Image show wrought iron ready to be use for fence

Understanding wrought iron

Today, wrought iron is one of the most common metal materials used due to the properties it offers. The metal material is tough and malleable, which is why it is suitable for metalworking processes like forging and rolling.

The term wrought means the ability to be hammered, rolled, or otherwise worked while hot enough to expel molten slag.

Wrought iron is obtained from puddling pig iron while it is molten. This metal is nearly pure but contains slag in form of filaments. Well, in this article, you’ll learn about wrought iron applications, properties, and how it’s been produced. The advantages and disadvantages of wrought iron will also be discussed.



Properties of wrought iron

Wrought iron is an iron obtained from smelting pig iron with a very low carbon content of not less than 0.08. It is tough, malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant, and can be easily welded. It is fatigue-resistant because of its toughness, and it contains less carbon than cast iron, which makes it softer and more ductile. You can also learn about cast iron here 

As earlier mentioned, wrought iron is highly refined, with a small amount of slag forged into a fiber. It contains 99% iron, making it easily subject to forging, bending, and drawing processes.

Wrought Iron Applications

Wrought iron was known to be widely used during the 19th century in the construction of buildings but was replaced in the 20th century with steel. Then steel was widely available.

Wrought iron is highly used for decorative items like fences, gates, railings, balconies, porches, canopies, roof cresting, grilles, hardware, nails, iron cramps, lamps, structural members in tension (I, H, and other beams), etc.

Because of the above items, wrought iron is used in areas such as building construction, woodwork, metalwork, automobiles, and aerospace. They are used to produce items such as table bases, curtain rods, candle holders, etc. in a decorative form.

Finally, wrought iron is used to produce bolts, nuts, rivets, crane hooks, chains, and pipes.

How is wrought iron produced?

Wrought iron is produced from cast iron in stages. It consists of very pure iron (0.02–0.05% carbon) and siliceous slag. The stage at which wrought iron was produced from cast iron involved melting and piddling to expose it to oxygen, which oxidized and removed any impurities, such as silicon, carbon, and manganese.

It then cooled until it became a semi-molten, pasty, iron, and slag mixture. Wrought iron is known for its fibrous appearance. It gets stronger whenever it’s worked, and it deforms without failing only when exposed to intense heat (e.g., fire). Well, the video below explains how wrought iron is produced.

Read more: Understanding Foundry work

Advantages and disadvantages of wrought iron


Below are the benefits of wrought iron.

  • Wrought iron is tough
  • They have excellent weldability
  • High tensile strength
  • High compressive strength
  • Forged items are easily created.


  • It cannot be hardened by heating and quenching
  • It cannot take sudden loads

That is all for this article, where I discussed wrought iron properties, applications, and how they are produced. I hope it was helpful; if so, kindly share it with others.


One response to “Understanding wrought iron”

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