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Steel vs. Iron: What is the Difference?

metal fabrication worker cutting metal

You might sometimes hear the words "steel" and "iron" used interchangeably. But while they certainly have some similarities between the materials, they're quite different. Are you curious about the specific differences between steel vs. iron? Then read on!

What Is Steel?

Steel is an alloy consisting primarily of iron and carbon. Unlike iron, it doesn't occur naturally. There are many different types of steel out there. Each has a unique composition and different properties. Some of the other substances you might find in steel include manganese, molybdenum, phosphorous, and sulfur, to name just a few. What Is Iron?

Iron is a naturally-occurring metal that you can find below the Earth's surface. It is one of the many elements found on the periodic table and is considered a ferromagnetic metal. Two of the most prominent properties of iron include high ductility and high lustrousness. While iron is also widely used for various applications, it's nowhere near as versatile as steel. Steel vs. Iron: The Differences

Durability While steel and iron sustain long exposure to weather and the elements, iron tends to react with oxygen and moisture making it more susceptible to corrosion and rust. For that reason, steel is considered to be a much more durable material. Application

Steel and iron are used in many industrial applications, including construction, civil engineering, automotive, and more. Note, though, that steel is much more versatile than iron. Whereas iron is mainly used for reinforcement in construction materials, steel is used in everything from auto parts to home appliances, ships, airplanes, and more. This is because steel can take on a number of different characteristics depending on its chemical composition. There are many different types of steel, and every one of them differs in terms of malleability, anti-corrosion capabilities, ductility, strength, and the like. Functionality

Iron is a strong and tough material that can hold great weight and withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. However, that's about all that it is. Steel, on the other hand, can be just about anything that you want it to be. Want it to be more flexible? You can simply adjust its chemical composition, and it will adjust its properties to feed your needs. Want it to be lighter in weight? Again, you can achieve that by adjusting its chemical composition. Metal Fabrication in Edmonton For Your Next Project in Edmonton and Calgary

While both materials come with unique features and benefits, steel tends to be a preferred option for metal fabrication projects due to its low maintenance and high longevity. It is highly versatile, rarely rusts, and is more durable than iron. If you are looking for experienced steel fabrication contractors for your next project in Edmonton, Calgary or Saskatoon, Terrick Enterprises Ltd has got you covered! With almost three decades of experience in the metal fabrication industry, we have developed a highly skilled workforce ready to provide you with high-quality steel products. Reach out to us today to discuss your next project with us!


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