What are the uses of iron? The use of iron according to the places, areas and sectors where iron is used. Properties of the element iron.

Iron is a chemical element used in hundreds of different industries. It is widely found in almost every geography of our planet. The chemical symbol for iron is Fe. It belongs to the category of transition metals. It owes this feature to the fact that it is not found in nature in its pure form. Iron oxidizes when it comes in contact with oxygen. Metallic iron is a fairly inexpensive product and is therefore widely used in various industries. It is possible to come across iron compound products in the construction of large ships, in the automobile industry, in machine tools and in the machinery-chemistry industry.

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In the continuation of our article, after briefly mentioning the properties of iron (chemical, physical, mechanical and thermal), we will give information about the areas in which it is used.

Usage Areas of Iron, In Which Areas Is Iron Used?

Iron is used in many industries such as electronics, manufacturing, automotive, construction and construction.

Application areas of iron are:

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  • As a primary component of ferrous metals/alloys and steels
  • Alloyed with carbon, nickel, chromium and various other elements to form cast iron or steel,
  • In magnets,
  • In fabricated metal products,
  • In industrial machines,
  • In transportation equipment,
  • In instruments,
  • In toys and sporting goods.

Buildings and Structures

Many buildings around the world have been built with the help of metal iron bars. It is mainly used for support and also in the manufacture of other building materials such as doors and windows. Iron is the most widely used metal for construction due to its cheap price. In addition, iron and other metals can be accessed and processed more easily. This makes iron one of the most ideal building materials. 

Home Appliances

We use iron in almost every part of our house. This is not a condescension, on the contrary, it is a due diligence that reveals how much we need iron. In addition, we use some elements with iron composition, which cannot be seen with the naked eye, in our homes. This metal; It is widely used in the construction of household appliances such as plates, pans, spoons, dishwashers and cookers. Iron is preferred due to its abundance and high resistance to corrosion. Additionally, ferrous metal is easier to mold into different shapes than many other metals.

Construction Industry

Iron is one of the most used metals in the world. It has many applications in the construction industry. For example, it is used to make construction tools and materials. At first, metals were used for decoration, not for erecting structures. However, the construction industry developed and materials such as nails and hinges were made using metals such as iron. This brought together robustness and functionality.

Human body

When it comes to the human body, it is obvious that iron is an important element. It helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. It is one of the most important components of hemoglobin, a substance that carries oxygen to the lungs. An iron deficiency disorder in the body weakens the body because the body cannot produce enough red blood cells.

Ammonia Production

Iron acts as a catalyst in the ammonia production process, and production takes place with a combination of hydrogen and nitrogen at certain rates. Hydrogen is mostly obtained from natural gas and nitrogen is obtained from air. Ammonia is very important for fertilizer production in agriculture.

Magnet Making

Iron is used to make magnets. Iron or magnetite is a natural permanent magnet. To make a natural magnet using other materials, you need to subject them to a strong magnetic force. This material retains its magnetic forces when its magnet is removed. Such materials are classified as permanent magnets, although their magnetic properties may change over time.

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Sharp tools

Iron is the most abundant metal in the world after aluminum. In fact, about 5% of the earth’s crust is made up of Iron. Iron ore was generally used for smelting in the past. However, in the recent past and today, it is also used in the construction of other tools and to manufacture powerful cutting tools. 

Bicycle chain

Bicycle chains are responsible for transmitting power from the pedals to the wheels. It allows the bike to initiate movement or accelerate. It is easy to mold the iron into any shape and this is why many bicycle manufacturers prefer iron in chains. Bicycle chains are used in such a way that only 1.4% of the energy is lost and are considered energy efficient. Since iron rusts very easily, it must be combined with other metals. More frequent lubrication is required to prevent the bike chain from rusting.

Electric Poles

When it comes to electricity transmission, the importance of electricity poles in terms of living spaces is undeniable. Iron can be used to make electric poles that transmit electricity over longer distances. However, other metals such as aluminum can also be used for this purpose. Iron is cheap and widely available, so it is one of the most ideal materials for pole construction. 

bridges

Iron is used not only in building construction but also in bridge construction. However, it is not as popular as it used to be due to rusting. On the other hand, iron is one of the most ideal materials for bridges that will be regularly maintained. Steel is one of the most preferred products in bridges and similar structures as an alternative to iron. 

airplanes

Many parts of an aircraft are manufactured using the element iron. It owes this to being one of the most common metals in the world, being durable, meeting legal standards and many other factors.

Rails

An essential component for railways, rails are produced using many metals and steel materials, including iron. Using the iron alone in the manufacturing process of the rails may not be durable enough. Not just rails; The train itself also contains many parts made of iron. 

Spoon, Fork, Knife, etc. Products

Iron is combined with other metals as it is quite soft on its own. Iron often forms a composition using certain proportions with other alloys to produce steel. It is the most preferred metal for making dinner forks, as it leaves clear cuts behind. Also, when it comes to manufacturing hospital service equipment, affordability and availability play a greater role.

Steel Production

Because iron is so soft, it is difficult to use it alone in its pure form. This is the main reason why it is combined with several alloys to form the steel.

Some Uses of Iron Compounds

A combination of iron and other elements creates important products that have many advantages.

  • Ferrous chloride is an important compound used in the treatment of sewage systems. It is also used as a fabric dye. It is also used as a colorant in paints. It is also used as an additive in animal feeds. It is also used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards.
  • Ferrous sulfate, another iron compound, is also beneficial in many ways. It is used to treat anemia or iron deficiency. It is also used to treat sewage particles in water tanks.
  • Iron hydroxide is a compound that powers the water purification systems used in our kitchen sinks. It plays a very important role in ensuring that the pure and clean water needs of the house are met efficiently.
  • Iron arsenate, another important compound that can be found in insecticides, is also a compound used in all types of gardens and helps prevent different pest attacks on plants.

Properties of Iron Element

Chemical Properties of Iron

  • CAS Number: 7439-89-6
  • Ion Radius: 0.640 Å
  • Electrode Potential: -0.0400V
  • Electronegativity: 1.83
  • X-Ray Absorption Edge: 1.743 Å
  • Electrochemical Equivalent: 0.695 g/A/hr

Physical Properties of Iron

The first unit to the right of each parameter whose technical specifications are specified below is metric, and the following unit is English units. 

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  • Density: 7.87 g/cc³, 0.284 lb/in³
  • Melting Point: 1536 °C, 2797 °F
  • Boiling Point: 2861°C, 5182°F

Mechanical Properties of Iron

  • Tensile Strength at Break: 540 MPa, 78300 psi
  • Yield Strength: 50 MPa, 7250 psi
  • Poisson Ratio: 0.291, 0.291
  • Modulus of Elasticity: 200 GPa, 29000 ksi
  • Shear Modulus: 77.5 GPa, 11200 ksi
  • Hardness, Brinell: 146, 146
  • Hardness, Vickers: 150, 150
  • Hardness, Rockwell A: 49, 49
  • Hardness, Rockwell B: 79, 79

Thermal Properties of Iron

  • Coefficient of thermal expansion (@20-100°C/68-212°F): 12.2 µm/m°C, 6.78 µin/inch°F
  • Thermal conductivity: 76.2 W/mK, 529 BTU in/hr.ft².°F

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