Iron and steel are two different metals. Iron is an element that is obtained from its ores in furnaces by treating it with coke. Steel is an alloy or mixture of iron and carbon and, which may contain other metals to a lesser extent.
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe. It is a transition metal and is the fourth most abundant element in the earth’s crust and the second most abundant metal after aluminum.
Iron is found to form 70% of the earth’s core together with nickel and other metals, when it moves it generates a magnetic field.
It is a very malleable metal, silver-gray in color, with magnetic properties and is very hard and dense.
In nature, it is found as part of various minerals such as oxides and is rarely found free. To obtain pure iron, the oxides are reduced with carbon and then refined.
It is the most used hard metal, pure, it does not have many applications except its magnetic potential. It is used in the steel industry to form alloys and various materials.
Steel is a mixture of iron with carbon, this substance is found in a proportion of 0.03% to 2.14% if it is higher, it is considered cast iron, a much more fragile substance that is not forged but rather molded.
Steel has different constituents depending on the temperature, it can contain cementite, pearlite, ferrite, austenite, among others. Steel retains the metallic characteristics of pure iron to improve its physicochemical properties.
Differences between Iron and Steel
- Iron is an element that is obtained from ores and is treated with coke in blast furnaces. It usually contains small traces of carbon and other metals.
- Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon with a carbon content of between 0.03 and 2.14%.
- Steel is harder than iron, more ductile, malleable, and tenacious, although it is much more brittle.