Raw materials used in making Iron and steel

In the manufacturing industry today, iron and steel are the most common materials used for large varieties of applications. Today, you’ll get to know the common raw materials used for the production of iron and steel.

Raw Materials used in Making iron

The basic raw materials for making iron and steel are:

Iron ore

Iron ore is one of the basic among other raw materials used in the production of iron. It is described as any mineral substance that contains enough iron which makes its smelting a viable proposition, i.e an iron content of less than 20%. Ores vary considerably in form and composition from one source to another. Some ores are naturally being found as very hard rock, some as granular masses, and some as loose earthy materials and with color variations from black to brick red.

Read more: What is Cast Iron?, its Types and Applications

Iron is found as a chemical compound (usually an oxide) within the ore. These ores are generally smelted containing iron oxide materials like magnetite, hematite, and limonite. Magnetite ores are the richest known with around 65% of iron. It is a ferrosoferric oxide (Fe3o4); That is, black, dense, and strongly magnetic.

Raw materials used in making iron


Coke plays three important roles in the black furnace during the production of iron. It serves as fuel to provide heat for smelting, as a rich source for carbon monoxide gas into iron, and as non-clogging support for the burden (the charge) in the blast furnace. Its porosity aiding the free passage of the gasser through the furnace. It is made by roasting specially selected coking coal in large sealed ovens.

Read more: What is Smelting?, and Iron ore Smelting process

Volatile substances products whilst the gases released are cleaned and used as fuel in other parts of the plant. Coke as one of the raw materials used in iron making is a substance made by heating coal until it becomes almost pure carbon.

Raw materials used in making iron



Limestone serves as a fluxing agent with the extraneous materials (‘gangue’) associated with the ore. It combines with these materials (clay etc.) and makes them more readily fusible, forming a liquid slag that separates from the iron.

Raw materials used in making iron

Read more: Properties and Composition of Pig Iron


Sinter is made of laser grade, finely divided iron ore that is roasted with coke and lime and enables it to remove a large number of impurities in the ore.

Sinter raw materials

Some other metals such as chromium, nickel, manganese, molybdenum, tungsten, etc. Are sometimes mixed with iron for the production of various steel.

Read more: What is a Blast Furnace and a Blast Stove?, its working, Component, and maintenance

Watch the video below to learn how the making of iron and steel:

That is all for this article, where raw materials used in making iron and steel are discussed. I hope you get a lot from this post, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you next time!


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