The Properties of Iron and Its Industrial Applications

Iron is a metal which is the most common element found in the earth and the sixth most common element in the universe. It forms much of the outer and inner core of the earth and is also found in the rocky planets. This metallic element has an atomic number of 26 and the group and period number in the periodic table are VIII and 4 respectively.

Atomic Structure: atomic number is 26, which means it has 26 electrons and the outer orbital holds 2 free electrons that form ionic bonds with the non-metal elements. In the nuclease, it has 26 protons and 30 neutrons.

Physical properties:
• It is malleable and ductile.
• It is a grayish or silvery-white metal.
• Has a very high tensile strength.
• The melting point of pure iron is 2,797 degree Fahrenheit (1,536 degree centigrade) and boiling point is 5,400 degree Fahrenheit (3000 degree centigrade).
• Iron can easily be bent into a desired shape or thickness, which means it is very workable.
• Has a density of 7.86 g/cm3 at 20 degree centigrade temperature.
• Crystalline structure is cubic.
• Its atomic mass is 55.847.
• It is one of the 3 naturally occurring magnetic elements. (other two are Nickel and Cobalt)

Chemical properties: Iron rusts in moist air, but does not in dry air. The element dissolves immediately in dilute acid. It is a chemically active metal and it forms 2 major series of chemical compounds, including ferrous or the bivalent iron (II), compounds and ferric or the trivalent iron (III), compounds.

Applications: Iron is the most used metal of the earth because it has high strength and is not expensive. Its applications go from scredrivers to washing machine, from food containers to family car, from cargo ships to paper staples. Some forms of iron include carbon steel, cast iron, pig iron, alloy steels, wrought iron and iron oxides.