Logo for Penrhos College
Events Toggle Search box

Science Innovation Centre · 026 · Iron

This element is no longer available.

Iron is a lustrous, ductile, malleable, silver-grey metal (group VIII of the periodic table). It is known to exist in four distinct crystalline forms. Iron rusts in damp air, but not in dry air. It dissolves readily in dilute acids. Iron is chemically active and forms two major series of chemical compounds, the bivalent iron (II), or ferrous, compounds and the trivalent iron (III), or ferric, compounds.

Iron is the most used of all the metals, including 95% of all the metal tonnage produced worldwide. Thanks to the combination of low cost and high strength it is indispensable. Its applications go from food containers to family cars, from screwdrivers to washing machines, from cargo ships to paper staples.

Steel is the best known alloy of iron, and some of the forms that iron takes include: pig iron, cast iron, carbon steel, wrought iron, alloy steels, iron oxides.