc.
  • High carbon steel carbon content of up to 0.90% is used for Miner's drills, smith's tools, stone mason's tools, etc.
  • High carbon steel carbon content of up to 1.00% is used for chisels, Hammers, saws, woodworking tools, etc.
  • High carbon steel carbon content of up to 1.10% is used for Axes, cutlery, drills, knives, punches, etc.
                  Steel is most widely used for the development of industry, automobiles, tools, etc. Steel is needed for the existence of the heavy and light engineering industries, for shipbuilding, railways and rolling stock, automobiles, sheet metal industries, power generation and electrical industries, daily household appliances, etc. 

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