Good to have you all here again. I believe we all have a great day.
Today post, we shall deal with iron, a common metal of great industrial significance.
IRON ; YESTERDAY AND TODAY.
Iron is the most common metal of all, and you can see it almost everywhere you look. But mostly you will see it in the form of steel, which is an alloy, made from iron, and very small amounts of other substances, such as carbon. In fact, iron is rarely used as raw metal, but always in the form of steel.
The modern world is built from steel. Steel plays an important part in the manufacturer of other articles and forms the basis of all machinery. It helps to shape wood, make glass, chisel stone and mix cement. The machinery needed to melt and form other metals and to make plastics is mostly made of steel. Iron is the most important material used in the industry, because so much of it is used to make steel. Iron has greatly influenced peoples, cultures and civilizations throughout the world. It gave its producers an advantage over their rivals in the manufacturer of weapons and tools.
5% of the earth crust is made up of iron. It is found as an oxide in large concentrated masses at, or near the surface of the earth. Large deposits of iron ore are found in Nigeria at Itakpe near Okene and mount Patti near lokoja. The centre of the earth is believed to consist of a solid core of iron. Iron ore is found in layers of stratified ironstone running in horizontal lines between clays, limestone, and sand, which are called over burden.
EXTRACTION OF IRON
Iron is extracted by reduction of the ores in the blast furnace process. The blast furnace consists of a tower up to 60 meters in height and 10 meters in diameter. It is made from steel and lined inside by fire-proof brick. At the top of the tower, a mixture of ore, coke and limestone is fed into the blast furnace through the bell hopper. Limestone is used to convert silica (sand), which is an impurity in the ore, into a slag which can be removed easily. Near the bottom of the furnace is a ring of pipes called tuyeres from which a blast of hot air is forced up. The coke burns and carbon dioxide is formed. The carbon dioxide is reduced to carbon monoxide as it passes through neighboring layer of coke. Carbon monoxide reduces iron ore, and the molten iron is collected at the bottom of the furnace.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF IRON
Iron is a hard, shiny solid with a density of 8.0g per cm3. It is malleable and ductile with great structural strength. It is a good conductor of electricity and heart. It can be magnetized.
Iron rusts rapidly when exposed to air or water. Steel can be made by adding small fixed amounts of carbon and manganese to molten iron. Stainless steel has nickel and chromium added as well. Thus, stainless steel is an alloy of iron with the above mentioned substances.
USES OF IRON
• Transport : Iron and steel is used in making cars, ships train, and bycicles.
• Construction : Iron and steel are used extensively in the construction of bridges and large buildings.
• Tools : Iron is used in making tools, eg. Hammers, axes, spades, and nails etc.
Container : Iron ( protected by tin and zinc) is used in making many types of containes, including tanks. It is also used in making cutlery, rock drills, watches and electromagnets.
• Iron is the most common metal; but mostly used as steel.
• Iron exists as ores in nature. It's major ores are hematite and magnetite.
• It is a hard, shiny solid; malleable and ductile.
• Steel is made by adding fixed amounts of carbon and manganese to molten iron.
• It is used in tool fabrication ;transport, and in construction work.
Thank you always.