Cast Iron vs Wrought Iron vs Pig Iron vs Steel vs Aluminium

By: | March 03 , 2020
Cast Iron vs Wrought Iron vs Pig Iron vs Steel vs Aluminium

What is Cast Iron & Wrought Iron?

Iron decorations are widely used in the building industry for indoor and outdoor utility cum aesthetic purpose. They are usually made in cast iron and wrought iron.

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Cast Iron is an alloy of iron and carbon which is hard and relatively brittle, cast iron has a higher proportion of carbon than steel (typically 2–4.3 per cent). Cast iron is formed by melting iron ore, and mixing it with scrap metals and other alloys. The liquid mixture is then poured into molds and allowed to cool and solidify.Cast iron is harder, more brittle, and less malleable than wrought iron.

Wrought Iron is composed of heated iron that usually comprises carbon (less than 0.1 percent) and slag (1 or 2 percent). The manufacturing process involves separating iron from the heat and then worked with tools while it is still hot to get the desired form. Wrought iron is the purest iron that comprises at least 99.5% iron.

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Cast Iron vs. Wrought Iron

The main differences between cast iron and wrought iron are –

  • Cast iron is iron that is melted and poured into a mold so that it takes the shape of the mold. Wrought iron is iron that is heated and worked upon with some tools to give it a nice decorative design.
  • Cast Iron is brittle, hard and non-malleable. Wrought iron is ductile, malleable and can be heated again and again so that one could work on it so as to give it shape.
  • Wrought Iron has a higher tensile strength compared to Cast Iron and can be used in the manufacture of horizontal beams. However Cast Iron has been replaced by steel in the construction industry.
  • Wrought Iron is good for outdoor and indoor decoration purpose and Cast Iron is good for indoor decoration.Wrougth Iron can withstand extreme weather conditions and not corrode or rust easily.
  • Wrought Iron is more stable and strong compared to Cast Iron.
  • Cast Iron has a low melting point and is more fluid whereas Wrought Iron has a high melting point. This makes Cast Iron an easy material to work with while Wrought Iron is a labour intensive manufacturing job.

Difference between Pig Iron and Wrought Iron

Metals are significant materials in construction, architecture and design industry. They hold advantages on certain aspects over other materials. With metal, the design possibilities are not restricted with their versatility. However, one metal is different from another metal even if they look more or less the same. Pig Iron and Wrought Iron are two types of metals with composition of different components.

Pig Iron is made by melting iron, charcoal and limestone together through extreme air pressure. After the intense melting process in the furnace, the metal material pig iron is obtained. However, they cannot be used immediately as they are very raw and require further melting process to remove impurities like coke, sinter, lime, etc. At this stage, pig iron is very brittle and still unstable for any applications. Pig iron can be used only after melting again with other substances. Pig iron is one basic material for the production of wrought iron, cast iron and steel.

Properties of Pig Iron

  • Pig iron has high content of carbon (3.5% – 4.5%) along with slight percentages of manganese, sulphur, silicon and phosphorous.
  • It has week mechanical properties which makes it not an ideal metal for end products.
  • They are used in decorative art pieces like statues and molding figurines
  • Pig iron is not very difficult to handle in the casting process
  • Pig iron is ideal for industrial use, construction industry, aviation, automotive and ship building.

Properties of Wrought Iron

  • Wrought Iron is highly malleable and ductile material, and can be reheated a number of times.
  • They are known for its fibrous appearance.
  • They are not resistant enough to unexpected and extreme shocks.
  • The content of carbon is very low in wrought iron.
  • Wrought iron is free from impurities which make it very soft.
  • They are susceptible to corrosion when bare surfaces are left exposed to oxygen in the presence of moisture.

Wrought Iron

Difference between Aluminium and Wrought Iron

Aluminium and Wrought Iron are metals yet they have different chemical and physical characteristics in comparison. Here are some interesting facts about the two metals.

Aluminium vs Wrought Iron

  • Aluminium is lighter than wrought iron. Because of its light weight, aluminium is mostly preferred metal for use in various machines and automobiles.
  • Both the metals have high melting and boiling points. In comparison, wrought iron is slightly higher than aluminium.
  • Aluminium is the most abundant metal available in the earth’s surface unlike other metals. About 8 percent of the earth’s solid surface is made up of aluminum.
  • Aluminium is better conductor of heat and electricity when compared to wrought iron. In fact, it has a high potential of becoming a superconductor.
  • Wrought Iron is magnetic whereas aluminium, unlike other metals, is non-magnetic.
  • Wrought Iron is susceptible to corrosion when bare surfaces are left exposed to oxygen in the presence of moisture. While aluminium when in contact with oxygen forms a layer known as aluminium oxide which protect the surface from corrosion.

Both are malleable and ductile material. Aluminium is listed second among metals and in sixth place in terms of ductility.

What is the Difference between Steel and Wrought Iron?


Steel is an alloy of iron, carbon and other elements. They are hard and strong and used as fabricating and structural material, and also used extensively in all sorts of construction.It has high tensile strength and elasticity which make it ideal to use as automobile and airplane parts. Besides, steel has many other uses and applications, such as shipping containers, home appliance, furniture, etc.What makes consumers to opt for the steel is its low cost. Steel reacts when exposed to moisture and more vulnerable to corrosion and rust if proper care is not taken. Products made of steel need more intensive workmanship than iron wrought.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is comprised of pure iron and iron silicate. It is the type of iron that can be easily welded and reshaped while its red hot in the fire to get the desired form. Wrought iron has high tensile strength but in comparison with Steel, they are slightly weak. They are less susceptible to corrosion than Steel when bare surfaces are left exposed to oxygen in the presence of moisture. Wrought iron are largely used to make decorative pieces, patio furniture, railings, fencing, window grilles, shelving, security doors, etc.

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