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What are Some Uses for Iron?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Iron has been used throughout history for many purposes. Wrought iron can be used for seating, fences, and other decorative purposes, while steel is often used in construction. Cast iron can be used in the kitchen. Other compounds that include this element are used in dyes, insecticides, water purification, and many other products.

Most people are familiar with wrought iron, which is often used to make outdoor seating, decorative fences, arbors, and trellises. Since wrought iron tends to more resistant to rusting than many other forms of this metal, while still being very easy to mold and work with, it is ideal for use in items that are meant to remain outside in all sorts of weather.

Combinations of iron and steel, sometimes referred to as alloyed steel, is ideal for use in construction. For example, alloyed steel is often used for the framework of a number of storage buildings, as well as in the construction of some parts of automobiles and the hulls of large carrier and passenger ships. Because the material holds up so well to a variety of temperatures and pressure, the alloy is just right for all forms of construction.

Cast iron is one form that many people would not think of being without in their kitchens. The even heating quality of cast iron makes it a perfect material for skillets, Dutch ovens, cake pans, cornbread trays and a number of other forms of cooking hollow ware. The art of properly seasoning this metal for use in the kitchen is something that is often passed down from generation to generation within a family. In some families, cookware may also be passed down through the years, with grandchildren proudly using the cast iron cookware once used by their great grandparents.

Not all things made of iron are readily seen, although they impact people's lives every day. For example, iron acetate is used in the dyeing process for cotton and other types of cloth. Iron arsenate is used in the insecticides that are used in flower and vegetable gardens. Iron hydroxide is used in many water purification systems, including the type that attaches to the kitchen sink. People who have an iron deficiency that needs correction will use iron gluconate as a diet supplement. Other uses for iron in some form include the production of rubber products, a pigment in paints, and an additive in animal feed.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including About Mechanics, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Fa5t3r — On Feb 16, 2013

If you're interested there's a really great video out there where a guy made his own knife from scratch and shows you how to do it as well. Most people wouldn't have any uses for iron ore, but he manages to refine it in the traditional way and shape it into a tool.

It takes a long time and is a huge amount of work, but I seriously can't imagine a cooler way to get a tool than making it yourself.

By KoiwiGal — On Feb 15, 2013

Hey guys, I'm just going to give you a little research advice when it comes to using websites like this for your assignments. This is a great article, but it's not supposed to be a definitive list of everything to do with iron (which you can see by the title). This is not that kind of website and if they put all of that information here it would be too much to go through.

This is basically the same as looking up a short encyclopedia entry on iron. You look up this kind of article to give you a kicking off point. When you see that it says people use iron as vitamin supplements, but doesn't go into detail, you think to yourself, that sounds like it might go well in my assignment, so you then start looking up more articles on "iron supplements". Likewise with uses for cast iron.

If you are doing a university level paper, in particular, you really need to look for primary sources as much as possible. Use this information as a jumping off point and go from there.

By anon134183 — On Dec 13, 2010

Your website helped so much. And you did also.

By anon128891 — On Nov 21, 2010

One thought that this was most helpful, but one agrees with the other people, it needs to be split up into sections. Anyhow, very helpful.

By anon97116 — On Jul 18, 2010

Thanks a ton. That helped me a lot. this was exactly what i was looking for!

By anon76273 — On Apr 09, 2010

I think it needs subtitles because it's not very clear.

By anon74410 — On Apr 02, 2010


By anon73886 — On Mar 29, 2010

I got a little confused. I needed the info for a task about the periodic table.

By anon71976 — On Mar 21, 2010

Combinations of iron and steel. think about how stupid that sounds. what is steel made of?

By anon70555 — On Mar 15, 2010

needs to be separated into different categories, but very useful information.

By anon68618 — On Mar 03, 2010

very helpful.

By anon67783 — On Feb 26, 2010

Well, i think that is a good website but there's not enough! It needs to be separated in different categories. It also has info but not enough!

It did help me but not enough! (again) It needs to be more separated and more specific. Thanks.

By anon65297 — On Feb 12, 2010

very, very helpful with loads of info. Thank you.

By anon64581 — On Feb 08, 2010

that's cool.

By anon62929 — On Jan 29, 2010

This has helped me so much. Thanks.

By anon61084 — On Jan 18, 2010

This was very helpful for my project! Thanks a ton!

By anon60979 — On Jan 17, 2010

thank you so much. this website helped me so much.

By anon60152 — On Jan 12, 2010

thanks. you helped me do my homework!

By anon59416 — On Jan 08, 2010

this really helped me with my research! thanks!

By anon59165 — On Jan 06, 2010

thanks so, so, so, much.

By anon59043 — On Jan 05, 2010

this website is not that good. it didn't help me at all, i got a C- in my exam

By anon58998 — On Jan 05, 2010

This site is better than any other on the web!!! I looked for over five hours trying to find some uses for iron and all i got was a simple "irons in steel"! this site actually gives me examples of what iron is in and goes deeper than just telling me what it is in! thanks a lot!

By anon57880 — On Dec 28, 2009

gosh! It's so perfect for my assignments. thanks.

By anon54789 — On Dec 02, 2009

Thanks. This kind of helped me on a paper i am working on.

By anon50809 — On Nov 01, 2009

Wow! Thanks guys. This web site really helped me with my project on iron. Thanks a million.

By anon50065 — On Oct 25, 2009

I love this site. It really helps when you don't want to trust wikipedia!

By anon48660 — On Oct 14, 2009

thank you. this site is very helpful for my classwork. i love this site.

By anon46784 — On Sep 28, 2009

Another help for chem here!

By anon37827 — On Jul 22, 2009

Very helpful for my assignment!!

By anon15665 — On Jul 18, 2008

great site. It was extremely helpful in my chemistry homework! thanks a lot.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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