Wrought iron

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Wrought iron lock/key
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A malleable form of metallic Iron. Wrought iron is nearly pure iron with less than 1 percent Carbon and about 2.5 percent Slag. It was the only type of iron produced from iron ore until Cast iron was developed in China in the 3rd century BCE. Wrought iron continued to be the only iron made in Europe and the Middle East until the medieval period. For production, the ore was smelted, then the resultant iron bloom was hammered, stretched, and annealed to remove impurities. It was then easily worked by forging, bending, rolling, and drawing. Modern wrought iron is industrially made from refined cast iron. Over the years, wrought iron has been used for many decorative items (hand-crafted church screens and body armor) as well as architectural components (hardware, roof sheeting, pipes, grilles, railings, and fences).

Synonyms and Related Terms

weld iron; puddle steel; puddled iron, charcoal iron; fer forgé (Fr.); Schmiedeeisen (Deut.); smeedijzer (Ned.); ferro forjado (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • Jonathan Taylor, Steve Suff, "Wrought Ironwork" Building Conservation Directory 2000: Link
  • Wrought Iron Advisory Center: Link
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 882
  • David C. Scott, Metallography and Microstructure of Ancient and Historic Metals, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1991
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: "Iron and Steel"
  • Submitted information from Steve Suff