What are Some Uses for Iron?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

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.

Wrought iron is often used to make decorative fences and gates.
Wrought iron is often used to make decorative fences and gates.

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.

Cast iron is often used to make pans.
Cast iron is often used to make pans.

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.

Elemental iron, which is found in many compounds, has uses in industries that range from medicine to manufacturing.
Elemental iron, which is found in many compounds, has uses in industries that range from medicine to manufacturing.

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.

Iron can be used to make cast-iron cookware, which is used to make skillet cornbread.
Iron can be used to make cast-iron cookware, which is used to make skillet cornbread.

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.

Outdoor chairs and benches for public use have historically been made of wrought iron.
Outdoor chairs and benches for public use have historically been made of wrought iron.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


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.


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.


Your website helped so much. And you did also.


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.


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


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




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


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


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


very helpful.


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.


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


that's cool.


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thanks. you helped me do my homework!


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


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!


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


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


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


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Another help for chem here!


Very helpful for my assignment!!


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

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