What is the Difference Between Wrought Iron and Cast Iron

Most people often assume that wrought iron and cast are an interchangeable terms however there is quite a difference between these two types of metal.

Wrought Iron is a soft material produced from semifused pure iron surrounded by slag, it contains less than 0.1 percent carbon and 1-2 percent slag.

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 is a generic term that refers to a range of iron alloys. It is an allow containing 2 to 4% carbon, and smaller amounts of silicon and manganese. 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. Making it ideal for railings. For more information contact us.

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

4 comments

  • As far as I’m concerned, I want some ornamental metal for my gates which is why I choose to have wrought iron as the material for my lawn. I appreciate that you mentioned that they’re forged with a power hammer so it might be more durable if I’m going to assess its quality at face value. I’m not really concerned about using genuine wrought iron but it would be preferable if a fencing contractor I’ll hire would erect that for my lawn so I’ll look at my options and pick the best I can find.

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