Simple Science

Uses Of Iron

IronPhoto by sven.glomme

Iron forms an integral part of both the Earth’s inner and outer core. It’s 4th most common element found in the crust of Earth. This chemical element lies in the first transition series. Iron is chemically identified with the symbol ‘Fe’, which is derived from the Latin word ferrum. It is part of Group 8 elements, its atomic number is 26, and like other elements from the same group, iron exhibits wide array of oxidation states.

Iron is highly reactive to water and oxygen. When oxidized, iron is converted to rust, also known as iron oxide. However, iron oxides flake off with ease and expose fresh surfaces for corrosion, unlike oxide layers. Pure iron is softer than aluminum, but it can be strengthened and hardened by addition of impurities such as phosphorus, silicon, and carbon during the smelting process.

The metallic iron

Iron is fairly cheap and strong metal, which is why it is commonly used in manufacturing automobiles, machine tools, building parts, hulls of large ships, and machine parts. A good number of structures today are made of this metal. Iron is also common in a lot of different tools, such as surgical equipments and appliances. Many different products are made of stainless steel. It’s created when iron is combined with other metals. It is used in automobiles and aircrafts, and is 100% recyclable.

Iron compounds


Many important products that are found useful in many ways are combination of iron and other elements. Iron chloride is an important compound which is used as dye for cloth and in treating sewage systems. It is also used as an additive in animal feed, as a coloring agent for paints and in manufacturing printed circuit boards. Iron sulfate is another important iron compound which is useful in a lot of ways. It’s used to treat iron deficiency or anemia.

Additionally, it is also used to treat sewage particles in water tanks. Iron hydroxide, another iron compound, runs water purification systems which can be found in our kitchen sinks. It ensures that we get clean and pure water in our households. There is also iron arsenate, which can be found in insecticides. It has a very important use in gardens of all forms, because it prevents different types of pest attacks in plants.

Uses in our surroundings

Iron is pretty common in modern world and can be found everywhere. Iron is not just included in the makeup of different transport options, but is also included in a lot of different items, products, as well as things that run our modern world. There is a good reason why iron is used in a number of ways. Iron has properties which can be changed according to the need of humans by mixing it with other substances – either nonmetallic or metallic. Many different types of steels are available today.

Each type is a combination of iron with different elements, such as silicon, carbon, and nickel among others. Steel is very important component in every type of construction, in every structure. For that reason, everywhere you look, everywhere you go, you will find iron at work. Skyscrapers, bridges, buildings, and other types of construction wouldn’t be complete if it doesn’t include iron in its framework. That is the same thing with heavy carriers, heavy machineries, ships, aircrafts, and automobiles.

Uses at home

Iron is very useful in households. It can be found in your living room, kitchen, in your bathroom, in many products or items that run your home and in every part of it. This metal has a high resistance to rust formation and can be molded with ease to create many forms. For that reason it is used in a number of products which you usually see around the household. For example, wrought iron is used in outdoor items which can beautify the yard and the patio.

There are iron trellis, arbors, fences, and even the most decorative iron furnitures can be made of this metal. Cast iron, which is an important form, is used in manufacturing pans, pots, ovens, skillets, and trays. It is a heating element which is most appropriate for cooking items, cookware, and accessories. Meanwhile, stainless steel is used in kitchen cutlery, cookware, and appliances.

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