Difference Between Iron and Steel

Iron and steel are both known as materials that are widely used in the process of making a building. The iron itself is made from iron ore that is mined from nature, then processed in such a way as to make pig iron to cast iron. Furthermore, iron can be used as the main raw material for making steel. So don’t be surprised if iron and steel also have a very similar form.

Based on the translation from the Dictionary, iron is a metal that is hard and strong and has many uses (as a material for making weapons, machines, and so on). While steel is a hard metal. Also known as concrete steel is a special steel used for concrete construction.

To find out what are the differences between the two, consider the following explanation!

Differences between Iron and Steel

To find out what are the differences between Iron and Steel, consider the following explanation!

Material Formation

Iron is a natural material made from the element Ferrum or Fe.

This material is made from iron ore which is mined from nature and then processed.

While steel is an artificial material made from a combination of various elements, such as

  • iron
  • carbon,
  • manganese,
  • Phosphor,
  • sulfur,
  • silicone, as well as
  • Aluminium, nitrogen, and oxygen in small amounts.

Based on the formation of iron, iron comes from pure elements that stand alone. While metals come from various mixtures of chemical elements. For example, iron, carbon, nickel, manganese, chromium, and others.


Because they are made of different materials, iron and steel also have different characteristics.

Iron tends to rust more easily, while steel has anti-rust properties and is resistant to moisture.

However, iron has a higher level of elasticity than steel which tends to be stiffer.

While steel contains carbon which makes it have a higher level of hardness and traction.

Steel also has a strength 1,000 times better when compared to pure iron.

In addition, steel also has a much smaller damping power so that its use is very wide.


In terms of surface, these two building materials also have differences.

In long use, the iron will have a rusty surface.

While the steel surface still looks shiny even though it has been used for a long time.


Iron is one of the materials known as building materials.

In addition, iron is also a material for household appliances and equipment and even vehicles.

Unlike iron, apart from being used for building materials, steel is also used in the manufacture of cars and trains, and rails. Based on the shape of the surface, iron usually has a rusty surface. While the steel surface is shiny.

Steel is also commonly used for the construction of roads, bridges, and various household appliances.

Also read: What Is the Difference Between Steel and Stainless Steel?

In general, there are two types of iron, namely cast iron and wrought iron. The first type of iron is cast iron, this iron comes from a mixture of iron and carbon. While the second type of iron is wrought iron, this iron is made with a mixture of silicates.

While the steel itself has two types, namely metallic carbon steel and mixed metal steel.

Actually, iron and steel both have almost the same use. However, iron is usually used as a building construction frame material, raw material for equipment, and vehicle equipment.

While the use of steel is almost the same as iron, steel is also commonly used as a construction material for roads and bridges, cars, trains, and others.

Examples of building constructions made of steel are the London Bridge and the Eiffel tower.


Iron is a natural material that is naturally available in nature.

Meanwhile, steel is a product whose availability must be made first.


The durability of steel makes it more expensive when compared to the price of iron.

In addition, the process of making steel also takes a long time when compared to iron that is available in nature.

This is what makes the steel more expensive than iron.


The next difference between iron and steel is in terms of sound.

The iron and steel used for casting produce different sounds or sounds.

Iron can dampen sound vibrations because of its metallic properties.

When iron is struck with a hammer, the sound that steel makes is not as loud.

Meanwhile, when hitting the steel will produce a sound that sounds “tang” which is clearly audible.


Iron and steel also give off different sparks when ground.

On iron, when it is ground it will produce large and many sparks.

While in steel, the sparks produced tend to be fewer and smaller.

Sparks on the grinder can be used to assess the carbon content of the metal.

The higher the carbon, the more and bigger the sparks produced, and vice versa.

Carbon itself is an element that is easily oxidized to carbon dioxide at temperatures above 600 degrees Celsius.

Rust Resistance

Based on its resistance to rust, iron tends to oxidize more easily. In addition, iron is also very easy to rust at the end of its processing. On the other hand, steel tends to be more resistant to rust.


The existence of iron can be found in the wild where the element is formed naturally. Meanwhile, to obtain steel, the steel processing process must be carried out first.

However, for iron and steel to be used in various industries effectively, both must be processed and processed first and mixed with other materials according to the needs of each type of iron and steel.


Those are some of the things that distinguish between iron and steel, starting from the origin of formation, type, resistance to rust, surface shape, to the use of both.

So it can be concluded that iron comes from a mixture of iron elements itself which has a surface that is easy to rust. While steel comes from a mixture of iron, metals, and other chemicals, which have a shiny surface.

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