Iron Spherical Powder is composed of high purity iron having exceptional electromagnetic properties due to which they are used in power injection molding, electronics, radiation shielding, and sensors. In this article, we will discuss all Iron.
Iron is a natural element that appears in the periodic table between the transition elements. It is represented by the chemical symbol Fe and has atomic number 26 and atomic weight 55.847. It looks like a metallic solid with a silvery-white color.
Considering all the various compounds, iron is one of the most common elements in nature, constituting more than 34% of the mass of our planet, with percentages that vary according to the depth, maximum in the center of the earth, where it is assumed to be the main component gradually decreasing going up towards the earth’s crust, where it is present for about 5.1% of the surface mass.
Iron is an allotropic metal, that is, it changes its molecular structure depending on the temperature it is in. At normal temperatures, it has a cubic structure centered on the body, that is, it forms a cube and has an atom in the center. On the contrary, when the temperature increases, its structure becomes cubic centered on the faces, that is, the atoms are in the vertices of the cube and the center of each of the sides.
Iron has four stable natural isotopes: in smaller quantities, we find the Fe-54 (5.82%), Fe-57 (2.19%), Fe-58 (0.28%) isotopes. The remaining 91.71% is made up of the Fe-56 isotope, (stable with 30 neutrons). In its pure form, iron is a soft, ductile and malleable metal at room temperature. It goes into a liquid state at 1335 °C and boils at 3000 °C. It occurs in two allotropic forms. At room temperature, it is presented in the alpha, cubic form with a centered body. Between 912 °C and 1394 °C, it comes in the gamma, cubic form with centered faces. Above 1934 °C, it appears in the delta form, again cubic with the centered body. The transition from one allotropic form to another is widely exploited in metallurgy especially during the transformation processes of steel and cast iron alloys.
Iron was discovered in prehistory and was used as an ornament and to make weapons. The oldest existing object is a group of rusty beads found in Egypt and dates back to 4000 BC. In the 10th century BC, iron was used to make swords because of its hardness. The archaeological term iron-age applies only to the period in which the use and work of iron extend. Modern iron processing did not begin in central Europe until the middle of the fourteenth century.
The first to enter the Iron Age were the Hittites in the area of Palestine and it only took a few centuries for the entire ancient world to do so. Although the work of iron is the most difficult to perform among all metals, the possibilities it offers, its greater efficiency and the difficulty of supplying copper and tin made iron replace the work associated with copper quite quickly. These circumstances stimulated the improvement of the steel industry, which led to temperatures of up to 1,300ºC being achieved in prehistoric times. Iron ore is very abundant in the earth, it represents 5% of the weight of the earth’s crust, so its supply is not difficult, but fuels of high heat capacity are necessary for its reduction.
Physical Properties of Iron
The physical properties of Iron are:
1.Its high hardness means that it is very resistant to being scratched by another.
2.It has a high density. A small volume of iron has a lot of weight.
3.It is malleable, that is, it can deform without breaking and that is why thin layers of iron can be made.
4.Iron has high thermal conductivity, so it is used as the main component of kitchen utensils that must be able to reach high temperatures. Its thermal conductivity is 80.2 W/(Km).
5.On the other hand, it has low electrical conductivity, so it is not one of the metals used in circuits and cables.
6.Iron, in general, is not used in its purest form, except for cases in which its magnetic properties are to be used.
7.Iron corrodes when exposed to atmospheric oxygen, humid air, and high temperatures. When corroded, their surface layers become iron oxide. 16 different types of iron oxide are known, some of which take a specific coloration. Therefore, various iron oxides were used as a pigment from the earliest forms of painting and are found in cave paintings thousands of years old.
8.It has a white color and is very abundant on earth, rarely appears in a pure state.
9.Magnetism is the attraction or repulsion that certain materials exert on others and iron is the magnetic metal par excellence. The other highly magnetic metals such as iron are cobalt, nickel and mild steel, which is an alloy of iron.
10.By immersing iron in concentrated nitric acid, an oxide layer is formed that makes it passive, which is, not chemically reactive with some substances including acids. The protective oxide layer breaks simply by hitting or shaking the metal, which again becomes active.
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Structure of Iron
At normal temperature, the structure of Iron is body-centered, whereas, at higher temperatures, it is cubic structure centered on the face. This aspect has a huge practical prominence. Iron contains a minor quantity of carbon in the steel. At high temperatures, iron atoms are larger than carbon atoms, they adjust in the empty spaces of the face-centered structure. When the temperature of iron is lowered, it acquires a cubic shape centered on the body. In that way, carbon atoms cannot be placed in the smallest spaces. Then, the crystalline iron network is distorted, due to the large size of the carbon atoms, or carbon is detached from iron in the form of iron carbide, Fe3C.
The crystals of iron and Fe3 exist in many shapes and sizes. The crystal’s final structure is dependent on the rapidity of cooling and the percentage of the iron. These alterations in the crystalline structure give it the pronounced adaptability. They also explain that the properties of steel can be changed with heat treatment.
It is very difficult to find iron in its pure form in areas that are close to the earth’s crust. More often it is found in a combined form with other components to form sulfides, oxides, carbonates, and silicates. Therefore it is essential to apply a filtering procedure to get it from the impurities.
Various methods of refining have followed since the 12th century BC, that is, at the beginning of the Iron Age. In the beginning, the mineral clods are heated in small ovens fueled with charcoal excited by incandescence with forced air. A spongy mass was obtained containing large quantities of slag which were removed with a skillful process. Only in the Middle Ages was there a significant change in the production process. Blast furnace has the appearance of a truncated pyramid structure, not very similar to that of the furnaces of the 4th century BC, just over two meters high, and about a meter wide at the base, but lined internally with materials that allowed the mineral to be melted, obtaining thus liquid iron that is cast into shapes and made available for finishing.
Modern Blast Furnace
The iron extraction method in use today is still based on Blast Furnace, consisting of the oven tower, over 30 m high, about 12 m wide; connected to tanks for air preheating. Iron ore is introduced from above, together with limestone and coke. The charge that descends along the oven is invested by an upward current of gas at high temperature, due to the combustion of the coke with preheated air up to 1000 °C, introduced under pressure through nozzles placed at the base of the oven. The carbon monoxide produced by the combustion of coke reduces iron oxides to iron, while the added limestone as a slimming agent removes the impurities of the mineral. At the base of the oven, the residual slag is collected on one side and the molten metal on the other which is poured into a large ladle and then converted into Iron Spherical Powder form.
The great availability in nature, the low production cost, and the chemical-physical characteristics make iron the most used material ever. The pure iron is widely used due to its magnetic properties. The iron spherical powder has a lot of significant applications such as:
1.It is employed as an alloy additive, catalyzer for noble metal reduction, copper replacement, etc.
2.The iron spherical powder is also used for stainless steel cutting.
3.It is used in welding rod making.
4.It is used in making car Brake.
5.Diamond tool production also utilizes Iron powder.
6.The iron spherical powder has found to be effective for Water treatment.
7.Moreover, Iron spherical powder is used as a Sponge iron deoxidizer, Magnetic mask.
8.In carbon alloys, steels and cast iron, it is used for the construction of ships, and cars.
9.The common iron, also known as soft iron, contains less than 0.5% carbon. It is technically a mild, hard and malleable steel, widely used in the artisanal production of wrought iron objects.
10.Most of the iron is used in forms under special treatment, such as wrought iron, cast iron, and steel. Commercially, pure iron is used to obtain galvanized metal sheets and electromagnets. Iron compounds are used in medicine to treat anemia, that is when the amount of hemoglobin or the number of red blood cells in the blood drops. In 1994, annual iron production was close to 975 million tons.
Thus, Iron Spherical powder consists of more than 99% of iron. Iron is a silver-gray, very malleable and magnetic metal. It is a chemical element, so its molecules are formed by a single type of atom. It is the fourth most abundant element in the earth’s crust and represents 5% of its components. However, in nature it is not in its pure state and is not used in its pure state, but is combined with other metals or minerals, forming alloys.