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What is the Difference Between Wrought Iron and Cast Iron

In contemporary usage, wrought iron is metal that is “worked,” often on an anvil. Using the skills of a blacksmith, the metal is heated in a forge and hammered to shape. A metalsmith can either forge the metal by hand over an anvil or by using a modern power hammer.

However, wrought iron has come to refer to ornamental metal assemblies which can often be a combination of cast and forged components. Be very careful when specifying wrought iron that both the designer and fabricator are using the same definitions.

forged-iron
Steel or iron components that are forged into various shapes are categorized as “wrought iron”

Wrought Iron also is a term used to refer to an alloy that is no longer produced but was preferred by blacksmiths when forging. Click here to learn more about “genuine wrought iron”.

While genuine wrought iron is not readily available for forge work, pure iron is and is a material often used to replace wrought iron in restoration work. Otherwise, genuine wrought iron is often salvaged from old bridges and structures.

Cast Iron or aluminum is metalwork produced in a foundry. At the foundry, metal ingots are melted in furnaces and the molten metal is poured into molds. Castings permit much more detail in the elements than you might find in a forging.

Cast Irons tend to be brittle, except for malleable cast irons. Malleable iron is cast iron which goes through an annealing heat treatment which makes it weldable, less brittle, and formable.

cast-iron
Cast Iron and Aluminum permit the designer to use parts with more intricate details.

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