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Iron and Steel Industry

Iron and Steel

The Iron is an element and found in pure form where as steel is an alloy.
Major types of iron are :
Pig iron
Sponge iron
Cast iron
Wrought iron
Galvanised iron
Steel is formed from iron and carbon.
The steel have typical carbon content of less than 2%.
Major types of steel are :
Carbon steel
Low carbon steel
Mild steel
Medium carbon steel
High carbon steel
Ultra high carbon steel
Stainless steel

Types of iron - Pig Iron
The iron ore is found in the raw form and is processed with coke in blast furnace, pig iron is obtained.

The material is rarely used by itself, as the large amount of carbon makes the material brittle and unstable.
Usually, this type of iron is further refined through additional melting and blending processes to
create wrought iron, cast iron, or steel.

Pig iron has typically very high carbon content ranging
from 3.5% - 4.5% carbon. Basic pig iron has less than
1.5 percent silicon, under 1 percent manganese, and
trace amounts of sulphur and phosphorous.

The main consumption of pig iron after it is melted from
iron ore involves steel-making. The steel industry uses
the material as a base product, which is then mixed with
other metals to produce steel.

The pig iron is either used to make cast iron or for Production of steel.

Although iron is thought of as very solid, pig iron will split and fracture if it is dropped

Pig Iron

Types of iron - Sponge Iron
Sponge iron is also known as direct-reduced iron,
sponge iron is a product that is produced using
iron ore.

The iron ore is often in the form of pellets or
lumps, and is subjected to a reduction process
that is created by the use of a reducing gas that
emits from coal or a natural gas source.

The carbon content in sponge iron produced by
coal based rotary kiln processes are generally low
and is in the range of 0.08% to 0.20%.The carbon
content in gas based processes can be controlled
to a level of 1.5% to 2.0% based on requirement
for steel making.

Sponge iron can be produced in several different
types of furnaces, including coke or charcoal
ovens, blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces.

Direct-reduced iron has a slightly higher iron
content, which often makes it better suited for
use in electric furnaces.
Sponge iron has about the same iron
content as pig iron, typically 9094% total
iron (depending on the quality of the raw
ore) as opposed to about 93% for molten
pig iron.

It is an excellent feedstock for the electric
furnaces used by mini mills, allowing them
to use lower grades of scrap for the rest of
the charge or to produce higher grades of

Types of iron - Sponge Iron
There are several disadvantages of sponge iron over

I. lower liquid metal yield.
II. additional requirement of electrical energy in its
III. Higher meltdown time.

The substitution of scrap by sponge iron has some

I. Depending on the furnace operating conditions.
Only 20% to 30% of sponge iron can be used in the
furnace charge when feeding is done in batches.

II. The proportion of sponge iron in the charge can
however be increased to 40-50% by providing
continuous feeding arrangements.

III. A further increase in sponge proportion is possible
by use of high power furnaces with higher capacity

However, dew to huge mismatch of demand
and supply of scrap, the sponge iron is
considered the best alternative of scrap.

Types of iron Galvanised Iron
Galvanized iron is iron which has been coated in a
layer of zinc to help the metal resist corrosion.

When metal is going to be used in an environment
where corrosion is likely, it is often galvanized so
that it will be able to withstand the conditions.

Even with galvanization, however, corrosion will
eventually start to occur, especially if conditions
are acidic

All galvanized steel has a distinguishing metallic-
gray appearance. The surface is also a hundred
times smoother than uncoated steel.

It has high durability, galvanized steel has a
wide range of applications from creating steel
frames for construction to making automobile

Truck and bus bodies are made of galvanized
steel. It is also used to build up high-tension
electronic towers, highway signs, protective
gears, and in the manufacturing of metal pails.
Galvanised iron wire
Galvanised iron sheets
Galvanised iron storage trunks

Types of iron - Cast Iron
Cast iron is produced when Iron ore is heated in a
blast furnace with coke and limestone. This process
"deoxidizes" the ore and drives off impurities,
producing molten iron. The molten iron is poured
into moulds of the desired shape and allowed to cool
and crystallize.

It is primarily composed of iron(Fe), carbon(C) and
silicon(Si), but may also contain traces of sulphur(S),
manganese(Mn) and phosphorus (P). Carbon and
silicon are the main alloying elements with 2.1 - 4%
and 1-3% by wt respectively.

It is hard, brittle, non-malleable

It is much stronger in compression than in

It is, however, highly susceptible to corrosion
(rusting) when exposed to moisture.

Types of iron Cast Iron
Ideally Used to make:-
- Furniture, Pipes and Stairs.
- hardware: hinges, latches
- columns, balusters
- Stairs
- Structural connectors in buildings and
- Decorative features
- Fences
- Tools and utensils
- Cookware, Stoves and fireback's
- piping.

Types of iron Wrought Iron
Wrought iron literally means 'worked iron', which
refers to the method of manufacturing the metal by
working repeatedly under a hammer.

There are essentially two types of wrought iron:
- 'Charcoal Iron' - made in a charcoal fire and used
from the Iron Age to the end of the eighteenth
- Puddled Iron - made from cast iron in an indirect
coal fired furnace and used since the dawn of the
modern industrial era.

There is no visible difference between forged bars of
Wrought Iron & Mild Steel.

Wrought Iron is not distinguished by its looks but by its
working properties and its resistance to corrosion.

Wrought Iron is softer to forge, as it is workable
at a higher heat than Mild Steel making it more
'malleable' under the hammer

The Eiffel tower is
from puddled iron,
a form of wrought iron

Wrought iron is the
purest form of
commercial iron, containing 0.10% to 0.25% of
carbon and less than 0.25% of impurities like
sulphur, phosphorus, silicon and manganese.

Wrought iron is redshort if it contains sulphur in
excess quantity.

Malleable - can be heated and reheated and
worked into various shapes.

Types of iron Wrought Iron
Various uses of Wrought Iron are:-

- Fences, gates and railings

- Balconies

- Porches and verandas

- Roof cresting

- Lamps

- Grilles

- Hardware

Types of Steel Mild steel
Mild steel, also called plain-carbon steel, is the most
common form of steel because its price is relatively
low while it provides material properties that are
acceptable for many applications.

Mild steel contains 98.81 - 99.96% iron, 0.160.29%

carbon making it malleable and ductile, but it cannot
be hardened by heat treatment.

Mild steel has a relatively low tensile strength, but it is
cheap and malleable.

Mild steel have 0.4%-0.7% manganese, 0.1%-0.5%
Silicon and some traces of other elements such as

The high amount of carbon, also makes mild steel
vulnerable to rust. Naturally, people prefer stainless
steel over mild steel, when they want a rust free

Many everyday objects are made of mild steel.

It is used in nails and some types of wire. Can be
used to make bottle openers, knives, pipes, etc.

Mild steel is also used in construction as
structural steel. It is also widely used in the car
manufacturing industry

Types of Steel Medium & High carbon steel
Medium carbon steel:-

The steel whose carbon content ranges between
0.3 0.6%

Balances ductility and strength and has good wear
resistance; used for large parts, forging and
automotive components.

Bolts, rods, crankshafts, and tubing in the
automotive industry, axles, gears, and components
that require higher hardness and wear resistance
are frequently made of medium carbon steel

High Carbon steel:-

The steel whose carbon content ranges from 0.6

It is thus harder and less formable and machinable
than low-carbon steel.

High-carbon steels are extremely strong yet more
brittle. They offer better responses to heat treatment
and longer service life than medium-carbon steels.

Common applications of higher carbon steels
-- forging grades
-- rail steels
-- spring steels (both flat rolled and round)
-- pre-stressed concrete
-- wire rope
-- tire reinforcement
-- wear resistant steels (plates and forgings)
-- high strength bars
-- farming and gardening equipment

Types of Steel Ultra high carbon steel
Ultra high carbon steel:-

Ultra-high carbon steel: approximately 1.02.0%
carbon content.

It is very brittle, if it is not treated properly.
However, if it is treated properly, the strength can
be about 20-25 % more than the best, high alloy

Used for special purposes like (non-industrial-
purpose) knives, axles.

Types of Steel Stainless steel
Stainless steel, is defined as a steel alloy with a
minimum of 10.5% to 11% (up to 26% for harsh
environments) chromium content by mass.

Stainless steel does not readily corrode, rust or stain
with water as ordinary steel does, but it is not fully
stain-proof, most notably under low oxygen, high
salinity, or poor circulation environments.

Types of stainless steel:-
o Austenitic.
o Ferritic
o Martensitic

Storage tanks and tankers used to transport
orange juice and other food are often made of
stainless steel, because of its corrosion
resistance and antibacterial properties and also
because it can be steam-cleaned and sterilized
and does not need paint or other surface

The alloy is milled into coils, sheets, plates,
bars, wire, and tubing to be used in cookware,
cutlery, household hardware, surgical
instruments, major appliances, industrial
equipment (for example, in sugar refineries)
and as an automotive and aerospace structural
alloy and construction material in large

Types of Steel Stainless steel
Various Uses of Stainless steel are:-

Domestic cutlery, sinks, saucepans, washing machine
drums, microwave oven liners, razor blades

Architectural/Civil Engineering cladding, handrails,
door and window fittings, street furniture, structural
sections, reinforcement bar, lighting columns, lintels,
masonry supports

Transport exhaust systems, car trim/grilles, road
tankers, ship containers, ships chemical tankers, refuse

Chemical/Pharmaceutical pressure vessels, process

Oil and Gas platform accommodation, cable
trays, subsea pipelines.

Medical Surgical instruments, surgical implants,
MRI scanners.

Food and Drink Catering equipment, brewing,
distilling, food processing.

Water Water and sewage treatment, water
tubing, hot water tanks.

General springs, fasteners (bolts, nuts and
washers), wire.