A blacksmith models a bar of iron with hammer after took it from fire forge. Sound included. Wrought iron is an iron alloy with a very low carbon content in contrast to cast iron, and has fibrous inclusions, known as slag. This is what gives it a “grain” resembling wood, which is visible when it is etched or bent to the point of failure. Wrought iron is tough, malleable, ductile and easily welded. Historically, it was known as “commercially pure iron”.
Before the development of effective methods of steelmaking and the availability of large quantities of steel, wrought iron was the most common form of malleable iron. A modest amount of wrought iron was used as a raw material for manufacturing of steel, which was mainly used to produce swords, cutlery, chisels, axes and other edged tools as well as springs and files. Demand for wrought iron reached its peak in the 1860s with the adaptation of ironclad warships and railways, but then declined as mild steel became more available.
Many items, before they came to be made of mild steel, were produced from wrought iron, including rivets, nails, wire, chains, rails, railway couplings, water and steam pipes, nuts, bolts, horseshoes, handrails, straps for timber roof trusses, and ornamental ironwork.
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