Talk:Wrought iron

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Former good article nomineeWrought iron was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
April 12, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed

Corrosion resistance[edit]

Wrought iron does not rust, e.g. the old warship HMS Warrior 1860 is still sailing. 12:19, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think so. It won't rust if it's coated properly. I suspect the HMS Warrior is simply painted or something similar. —Ben FrantzDale 14:59, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
What about the massive 1600 year old iron pillar of hindu King Ashoka in Delhi? That is bare wrought iron and stands like new. 15:08, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Interesting point. Perhaps the oxide is forming a passivation layer? I am not a metalurgist, I just know I see rusty ironwork all the time and if wrought iron is essentially pure Fe, then it should have essentially the same rusting characteristics as mild steel. I'll leave it to an expert to try to answer this better. —Ben FrantzDale 15:36, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Interestingly, there was some very old steel scaffold found on a building near the Delhi Pillar and that hadn't rusted either; I think like most things the potential for corrosion needs to be there in the first place, and there's not much potential for it in Delhi.--Ironimp (talk) 20:49, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

The rust resistance of large wrought iron objects is an issue that has been under dsicussion in recent years. It appears that they absorb enough heat from the sun to enable them to dry themsleves. Two Chinese iron statutes were placed under cover for their protection and proceeded to rust! The 'conservation' measure proved to be counter-productive. The case cited of the guns on HMS Warrior is not quite in point, as cannon are made of cast iron. Painting would not help as the guns get hot when fired. The surface of an iron object is black, because it quickly acquires a later of iron oxide. This helps protect it against rust. Teleworking 22:19, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Some of these W. iron artifacts are slow to rust because, for the most part, they are kept in low corrosive atmospheres. The potential for corrosion can change enormously on the same site,depending on elevation, and can therefore change according to location in different parts of the world. Also remember that many of these objects in the past have been coated in clear substances, such as clarified butter, and these have worn off without trace. ( See: Amaranths, TR., 1995, The iron Pillar at Delhi)

IF one is going to write authoritatively on these (or any) subject they should have some experience in the field. Much of the literature on this subject is sales hype and old wives tales. Stating that wrought iron does not rust of corrode is just plain wrong. While wrought has characteristics that slow its rusting (lack of sulfur and carbon) it does rust and often rusts to destruction. If it did not we would have many 2,000 to 3,000 year old iron artifacts like we do bronze. But we do not. There are just a handful over 1,000 years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

end of wrought iron[edit]

I have removed referecnes to Garden History and as they were providing inaccurate information. These would at best be tertiary sources, if not mere hearsay. I have substituted a WP:RS, though this is in fact inconsistent as to date, giving both 1976 and 1973 for last manufacture. I susepct that 1973 was the closure of the plant and 1976 of the company that owned it. The plant after re-erection in the museum was officially opened in 1987. Wrought iron was occasionally made there (as a demonstration), but I do not think it has been used for some years. I had not put this in the text as I do not think it worthwhile. Peterkingiron (talk) 19:44, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the help with the RS's. I don't know if the reference to "Real Wrought Iron Company" should be included in the last sentence as it seems very much like an advertisement and doesn't really count as commercial because it is used only for restorations. Wizard191 (talk) 22:05, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes it is an advert, but I do not think we will finbd a better source. Peterkingiron (talk) 22:13, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Proposed merge from puddle iron[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The Puddle iron page seems redundant and should probably be incorporated into this one. PeRshGo (talk) 21:21, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

  • I totally agree that the page is redundant. The term should be "Puddled iron", but the merge target should be Puddling (metallurgy), the process by which it was made. This variety of iron is not an alloy, so that the present stub tag is wrong. I will leave it a few days before undertakling a merge, to goive others the opportunity to comment. Peterkingiron (talk) 22:11, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Support merge with Puddling (metallurgy) — per Peterkingiron. Wizard191 (talk) 18:29, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Merger undertaken as agreed by Wizard191 and me. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:16, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Merger proposal (Wrought iron furniture)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was merge. Wizard191 (talk) 20:16, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

I propose merging Wrought iron furniture here. A quick look at the history shows it was a promotional page and has attracted spamlinks, and I don't think "wought iron furniture" is some form so special (unlike what, Wrought iron fence?) that a separate article is warranted. There is, however, some possibly mergeable material about the history of wrought iron manufacture.  Glenfarclas  (talk) 04:41, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Support - per nom. Wizard191 (talk) 15:07, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Support agreed--=Motorhead (talk) 18:48, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support -- I would suggest a new section "applications" or "uses" (towards the end), which will replace (or expand) the paragraph on this in the lead. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:03, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
  • 'Support —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 13:21, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Proposed merge from stringer (slag)[edit]

The article is relatively short and specifically about stringers for wrought iron, therefore the topic should be discussed here. Moreover, this article currently doesn't discuss the topic, so it would be a good addition. Wizard191 (talk) 20:23, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose: the talk page of the merger candidate describes the need for an individual page to consolidate wikilinks for the term. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:09, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
    • That seems like a very weak reason for opposition, when we can easily put in {{anchor}}s so that any incoming links go directly to the section. Wizard191 (talk) 22:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Anchors would help, if the proposal is carried. Meanwhile, without prejudging the outcome, I have added an inline link to the candidate article; there was already a brief but unlinked mention here that we hadn't spotted. --Old Moonraker (talk) 23:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I found the self standing article on stringer in relationship to wrought iron confusing - it needs to be tidied up and in my opinion should be incorporated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:48, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Archaeometallurgy deleted[edit]

Dr Gerry McDonnell is a reliable source and his work has a place here. However, it has to be referenced for inclusion. Some context for his recent finding would also be useful. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:55, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

i will include the work again with reference. For context a copy of the introduction to the report reads:

As part of the Master Crafts Series transmitted in spring of 2010 an iron smelt was conducted to illustrate how iron was made. The aim of the smelt was to produce a bloom of malleable iron that could be smithed to an artefact. The smelt was conducted on llllll09 and a successful bloom was produced. Half ofthe bloom was smithed down during the filming and a series of small memento artefacts were produced. A small bar of the iron was sent for analysis. Dr G McDonnell — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ironimp (talkcontribs) 16:46, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. I don't think I expressed myself too well: by "context" I meant how it relates to the article in, as the guideline has it, a "seamless and ever-expanding exposition". As the experiment relates to the the bloomery process, perhaps it could follow on from one of the paragraphs in that section. Interesting material, well worth inclusion, but the main thrust should be in the bloomery article itself.--Old Moonraker (talk) 19:11, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

I have just picked up your message after resubmitting so it may be in the wrong place again. However, I see the pure iron from wrought iron as another process deriving from the bloomery method so like the other wrought irons perhaps it should have its own heading, also I think it will stimulate a lot of discussion and be expanded on in which case we may need to seperate in the future?; what are your thoughts?--Ironimp (talk) 20:37, 19 February 2011 (UTC)


'True wrought iron is required for the authentic conservation of historic structures'

This statement has no basis and should be removed. Conservation (I am not sure what is meant by authentic?)of all fabrics is a matter of philosophical debate, there are situations when like for like replacement is appropriate and situations when it is not appropriate to use the same material for repair because it risks confusing the history. It is widely accepted amoungst conservation professionals, of which I am one,and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) that using the same materials for repair,can cause 'historic ambiguity'. In these situations the worked is 'signatured'in time by using a visably different material. What are the views on this?--Ironimp (talk) 16:23, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

I support Ironimp in asking for the above statement to be removed for two reasons.

Firstly the term "True wrought iron" cannot be substantiated. Wrought iron is a generic term covering all irons produced by being "wrought" or "worked". This can cover a number of production methods and a wide range of qualities and can also include pure irons. A recent smelt of iron ore in a charcoal furnace carried out by Dr Gerry McDonnell proved that "pure iron" i.e. iron with a purity greater than 99.7% with no laminations can be produced using only the materials and techniques available to our early ancestors suggesting that this type of homogenous iron pre-dates the laminated iron commonly referred to as wrought iron today. Therefore there is no such material as "true wrought iron".

Secondly, the "authenticity"(validity) of a conservation project is evidenced by the results achieved by the blacksmith, e.g. visual aesthetics, reinstatement of orginal functionality and faithfullness of any replication work and not by the choice of material. Therefore it is the skill of the smith alone which determines whether or not the work is "authentic". GeorgeMeyrick (talk) 15:49, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

I have also considered that this statement could have a commercial purpose in the UK as there is only one supplier of Wrought iron.--Ironimp (talk) 18:02, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Wrought Iron.[edit]

As an apprentice nearly half a century ago, I worked with Wrought Iron and there are a few snippets that I would like to add.

WI never really melted, it was heated up to bright yellow heat and forge welded into larger pasty "blooms" under the power hammers. It was then consolidated into usable plates bars etc. The maximum bloom weight that could be worked like this was about 70lbs in weight.

WI was very usable for ships rivets as being heated to white heat without structure damage they could be thrown greater distances and still be hot enough to use. The stronger steel rivets could only be heated to a lower temperature without seriously damaging the structure and had a more limited "throw" distance.

In the older yards and factories WI was preferred to steel for uses such as chains and crane hooks. If over loaded, WI would stretch giving some visual warning of impending breakage, steel doesn't.

The part about WI being readily welded is only partially correct. WI can only be readily welded by heating to white heat in an old fashioned forge or furnace, then hammering. The more modern methods of electric welding only gave an indifferent weld.

The probable reason that WI was phased out in favour of steel was that adding carbon not only lowered the melting point of the alloy but also gave a ready liquid for pouring. Aditionally as steel could be poured in large quatities I don't think that there is any technical limit to the amount of steel that can be poured and rolled compared to the much smaller amounts of WI that can be produced.AT Kunene (talk) 10:26, 29 March 2011 (UTC)


I think that you contributor is correct. Wrought Iron did have a very high resistance to corrosion. Most of the paint schemes seemed to be to prevent weed and barnacle growth rather than rusting. There was surface rusting but nothing worse that I can remember.

I am also of the opinion that Brunels "Great Western" survived abandonment in the Falkland Islands because it was built of WI. A steel built ship would have long corroded away.AT Kunene (talk) 10:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Good or bad for welding?[edit]

The introduction states wrought iron is "good for welding". Lower down the page however, the section titled 'Defects' states it is "useless for welding". One of the two statements must be incorrect. Possibly the "useless" reference (uncited) is meant to describe only redshirt wrought iron, but one cannot be at all certain and in science one shouldn't have to assume or interpret any likely meanings. It rather defeats the object of the page if you want to know something simple but need to be an expert aleady before reading! Can someone clear this up, please? Thanks. Pete Hobbs (talk) 13:16, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I've just found (and added) a warning against welding impure wrought iron, so presumably "useless for welding" doesn't apply to the material generally. --Old Moonraker (talk) 14:02, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I've added an Inconsistent tag to the contradictory, and unsourced, claim. If it is meant to apply to redshort iron then the claim needs rewriting to properly convey this. -84user (talk) 08:44, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

  • There are several welding processes. Wrought iron is easily forge welded, by hand and traditional means, or potential by some modern techniques (I doubt if they're used, but they ought to be workable). The more modern developed torch welding processes (gas or electric) are inappropriate for it. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:25, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Google finds "Welding Journal Volume 24" from 1945, on page 79, the journal asserts that welding wrought iron to mild steel by arc or gas torch is feasible and they expect a resistance weld would also work. [1] The Google snippet of the Audel |

"welding Pocket Reference" says wrought iron can be oxyacetylene welded or brazed; it makes the observation the iron in the weld joint doesn't have the wrought iron structure any more. [2] So, if you were picking something to make a welded structure out of, you might not pick wrought iron, but you apparently can weld it if necessary. --Wtshymanski (talk) 23:42, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

It's weldable with gas, although it's very long-winded and the process is practically a puddling furnace of its own. Much depends on the grade: merchant bar can't be welded like this, but triple shear (which is the same proportions, only a finer-grained material) can. It's easy to braze it, but the joints are weak and infamously unpredictable - they're a decent joint where the metals met, but not where the slag was. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:18, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Wrought iron welding in the historical sense was by hammering hot iron.Phmoreno (talk) 23:38, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

  • This is a characteristically inept edit, and quite wrong. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:18, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

On further checking I was able to find forge welding.Phmoreno (talk) 01:36, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

It now says, "It is therefore useless for welding or forging.", which is utter nonsense. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:08, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

References from Misa[edit]

I have gone through this book, ISBN 9780801860522, trying to find support for the references claimed for it in the article. I only found one (which I have added) so I have tagged the others with a {{page needed}} request. --Old Moonraker (talk) 05:39, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

The new reference from Gordon (ISBN 0-8018-6816-5 page 138) likewise doesn't support the text in the article. It refers to the respective benefits of man-powered and steam-powered hammers, but carries nothing about the origins of the term wrought. It describes best iron as being a product of rolling, rather than hammering. Tagged {{failed verification}}. --Old Moonraker (talk) 14:31, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for adding the quote, but "For best grades of iron, they repeated the repeated the piling and rolling several times [sic]" still refers to rolling, not hammering. The {{failed verification}} tag still applies.--Old Moonraker (talk) 14:40, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually any of this is guessing what the true meaning of "wrought" is. Hammering is a required part of the process of making merchant iron, but in antiquity people were more concerned about iron articles, which had to be shaped by hammering. Perhaps the most important reason for the term "wrought" is to differentiate it from "cast". So please reword as you see appropriate.Phmoreno (talk) 15:04, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
No, I can't find one that says precisely this either, and I have looked—that would have been more positive than sticking maintenance tags all over the place. OED includes hammering under "wrought", but only as a secondary meaning under the headword. At the end the day, if there isn't reference there isn't a place in the article.--Old Moonraker (talk) 15:48, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Merge proposal: Stringer (slag)[edit]

  • Support -- The stub article on stringers is in fact dealing with the "inclusions", mentioned in the first line of this article. However, I would say that the includions are not merely "known as" slag, but are stringers of slag. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:07, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

merge opinion and update:[edit]

I would be against merging this article. The name "wrought iron" commonly used to refer to the material --Fraulein451 (talk) 08:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Soft iron[edit]

'Soft iron' is a term used in electronics, and seems to be no more than another term for wrought iron. Any objections to redirecting here and stating this in the intro? --عبد المؤمن (talk) 19:59, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Carbon content[edit]

The introduction Wrought iron is an iron alloy with a very low carbon (less than 0.08%) content interferes that only iron with less than 0.08% carbon may be referred to as wrought iron. I am not an expert, but I believe this is misleading: the production methods (finery forge using charcoal, later puddling in hot air) removed carbon, and did so in fact to levels often below 0.08%. Although this was often the final result, it was not a limit in the sense that iron with a carbon content above 0.08% would not be considered whrought iron and that the product could not be used in construction etc. To my knowledge, standard puddling iron had carbon contents of up to 0.3%, for specific purposes even up to 0.6%. I thus feel that the initial phrase should be modified accordingly. --AHert (talk) 10:58, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

I haven't read anything that would allow that high of a carbon content to be classified as wrought iron, Instead it would have been classified as steel. However, it was known that steel could be produced with the puddling process, but quality control was a problem.Phmoreno (talk) 11:59, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  • The "carbon content" would be measured according to that alloyed with the iron, rather than any free carbon still included in slag streaks. So the first grades of wrought iron, as merchant bar, are little different to pig iron (i.e. cast iron with plenty of free carbon) in overall composition, but this is a pure iron with carbon-rich slag. As the wrought iron bars are refined through the grades of single shear or double shear, this carbon and the slag is removed. It's either burned off, leaving wrought iron, or it's incorporated as shear steel. Both of those will have lower total carbon, but the iron remains a low carbon steel, i.e. classed as iron. or else it becomes a hardenable carbon steel and used for tools or blades. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:32, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

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