Understanding wrought iron

The applications of wrought iron are so common due to the properties it carries and the advantages it offers. Wrought iron is a tough malleable form of iron suitable for forging or rolling rather than casting, obtained by puddling pig iron while molten. It is nearly pure but contains some slag in the form of filaments. It is an alloy with very low carbon content. wrought iron was the most common form of malleable iron before the effective method of steelmaking.

Properties of wrought iron

Today you’ll get to know the definition, properties, applications, and production of wrought iron. You’ll also get to know the advantages and disadvantages of this wrought iron.

Read more: Raw materials used in making iron and steel


Properties of wrought iron

Wrought iron is an iron obtained from smelting pig iron with a very low carbon of not less than 0.08. It is tough, malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant, and can be easily welded. The term wrought means the ability to be hammered, rolled, or otherwise worked while hot enough to expel molten slag. It is fatigue resistant because of its toughness and it contains less carbon than cast iron which makes it softer and more ductile.

Wrought iron is highly refined with a small amount of slag forged out into fiber. It contains 99% of iron, making it easily undergo forging, bending, and drawing process. The followings stated below are the properties of wrought iron:

  • excellent weldability
  • ductility
  • did not affect heat treatment. that is, cannot be hardened by heating and quenching.
  • malleability
  • high tensile strength
  • high compressive strength
  • can be forged easily, and finally,
  • cannot take sudden loads.

Read more: Various methods of steelmaking

Applications of Wrought Iron

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

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

The metal material can be joined by welding or riveting its parts together. Deterioration occurs gradually over a long period of time on wrought iron which requires appropriate routine or maintainable control. The strength value of wrought iron is 220N/mm² while mild steel strength is 230N/mm².

Due to the very low carbon and alloy contents of wrought iron as it contains rolled-in slag. The slag can cause defects to its joint when weld. It can be prevented or minimized when a low current technique is used on the wrought iron. The following listed below are the applications of wrought iron:

Read more: Different types of metals and their classifications

  • wrought iron is used for the decoration of items like table base, curtain rods, candle holder, etc.
  • used for making bolts, nuts, rivets, etc.
  • chains are made with wrought iron.
  • fences and gates are good applications of wrought iron.
  • it is used for making pipes.
  • crane hooks can be made of this metal.
  • it used for making handrails
  • carpenter tools are made of this material.
  • forging find great interest in this metal. finally,
  • wrought iron is used in making railway couplings.

Read more: Difference Between Nonferrous and Ferrous metals

How wrought iron is 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 involves melting and piddling, to expose it to oxygen, which oxidized and remove 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 exposing to intense heat (e.g. fire).

watch the video below to learn how wrought iron is produced:

Read more: Process of Heat treating ferrous metals

Advantages and disadvantages of wrought iron


Below are the benefits of wrought iron in its various applications.

  • Toughness
  • Excellent weldability
  • High tensile strength
  • High compressive strength
  • Forged items are easily created.

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


Despite the good advantages of wrought iron, some limitations still occur. Below are the disadvantages of wrought iron in its various applications:

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

Read more: Different Types of Nonferrous Metals and their Uses

That is all for this article, where the definition, properties, applications, production of wrought iron is being discussed. we’ve also seen the advantages and disadvantages of this wrought iron. I hope you get a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Join our Newsletter

Write A Comment